Ford will introduce its Chariot minibus services in a sixth U.S. city “very shortly”, further broadening the service developed to appeal to those moving away from conventional car ownership after it started in London this week, an executive informed Reuters.
Ford is attempting to diversify into other modes of transportation from vehicles sold to customers as new rivals from Alphabet’s Google to Uber shock the standard vehicle market.
Significant automakers are experimenting with mobility services, partnering with existing tech apps or developing their own offerings such as car clubs as they look to interest young urbanites who have progressively shunned buying an automobile.
Ford purchased Chariot in 2016 and has been broadening the service, which permits passengers to book seats for journeys typically between transport hubs and to and from park and ride facilities.
It is available in San Francisco, Austin, Columbus, New York, Seattle and, from this week, London, where Chariot will run 4 routes in areas south of the River Thames which are normally not near underground stations.
Ford’s global president of mobility Marcy Klevorn informed Reuters that more expansion was due shortly.
Sarah-Jayne Williams, director of smart mobility for Ford in Europe, informed Reuters the investment in London had created 24 jobs so far and Ford was intending to expand its product offering.
“We’re also taking a look at different enterprise routes or charter-type services which we would wish to extend throughout this year,” she stated.