At MWC Shanghai, Ford has unveiled its Smart Mobility initiatives. The company made numerous announcements aimed to deliver mobility solutions to people across the world.
Ford has announced four new SYNC AppLink partnerships that are aimed at offering the drivers their favorite apps with SYNC voice commands. Out of the four partnerships, three are in China, and one in Thailand.
SYNC AppLink allows drivers to control compatible smartphone apps behind the wheels using voice commands. For the drivers in China, Ford has announced three apps, namely, Umetrip which is an air travel app that tracks user’s flight schedules and displays real-time flight information; RoyalFlush, which is an investment and wealth management app that displays real-time stock, fund, bond, commodity, foreign exchange prices and more; and Kaichewenwen (Android) / Chumenwenwen (iOS), a voice-controlled, Chinese-language virtual assistant that integrates location-based services, GPS navigation, rail, flight, movie ticketing and hotel bookings and more. Drivers in Thailand will get the Joox Music app that lets users download their favorite songs for offline listening.
Ford has also announced two Ford Smart Mobility projects in China that are targeted to ease the stress of parking in cities. The two projects are, the Ding Ding Parking Space Lock project that uses SYNC to give Ford drivers exclusive hands-free control over parking spaces while the other project is called the Employee Smart Parking experiment which aims at making parking near the office much convenient. The latter has been conducted with Ford employees in Shanghai.
The company has also shared its findings from a car-sharing experiment. Ford piloted the “Share car” project in India, Bangalore, in partnership with Zoom car. This project was aimed at testing the sharing concept that allowed small groups, such as co-workers, apartment dwellers and families, to share a vehicle among multiple drivers. It offered the benefits of owning a car, to those consumers who can’t afford a car. Findings of the experiment highlight the importance of value for money and scheduling flexibility in new models of car sharing.
Ford has also partnered with an established shuttle bus company in Dalian, China, Panda Shuttle and Tsinghua University to make a scheduling tool for making shuttle bus services more efficient by optimizing routes and schedules of a fleet of Ford Transit shuttle buses.