Ford launches City Solutions

International automotive company Ford has announced that it is looking to team up with a number of “major global cities”, beginning with San Francisco, to develop integrated transport solutions.

Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, explained: “We’re expanding our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, and partnering with cities on current and future transportation needs is the next major step.

“For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation.

“Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people – for decades to come.”

In an official, Ford highlighted that its future urban solutions will encompass delivery vehicles as well as people carriers: “Today, half the world’s population lives in cities. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to 60%. As city populations grow, the challenges tied to moving people and goods around become tougher. Ford is committed to being part of the solution.”

One of the company’s solutions has to buy Chariot, a crowd sourced startup company in San Francisco that is operating a shuttle service throughout the Bay Area of San Francisco using a fleet of 100 Ford Transit minibuses.

“Today, Chariot’s routes are crowd-sourced based on rider demand,” said Ford. “In the future, they will operate dynamically – using data algorithms to map efficient routes to best serve the real-time mobility needs of communities.”

Ford plans to extend this service to at least five more global cities – and to use it as “the cornerstone for its new global shuttle services business”.

To do this, the automotive company is setting up a new City Solutions team to work with cities around the world. John Kwant has worked with several such cities during his career at Ford will lead the effort as vice president of Ford City Solutions.

Ford added that: “Discussions are already under way with several global cities.”