Ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber have apparently become so popular, they’re attracting the attention of major automakers. Ford CEO Mark Fields recently revealed to BuzzFeed that his company continues to work on a transportation service of its own tentatively called the Dynamic Shuttle.
Like the competition, Ford’s ride-hailing experiment is app-based and would pick up and drop off passengers (presumably for a fee). Fields said it aims to provide a fleet of vehicles to perform this task along a dynamically determined route that’s based on user demand.
The idea may sound a bit far-fetched coming from a major US automaker but to hear Fields describe it, the whole thing sounds like a natural fit. For starters, Ford has the vehicles to make it happen. What’s more, the executive is enough in touch with technology trends to realize that demand for such a service – at least in some cities – is real.
The fact that Ford is still talking about the Dynamic Shuttle experiment months after it was first announced tells us that the company is likely going to see it through to a consumer product.
In discussing the project with the publication, it quickly becomes evident that Fields “gets it.” He said he believes the car is becoming the ultimate technology product and that Ford as a company is going to become more and more of an information company.
Fields added that Ford will always be in the business of making cars, trucks and utilities (even when the autonomous switch happens) but the business will pivot to a certain degree from being a core hardware business to providing a service.