Ford has been testing a small car-sharing service across the pond in London called City Driving On-Demand. The operation, which allows customers to "rent" vehicles for in-city commutes and pay by the minute, is expanding to include 2,000 people that will have access to a fleet of 50 vehicles throughout London and is now known as GoDrive.
Unlike other ride-sharing services such as Zipcar, GoDrive is meant for one-way travel with the customer leaving the vehicle at a designated drop-off spot that's guaranteed to be open.
Ford said the 50 vehicles will consist of a mix of Ford Focus Electric cars and Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost models, both of which are energy efficient and thus better suited for public transportation. Vehicles will be stationed at 20 different locations around town with usage rates being charged by the minute.
The company notes that the first five minutes of usage are free of charge, a grace period that allows the driver to familiarize themselves with the vehicle. Drivers' running fares are shown in real-time via the GoDrive app.
Ford said it hopes to gain further insight into user behavior that will help them refine the customer experience. Specifically, the company is looking into different weekend and day-hire pricing options as well as further on- and off-street parking options.
What's more, the automaker is exploring similar ride-sharing services in Germany, India and the US although the London test appears to be the furthest along.