Ford realigns Mobility Group; acquires Autonomic, Transloc to accelerate growth
Ford Motor Company says its mobility strategy is to deliver a broad suite of products and services that enhance all layers of the transportation system—vehicles, infrastructure, connectivity, and digital services—to alleviate the transportation drag on cities and help people move more freely in the City of Tomorrow.
“We believe transportation done right—as part of a systems approach—can bring life back to our cities,” said Marcy Klevorn, president, Ford Mobility. “By accelerating our delivery of mobility services through the changes we are making today, we are enabling that revival, enhancing our competitiveness, and creating long-term value for Ford shareholders.”
This year, Ford expects to accelerate and launch businesses in the following areas:
- Transportation operating system: The company’s open, cloud-based platform—the Transportation Mobility Cloud that manages information flow and basic transactions between a variety of components in the transportation ecosystem—will be expanded beyond Ford to include other automakers, suppliers, partners, and cities; a developer network to build and support the system also will be launched.
- Connectivity: Preparing to deliver digital services to personal, fleet, and city customers, Ford’s mobility team says it will deliver on the company’s commitment of 100% connectivity of new vehicles in the U.S. by 2019 and push toward its goal of 90% connectivity globally by 2020.
- Ride sharing: Chariot, the cornerstone of Ford’s microtransit solutions, will see an acceleration of city launches globally this year; launches will be based on a major shift in focus to the unit’s enterprise business, which provides employee transportation services for businesses. Just last week, Ford announced the launch of service in Columbus, Ohio—Chariot’s fifth city.
- Non-emergency medical transportation: Ford Mobility will expand its non-emergency medical transportation operation from a Southeast Michigan pilot with Beaumont Health into a full business serving multiple medical systems.
- Vehicle Management as a Service: Ford Commercial Solutions is leveraging vehicle connectivity to deliver data services and fleet optimization to the commercial segment, building on the automaker’s historical strength in serving fleet customers. Ford Commercial Solutions will expand its offerings globally this year.
To support this shift to innovation and delivery at speed, the company announced an agreement to acquire Autonomic, a Palo Alto, CA-based technology company that specializes in scale, architecture, and leverage for transportation industry solutions.
Ford’s acquisition of Autonomic will reportedly accelerate the automaker’s mission to establish the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform and support its plans to scale up other key mobility initiatives, including the drive toward full connectivity, Chariot, and non-emergency medical transportation. In addition to being able to fully capture the value created by this platform, Ford also will benefit from the Autonomic team’s capabilities in creating and incubating new mobility businesses, as well as relationships that will further improve Ford’s access to top technology talent.
Ford also is announcing the acquisition of TransLoc, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of demand-response technology for city-owned microtransit solutions. Acquiring TransLoc allows Ford to leverage its operational expertise, network of city relationships, and proven track record of providing solutions to cities globally that can improve the rider experience with dynamic routing.
The terms of these acquisitions are not being disclosed.
Ford also is announcing the reorganization of the teams developing and scaling mobility solutions. The reorganization will establish four new groups focused on mobility products, services, and businesses. The new groups are:
- Ford X: Ford’s acquisition of Autonomic will serve as the cornerstone for its new Ford X team. Part of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, this team will have responsibility for ensuring Ford is continuously discovering and actively incubating new business models. To support this mission, Ford X will oversee the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform; the Ford X Accelerator, a new group dedicated to quick incubation of potential products and services; and new mobility businesses early in their development.
- Mobility Business Group: With responsibility for scaling the company’s existing mobility businesses, Ford Smart Mobility LLC’s new Mobility Business Group will oversee Ford Commercial Solutions; Ford’s microtransit businesses including Chariot and the non-emergency medical transportation unit; FordPass and digital services, including those supporting autonomous vehicle businesses, in-vehicle services, and personal vehicle ownership; and future businesses once they mature following their incubation within Ford X.
- Mobility Platforms and Products: Ford Mobility’s product solutions group will lead design and development for the technology underpinning Ford’s mobility businesses, including connectivity, FordPass platform elements, vehicle management as a service, transportation as a service, its autonomous vehicle partnership platform, and foundational platforms.
- Mobility Marketing and Growth: Ford Smart Mobility LLC is establishing a global marketing and sales team. This group brings together Ford’s City Solutions team, its regional Ford Smart Mobility leads, TransLoc, and related marketing and sales talent into one organization.
With the new organization, several leadership appointments also are being announced:
- Sunny Madra, CEO and Cofounder of Autonomic, will join Ford as Vice President, Ford X.
- Marion Harris, Chief Financial Officer, Ford Credit, will be named Vice President, Mobility Business Group.
- Rich Strader is named Vice President, Mobility Platforms and Products.
- Brett Wheatley, Director, Ford Marketing, Sales and Service Fitness Transformation, is appointed Vice President, Mobility Marketing and Growth.
“2018 is the year Ford Mobility moves from foundation building to product and service delivery, and we are acting decisively to ensure our teams are set up for success,” said Klevorn. “The acquisitions of Autonomic and TransLoc, together with the new organization will enable faster innovation incubation and product development times, as well as increase the group’s ability to scale and create value for our shareholders.”