Ford pilots share-car project in Bengaluru

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Partners with self-drive car rental service provider Zoomcar

Make your idle car profitable the Ford Motor Company way. As part of its efforts to address future challenges to personal mobility, the US-based carmaker has partnered with Zoomcar to pilot a share-car project in Bengaluru.

Zoomcar is a self-drive car rental service provider, which gives cars on rent by hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. The company provides all kinds of vehicles, including sedans, sports utility vehicles and luxury cars.

Ford has already rolled out the pilot project, which will serve as ground-work for large-scale research in studying the feasibility of a closed group or peer-to-peer car share model.

“It is based on the close community concept. The project will help us get key insights into the communities who will be keen to adopt such a model, their usage patterns and cost effectiveness. We have started with around five vehicles (EcoSport) and will add a few more, but not beyond 10 cars for the pilot project,” Venkatesh Prasad, Senior Technical Leader Group and Senior Technical Leader, Vehicle Design and Infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation, told BusinessLine.

Prasad, who spearheads Ford’s mobility projects across the globe, said such projects are successful in other developed countries as many users are looking at saving costs – not only on vehicle, but also on fuel and parking.

Projects like car-sharing will be crucial to address the problems of rapid urbanisation where people may want to have their own means of mobility, but infrastructure bottlenecks and cost factors often impede purchase decisions, he said.

Ford will study all the nuances and pricing models once the project is successful, before rolling out in masses, so that it is beneficial to the users, Prasad said.

“As India is a price-sensitive market, we are looking at the pricing mechanism and self-driving experience of users under this project. With Bangalore a technology hub, we are seeing lots of potential users, who live in same locality or in neighbourhood, for this service,” he said.

Ford as a company doesn’t have access to a users’ personal data or their identities as part of the project. Ford’s ‘Share-Car Project’ is a pilot to better understand the usage model of sharing concept, without getting access to users’ personal data. Once the ecosystem is big enough, Ford India would also start such pilots in other towns and finally roll out the services for users across India.

Global projects

This is one of the 25 mobility projects worldwide that Ford announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 being held in Las Vegas.

The company aims to help create affordable, accessible mobility solutions for everyone through such projects.

The 25 experiments include – eight in North America, nine in Europe and Africa, seven in Asia and one in South America.

Each experiment is designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation ecosystem, the company said.

Published on January 07, 2015

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