Ford, the second largest US automaker, has been trialing for the past months a car-sharing service in London, the United Kingdom and has now decided the business can be offered to the general public.
GoDrive, the service is designed to grant one-way rides and guaranteed parking – the drivers only need a smartphone application to book a car, can pay by the minute and also have the opportunity to be “green”, as 50 percent of the fleet consists of electric versions of the Focus compact. “People are becoming increasingly open to new means of mobility,” commented in a statement Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of research and advanced engineering. “Car sharing is proving to be an appealing model.” The GoDrive service has entered its Beta phase, with the service offered for free to the first 2,000 customers – granted 50 vehicles across 20 locations around London and more features set to be added as the service receives general feedback. The pilot testing program was introduced back in January and was part of a larger mobility scheme which experimented with 25 locations around the world in order to better study transportation directions.
Of the 25 experiments, fourteen are led by Ford and eleven make part of the company’s Innovate Mobility Challenge Series, used to recruit innovators and developers around the planet as they seek the solution to the future of mobility. Ford is also implicated in car-sharing services in Germany, India and at home in Dearborn. The German car-sharing scheme is the largest, established two years ago and now counting on 40 dealers in 67 cities and a total of 135 locations.