From the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep, everything we encounter has a deep technological roots. Everything around us is becoming smarter and more connected to everything else. Therefore it is no surprise that Ford has been appearing not only in motoring shows around the world, but has been sharing center stage with technology companies in some of the world’s most prestigious technology expos.
The technology inside Ford vehicles is already astonishing. We hear a lot about the self driving cars or the autonomous vehicles. What is Ford’s vision for the future and where is it all going?
These are the questions I had as I headed out to the 6th annual Fords Trend event in Detroit, Michigan where I was hosted by Ford. Here is what I discovered:
News Flash: Ford is a Mobility Company
Mark Fields, Ford’s President and CEO, has announced that Ford plans to put high-volume autonomous vehicles on the road in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service as part of Ford Smart Mobility. Ford is expanding its business model from automotive to now include mobility which is “the most significant strategic shift in company history”. Essentially, Ford is planning on becoming the world leader in autonomous vehicles, as well as in connectivity, mobility, customer experiences and data and analytics.
Ford has their eyes on the autonomous vehicle of the nearby future and is investing time and money in buying startup companies today, that can help the company deliver the solutions of tomorrow.
Yes, electric vehicles are on the radar too, however Ford is looking at transportation as a whole. Replacing hundred of thousands of cars with electric vehicles, doesn’t help with the congestion and traffic jam – the problem remains just with less carbon emissions. Therefore, Ford is working with cities around the world to re-engineer transportation system and ensure people are able to move about in the most efficient way.
In the future we will not own our own vehicle and yet we will be able to get anywhere. This statement a few short years ago would sound preposterous. However somehow today, with ride-sharing services that we have access to from our phones, this statement no longer sounds foreign or “too futuristic”.
Ford is pivoting from selling “units of vehicles” to selling entire eco systems of transportation services. From ride-sharing to ride-hailing to mass cloud services of data to smart app services – these are all on Ford’s Future Trend radar.