Ford has announced FordPass, a mobile platform to better connect consumers with products and services typically accessed through a mobile device or in person.
The platform will be available in Ford cars this spring and aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans, according to a company statement.
Most notably for retailers, FordPass features a marketplace that includes mobility services to call for assistance or access guides. Users can locate and pay for parking from their cards, and users are automatically signed up for the FordPass membership program and will receive loyalty points and benefits. There's a FordPass mobile wallet to pay directly from the interface.
McDonalds and 7-Eleven are inaugural partners and will offer rewards to FordPass members in the form of merchandise or "experiences."
There are also plans for retail environments the auto marker is calling FordHubs in New York, London, Shanghai and San Francisco.
Benefits of FordPass include transportation services like reserving and paying for parking in advance, with ride sharing, car sharing and multimodal transportation services coming in the future. FordGuides provide assistance to any FordPass member who needs help on the commute—regardless of location.
Ford also announced during the International CES last week that it is developing ways to integrate SYNC Connect technology with Amazon's Echo portable speaker to provide voice control access between the car and home. This allows it to access internet-enabled or smart home devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) including lights, home security systems, TVs and garage doors.
There are more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on the roads today and Ford expects that number to grow to 43 million by 2020. IoT is expected to drive more than $287 million in revenue in 2016.
FordPass will debut in April, with more partnerships expected.
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