Ford understands perhaps as much as any automaker that being tuned into a driver’s technological world is becoming as important as the marketing of new cars. As we look to our phones for directions, recommendations and Pokemon Go (not while driving, obviously), Ford’s FordPass app aims to become an integral part of owning and using your Ford product.
The latest update to FordPass allows one to book and pay for a parking spot in advance. Ford says it’s a way to “end the stalemate”, where images come to mind of rubbing fenders with an enraged spot-stealer.
This feature will likely become a hit for those who frequent clubs and events that are close to parking garages in the 160 cities on FordPass’s initial list. You’ll likely still be in a traffic tangle when leaving, but chances are you’d arrive and park with none of the drama of flying blind.
So this is a forward-thinking use of technology, where resources are dialed in for those who want them. True, except for one consideration – the fact that this encourages more car trips, rather than using mass transit or other means to travel.
It’s at the top of Ford’s statement: a recent Harris poll found that 34 percent of drivers are taking buses, trains and taxis to get where they’re going, and FordPass aims to bring that number down a bit.
This runs completely counter to cities with transit-first policies, like San Francisco. The city sees that Harris poll number as a sign of success that the minimization of car travel is measurably effective. Meanwhile, Ford has a better idea.
It’s the push-and-pull of carmakers staying relevant in the midst of massive changes in the motoring landscape. The more they can build in technological convenience, the more they can keep their clientele behind the wheel.
Here’s Ford’s video take on the feature.