Ford’s vision for a “Smart Mobility” future holds the promise of taking the automaker beyond its current position as a simple manufacturer of cars, trucks, and other vehicles, driving the Blue Oval down a path of high-tech, connected transportation that could spell a dramatic re-imagination of its role in consumers’ lives.
With that comes the possibility of new, unforeseen partnerships with tech companies and other automakers.
Speaking to reporters today after delivering a keynote speech at the inaugural Detroit Startup Week event, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford said that “you’ll see a lot of partnerships, a lot more than you used to see in the auto industry.” Today Online reports that the great-grandson of company-founder Henry Ford wasn’t forthcoming with details, saying simply: “You’ll hear more from us as this year goes on,” and adding that acquisitions might be a possibility “if we thought that was the right way to go.”
The automaker’s push into providing tech-driven transportation services has kept Ford plenty busy of late. In March, the automaker started a separate “Ford Smart Mobility” subsidiary to direct its numerous mobility initiatives. Last month, the company released FordPass – a mobile app which allows users to access a marketplace of Ford-delivered Smart Mobility services like advance parking and SYNC Connect. And earlier in May, Ford announced a $182 million investment into software company Pivotal.
Despite earlier rumors of a Ford-Google partnership – particularly an alleged collaboration on a self-driving car – Bill Ford could not confirm such speculation. “Anything’s possible with anybody,” he told reporters. “We have a good relationship with Google.”