'FordPass' Seeks to Do for Car Owners 'What iTunes Did for Music Fans'

App Unveiled in Detroit Helps Drivers Find Parking and More

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Ford no longer wants to just sell people cars. The automaker wants to help drivers find parking places and share rides, and even speak to drivers in person to help them get around.

Those are among the services available in a new smartphone app called FordPass that the company will introduce in April as it continues its push to become a "mobility company." Ford unveiled the initiative as part of a glitzy presentation Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The presentation included a cameo by TV/radio host Ryan Seacrest, a longtime Ford endorser who will be charged with helping to "broaden conversation around the future of mobility," according to a recent statement announcing a contract extension he inked with Ford.

FordPass is available for free to anyone, even non-Ford owners.

The parking service, which includes a partnership with ParkWhiz and Parkopedia, allows people to find and pay for parking by using "FordPay," a virtual wallet that is part of FordPass. FordPass also allows drivers to touch a button and speak live to so-called personal mobility assistants called "FordGuides" who can offer help such as finding routes and booking parking in advance. In a statement Ford said the guide's "only job is to guide, serve and help solve mobility challenges -- not to sell."

Read the full story on FordPass on Adage.com.

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Jan 12, 2016
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