Ford Advances Software Undertakings, Embraces Tech Economy

The company known for founding the auto industry and then gradually suffering declines due to lack of design creativity and mechanical innovation has been participating in the tech revolution, just not in the areas one would naturally think. The auto titan has been investing heavily into one of its divisions named Ford Smart Mobility.

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The division handles a variety of areas falling under the broader new vehicle technology umbrella including connectivity, electric and autonomous vehicles, fuel efficiency, customer experience and data analytics. But their interests expand significantly beyond making their own vehicles more modern.

They are focused on helping cities, universities and large corporations manage their transportation related needs, including monitoring and tracking of vehicles taking passengers along multiple fixed routes while enabling passengers to view and engage with those transportation systems.

Ford seems to maintain its bullishness despite generating a fair amount of loss from its mobility division. In its financial statements for the year ended 2018, it reported a net loss of $512 million from the division.

Its most recent announcement was its acquisition of and bold agenda for Journey Holding, a technology company that specializes in software solutions for intelligent transportation systems. Journey will be combined with Ford’s existing investment in TransLoc, a technology provider of on-demand and fixed route systems for public and private transit operations.

“The combination of these transit technology companies will accelerate our efforts to help cities deliver more seamless, productive, and accessible transportation solutions to their citizens and visitors,” said Brett Wheatley, vice president Ford Mobility Marketing and Growth. “It also will be key to connecting customers with the other mobility solutions in our portfolio, such as Spin e-scooters and our GoRide Health service.”

Together the companies will serve nearly 1200 universities, corporate campuses and other enterprises with software solutions for fixed route transportation and other related areas. The pro forma operations will be supported by more than 200 employees.

The combined entity will be led by Journal CEO Justin Rees, who commented, “The need for safe and seamless transportation is critical in our cities globally,” also adding, “Together, we will be able to offer transit leaders globally a full suite of services backed by the credibility and commitment of Ford Motor Company.”

Transloc CEO Doug Kaufman will leave the new company on August 16th.