As part of Ford Motor Co.’s plans to shift toward a company-wide focus on mobility, it introduced FordPass, a platform that allows customers to talk to personal mobility assistants to help resolve parking and other challenges, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show today.
“We’re kicking off the next transformation of Ford, from an automotive company to an automotive company and a mobility company,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford.
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, and Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol, joined Fields onstage to discuss Ford’s mobility initiatives at Ford’s press conference today. Seacrest has worked with Ford for 15 years, since the first days of American Idol.
“It reminds me of the journey we were on with the environment,” Ford said. “It was a big change. For the environment, it took 30 years in terms of acceptance, but mobility is here and making people’s lives better. If not us, who? My great grandfather changed how the world moved in a very fundamental way, and now we are on the cusp of various revolutions in the way people access mobility.”
Ford said FordPass members will be able to talk to a personal mobility assistant at any point to help resolve issues such as finding a quicker route to a destination or booking parking. Members can reserve and pay for advance parking, virtually build their vehicles, and receive rewards. The platform launches in April.
“We’re the leader in mobility, and we’re approaching the transformation from a position of strength,” Fields said.
He said Ford is opening hubs in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
Ford also unveiled the new Fusion, including two hybrid models and a new all-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport.
The Fusion V6 Sport comes with a 2.7-liter engine that delivers nearly 330 horsepower and 350 pounds per feet of torque. The Fusion Energi has a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. The car automatically switches to a 2-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted.
The Fusion offers lane-keeping assist, along with an available blind spot information system. The Fusion arrives at dealerships in the summer.