"We want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people - for decades to come", Fields said in a statement. The company is racing other major automakers and tech giants like Alphabet Inc.'s Google vehicle to go driverless to increase safety and reduce traffic congestion as 60 percent of the world's population moves to urban centers by 2030. In a first of its kind public-private partnership, Ford is teaming up with Bay Area cities to reduce congestion and help people move around. Ford is committed to being part of the solution. Jim Hackett, the chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, said those tests confirmed the potential of shared shuttles.
The Detroit automaker said Chariot plans to expand internationally, moving into five more markets in the next 18 months.
The company said it plans to acquire Chariot, a shuttle service based in San Francisco that now operates about 100 Ford Transit vans.
Chariot, founded in 2014, provides shuttle transportation in the Bay Area using routes based on customer demand.
The Chariot shuttles complement mass transit by filling the gap between taxi and bus services - providing an on-demand, point-to-point transportation option that is convenient, efficient and cost-effective.
"We started our Chariot service with Ford's 15-passenger vehicles and continue to use Ford Transit shuttles to this day", Ali Vahabzadeh, Chariot cofounder and CEO, said in a statement.
Once it becomes available in 2017, the FordPass platform will be users' way of accessing Ford GoBike.
"A transportation revolution is coming to the Bay Area", said Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate.
In March, Ford created a subsidiary called Ford Smart Mobility to "design, build, grow and invest in new mobility services".
Combining these elements, Ford appears to have a long-term vision of dominating urban transportation in the future by syncing all of its transportation options together, which is savvy long-term thinking. Data will be collected by these bikes for larger technologies, too; things like weather, usage, availability and more will be used to help optimize commutes.
Ford in July was part of an investment consortium that provided $6.6 billion to mapping startup Civil Maps, and earlier this year bought a stake in cloud computing vendor Pivotal Software Inc.