Two weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford turned a corner in automotive technology. The modern era of smartphone apps and “intelligent assistants” has led the car manufacturing giant to launch FordPass; the app designed to make everyday mobility easier and more convenient. As the first system of its kind, FordPass offers a taste of how car technologies could be used in the near future. 
 
In this post, we will give you the low-down on the new FordPass app, including how to be one of the first to get your hands on it.  
 
fordpass app launch
 

What is it?

FordPass is a free to download smartphone app – compatible with Androids and iPhones – that offers various mobility services to make getting around easier. Services include finding and reserving parking spaces in advance, car-share networking, paying for transportation costs and earning free rewards. 
 
All FordPass’s capabilities are grouped into three sub-systems called FordPay, FordGuides and FordPass Perks. FordHubs stores will also appear around the world for people to explore Ford mobility innovations and learn about their cars. 
 
FordPay (Marketplace) - Sign up for a FordPay account within the FordPass app, and you can pay for online services such as Parkopedia. A hugely useful service if you work in a busy city centre where parking is scarce. If you own a Ford car, you can use FordPay to book servicing appointments and keep updated on your Ford Credit finance account, all through Ford’s own in-app Marketplace.
 
FordGuides – Taking inspiration from TripAdvisor and other intelligent assistant apps, FordGuides provides help and guidance with mobility-related queries, such as locating parking spaces and other destinations. 
 
FordPass Perks (Appreciation) – As an extra incentive to download the free app, you can also enjoy FordPass Perks. These perks include special offers and discounts from companies like McDonalds and 7-Eleven. You can claim them by accruing loyalty points every time you use a FordPass service. 
 
FordHubs - In addition to the app’s mobility services, FordHub stores – otherwise known as “mobility experience centres” - will be set up in New York, San Francisco, London and Shanghai shopping malls. The stores will be purely for speaking to FordPass representatives about Ford mobility technology and other Ford innovations, in a no-pressure, no selling environment. 
 
fordpass app fordhub
 

Why is it important?

‘Mobility’ has become a big buzzword in the automotive industry recently, and the FordPass app is the first car manufacturer-made technology to enhance the ‘mobility experience’. In other words, Ford are offering services and loyalty rewards that people will truly value while they’re on the move. 
 
We live in a busy, fast-paced world with hundreds of daily distractions. With the FordPass app, you can solve immediate problems from your phone, such as booking that routine car maintenance check. It’s super-easy to do using the app’s clear interface, and will only take a minute out of your day. 
 
Later in 2016, Londoners will be able to visit a FordHub to get all the knowledge and reassurance they need about Ford’s latest technologies – while they shop. 
 
Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, said at its launch: “FordPass is really about listening to people's needs and developing ways to help them move better.” 
 

Are there any down sides?

While this app marks an exciting new direction for Ford, it’s unsure whether FordPass will have the reception they’re hoping for. Because it can be used by anyone, will it seem too generic and fail to build a connection between Ford owners and the brand? Only time will tell. But for now, FordPass sounds like an exciting way to solve daily mobility challenges and will definitely be worth a try.
 

Do I have to own a Ford vehicle to use FordPass?

No, it’s available to all! To encourage as many people as possible to use the FordPass app, you can download it for free from any smartphone, no matter which car you drive – or if you drive one at all. However, Ford car owners will benefit from some of the additional services mentioned in the ‘FordPay’ section above. 
 

When can I get the FordPass app?

The FordPass app and its growing number of mobility services will be available in Europe later in 2016, but will be released to the USA in April 2016. To be one of the first to get it, you can submit your details on the FordPass Website to receive the latest updates and availability information.