Ford's traditional business has revolved around making cars, but it's increasingly seeing itself as a transportation company that just happens to make vehicles. Need proof? Just look at the company's newly unveiled FordPass. The free-to-start service is built to help you get around town, whether or not you own a Ford -- it'll help you find and pay for parking, share cars and (in the future) book ridesharing trips. There's a FordPay virtual wallet that will help you pay for everything, and you'll even have access to free FordGuides (basically, customer service agents) that can help out.
Naturally, Ford wants to offer a few perks if you own one of its cars. FordPass will help you schedule maintenance, and it'll talk to Sync Connect to remotely start or lock your car as well as check its status levels. There are loyalty programs for shops, too, including frequent pit stops like 7-Eleven and McDonald's. Whatever vehicle you own, you'll officially get to try the service in North America this April, with Brazil, China and Europe due later in the year.
Ford is adamant that this isn't about pitching you on its products, even at the upcoming FordHubs (in London, New York City, San Francisco and Shanghai) that will serve as technological showcases. However, there's no doubt that this as much about brand awareness as anything else. Even if you're a fan of another automaker, this gets Ford into your brain -- it's that much more likely that you'll consider a Ford the next time you're looking for a new ride.