Photo courtesy of Ford.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford Motor Co. has officially launched its London-based GoDrive carsharing service to the public. The service offers access to a fleet of cars for one-way trips with guaranteed parking, says the company.

The project started as one of more than 25 experiments through Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s plan to use technology to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles.

Ford has introduced GoDrive to target on-demand use and gain insight on emerging mobility trends and customers’ carsharing habits, according to the company.

“As cities become more and more congested, people are becoming increasingly open to new means of mobility, and carsharing is proving to be an appealing model,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “A crucial part of delivering effective carsharing services is to learn alongside these drivers what best meets their needs and expectations, and complements their location and existing transportation infrastructure.”

The pay-by-minute pricing covers congestion fees, insurance and fuel. Drivers use a smartphone app to reserve and access a car.

The pilot experiment launched with 100 registered members accessing zero emission Focus Electric or Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost models from parking hubs near public transport locations, such as Waterloo and Victoria railway stations. Ford now is inviting 2,000 people to register for a free expanded service offering 50 cars across 20 locations, says the company.

“Our research tells us that car clubs currently are perceived as inflexible when it comes to booking, time slots and return locations,” said Alicia Agius, project lead, GoDrive, Ford of Europe. “Features such as one-way journeys and pay-as-you-go extend the number of opportunities that drivers would want to carshare and could prove a game-changer.”

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