Ford’s car-sharing goes public

The Ford Motor Company says it will begin making its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public.

The service offers affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys, with easy parking throughout the city.

The project started as one of 25 experiments that form Smart Mobility, Ford’s technological progress in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data. The pilot was called City Driving On-Demand. The application being introduced to the public is called GoDrive.

With the global car-sharing industry expected to exceed €5.5bn by 2020, Ford is introducing GoDrive to target on-demand use and to gain insight into emerging mobility trends and customers’ car-sharing habits. Ford is exploring the opportunity for car-sharing services, working with Londoners to better understand their mobility needs and travel and parking patterns.

“As cities become more and more congested, people are becoming increasingly open to new means of mobility, and car-sharing is proving to be an appealing model,” said Ken Washington, vice-president, Ford research and advanced engineering.

“A crucial part of delivering effective car-sharing services is to learn alongside these drivers what best meets their needs and expectations, and complements their location and existing transportation infrastructure.”

Intended to complement existing transport systems for integrated journeys, GoDrive is the only car-sharing service that offers one-way trips with guaranteed parking. A pay-as-you-go approach, with pay-by-minute pricing, covers congestion fees, insurance and fuel. Drivers use a smartphone app to easily reserve and access a car. Half of the fleet consists of Focus Electric vehicles.

The pilot experiment was launched with 100 registered members accessing zero-emission Focus Electric or fuel-efficient, low-emission Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost models, from secure parking hubs near major public transport locations, such as Waterloo and Victoria railway stations. Ford is inviting 2,000 people to register for a free, expanded service that offers 50 cars across 20 locations.

GoDrive is notable for continued evaluation and improvement, through structured learning. Features are regularly added to the service, based on experience and customer feedback.

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