Not content with just announcing that it'll have autonomous car sharing available in five years, Ford is now adding two more means of transportation for urban areas: bikes and shuttles. In front of San Francisco city hall, CEO Mark Fields announced that the automaker had purchased local shuttle service Chariot, and proceed to show off a new fleet for a bike sharing system.
Today's news is part of Ford's continuing investment in its Smart Mobility program. The company is aggressively expanding beyond just selling cars to consumers in an attempt to stay ahead of the changing transportation landscape. While Fields remained mum on what the company paid for Chariot, he did say that Bay Area cities San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose and others would be getting 7,000 GoBikes over the next 18 months. This will be an expansion of the current bike-share system in San Francisco.
Ford will be partnering with the Metropolitan Transportation System and bike-sharing company Motivate. Users will be able to reserve the bikes starting next year using the FordPass platform available on iOS and Android.
San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee said, "transportation is a regional challenges and the solutions have to be regional." He continued, "I am very proud of this partnership with Ford." While San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo announced that there would be GoBikes available in underserved areas at a discounted rate so all citizens can enjoy riding around on two wheels.
As for its new shuttle service, Fields announced that Ford would introduce its new tiny buses to five additional cities over the next 18 months.
The broader news is that the automaker is launching Ford City Solutions. The new team that will work with individual metropolitan areas to determine the best solutions to help its citizens get around. Fields noted that what works in San Francisco might not work in other urban areas. So what you're seeing in San Francisco today will probably be coming to your town in the future.