Ford Motor Co. has partnered with Zoomcar to pilot a car-sharing project in India’s Bengaluru, according to a report by the Hindu Business Line.
Zoomcar, an India-based car-sharing company, rents cars hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Rentals include various vehicles including sedans, SUVs and luxury vehicles.
“It is based on the close community concept,” Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader group and senior technical leader, vehicle design and infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation, told Business Line. “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.”
Prasad, who leads Ford’s mobility projects across the globe, told Business Line that these types of projects are successful in other developed countries as many users are looking at saving costs — not only on vehicles but also on fuel and parking.
“As India is a price-sensitive market, we are looking at the pricing mechanism and self-driving experience of users under this project,” Prasad told Business Line. “With Bangalore a technology hub, we are seeing lots of potential users, who live in same locality or in neighborhood, for this service.”
This pilot program is one of Ford’s 25 mobility projects worldwide, which Ford announced at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Ford aims to create affordable, accessible mobility solutions through these projects, according to a Ford press release.
The Ford Smart Mobility Plan includes 25 experiments: eight in North America, nine in Europe and Africa, seven in Asia and one in South America. Each is designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation environment, says Ford.
“We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “The experiments we’re undertaking today will lead to an all-new model of transportation and mobility within the next 10 years and beyond.”
Click here for a map of Ford’s Smart Mobility Plan projects: https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/2015/01/07/FordSmartMobilityMap.pdf
Click here for the full Hindu Business Line report: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/ford-pilots-sharecar-project-in-bengaluru/article6764519.ece