Ford buys ride-sharing service and will offer bike-sharing services

The automaker will also be offering a mobile payment app for parking

Ford today announced it is acquiring Chariot, a San Francisco-based commuter ride-sharing shuttle startup that will become part of a plan by the carmaker to address growing urban congestion.

Ford also announced it is collaborating with Motivate, a bike-sharing service, in order to offer create that "Ford GoBike" sharing service across San Francisco and the Bay Area.

ford gobike Ford

Ford and bike-sharing service Motivate are working to add new bicycle stations and to increase the number of bikes to 7,000 in the Bay Area by the end of 2018.

Motivate, which offers its service in 12 cities around the world, has designed an app for bike-sharing users. The Motivate app allows users to unlock bikes in docks and provides real-time information about ride availability.

The Ford acquisition and partnership is part of a plan by the carmaker to address the "challenges tied to moving people and goods around" in ever more congested cities.

"We're expanding our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, and partnering with cities on current and future transportation needs is the next major step," Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. "For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation. Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people -- for decades to come."

While today, about half the world's population lives in cities, by 2030, that number is expected to grow to 60%, according to Ford.

At a news conference in San Francisco, Ford announced its new City Solutions team as part of its Ford Smart Mobility LLC.

Ford ride-sharing service Ford

A Chariot ride-sharing van in San Francisco.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC. includes the acquisition of Chariot, which the carmaker expects to expand beyond San Francisco to at least five additional markets in the next 18 months.

Started in 2014, Chariot already operates nearly 100 Ford Transit shuttles along 28 routes throughout San Francisco Bay Area.

"We started our Chariot service with Ford's 15-passenger vehicles and continue to use Ford Transit shuttles to this day," Ali Vahabzadeh, Chariot cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. "We couldn't be more thrilled to be Ford Smart Mobility's first acquisition and leverage its leadership in transportation to fulfill Chariot's goals worldwide."

Ford Chariot ride-sharing service Ford

The Chariot service uses Ford's 15-passenger vans and a mobile app ride-hailing service.

Today, Chariot's routes are crowd-sourced based on rider demand. In the future, they will operate dynamically -- using data algorithms to map efficient routes to best serve the real-time mobility needs of communities, Ford said.

Ford and Motivate are also working to add new bicycle stations and increase the number of bikes to 7,000 in the Bay Area by the end of 2018. Launching next year, Ford GoBike will be accessible by users through the FordPass platform. FordPass is an app that combines payment services with ride-sharing and parking services such as ParkWhiz.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?