At Mobile World Congress (MWC), Shanghai, Ford announced new smart mobility initiatives which build on the two Ford Smart Mobility projects the company announced in China.
The Ding Ding Parking Space Lock experiment, one of the projects uses SYNC to give Ford drivers exclusive hands-free control over parking spaces, and the Employee Smart Parking experiment conducted with Ford employees in Shanghai to make parking near the office easier and more convenient.
Ford also announced four new AppLink partnerships – three in China, and one for drivers in Thailand – in order to bring consumers’ favorite apps behind the wheel with SYNC voice commands, and revealed its findings from a car-sharing experiment in Bangalore, India.
Launched last year in Bangalore, India, Ford Smart Mobility experiment explores a car-sharing concept focused on close-knit communities like families, co-workers and neighbors. The project, conducted in partnership with Zoomcar, a car sharing firm, was designed to learn about the mobility needs of consumers who wanted to experience the benefits of car ownership by sharing a single vehicle among multiple drivers.
Together with Panda Shuttle, an established shuttle bus company in Dalian, China, and Tsinghua University, Ford developed a scheduling tool to provide more flexible and effective transport services during periods of high and low demand. The Panda Dynamic Shuttle project employs an algorithm in Panda Shuttle’s mobile app to enable the company to more dynamically schedule the stops and routes of a fleet of Ford Transit shuttle buses.
The Panda Dynamic Shuttle offers services for three different conditions: During rush hours when demand is at its peak, throughout the mid-day lull when demand is lower and late at night when public transportation is limited.
Ford also announced new SYNC AppLink partners for China and Thailand
With SYNC AppLink, Ford drivers can control compatible smartphone apps with voice controls, enabling a unique, personalized experience in the car. At MWC Shanghai, Ford announced four new partnerships to bring consumers’ favorite apps safely behind the wheel.
The company launched four apps for drivers in China.
Umetrip, an air travel companion app, tracks users’ flight schedules and displays real-time flight information accessible via voice or on the in-vehicle display. The app supports virtual check-in and doubles as a boarding pass.
RoyalFlush is an investment and wealth management app that can display real-time stock, fund, bond, commodity and foreign exchange prices. It can also provide market news updates via voice inside the vehicle. When a customer is away from his vehicle, the app provides algorithmic return-on-investment forecasts, and supports automated buying and selling.
Kaichewenwen (Android) / Chumenwenwen (iOS) is a voice-controlled, Chinese-language virtual assistant that integrates location-based services, GPS navigation, flight, rail and hotel bookings, job and housing listings, event and movie ticketing, weather, social sharing, and more. It also supports music, navigation, weather information, and more with natural language recognition.
For drivers in Thailand, Ford offers Joox Music, the most popular music app in Thailand, with over 10 million users. Joox Music allows for streaming services and lets users download their favorite songs for offline listening.