Ford is entering the mobile technology ring with the launch of a new app. The company announced the FordPass mobile app in January of this year at the North American International Auto Show. The app is designed to help people get “from here to there,” whether by Ford vehicle, public transportation, ride-sharing or rent-a-bike service, or another car. There’s even a parking assistance feature.
A ‘Marketplace for Mobility Solutions’
The idea behind the FordPass app is to provide consumers with “a marketplace for mobility solutions.” Spokespeople for the renowned vehicle brand note that while the core business concerns selling vehicles, the whole industry is shifting to serve consumers’ general mobility needs. This includes consumers who don’t always require a vehicle to go from “here to there.”
Vehicle sharing is increasingly commonplace, a fact that Ford recognizes. The company is subsequently crafting a “whole ecosystem” that extends beyond standard vehicle buying and current customers to include non-Ford owners.
What the App Does
FordPass revolves around the ‘My Vehicles’ feature that lets drivers add their cars and trucks and review basic model details, such as when the vehicle was purchased, current fuel level, color, and how many miles it has. Product recalls are also included if necessary. This may be accomplished by scanning a vehicle’s barcode.
In addition to providing useful vehicle information, the mobile app functions as an extra key capable of remotely locking and unlocking the vehicle and starting the engine. However, this feature is only usable on cars with modern functionalities, such as the 2017 Ford Escape. The feature is indicative of things to come, as key access is one of the biggest issues currently surrounding car-sharing.
Other app features include parking assistance, which allows drivers to take photos of where they parked and save related maps. The app offers a number of features, but Ford is hoping to create one app to rule them all rather than sticking drivers with multiple car apps.
Ford wants not only to maintain its existing client base, but also to attract new customers through a loyalty program. The program will launch later this year in the U.S. and is set to be the brand’s first-ever “global loyalty scheme.” Points are accrued by buying a Ford vehicle, scheduling a car share or parking space through the app, and filling up on gas at a partnered BP garage, among other things. These points are redeemed to provide free oil changes, free winter check with new windshield wipers, and essentially anything else available through FordPass.
The vehicle brand is (obviously) hoping for great success with the mobile app, as it aims to be the “Apple of the mobility world.”