On Sydenham High Street in South London there sits a Ford-branded smart bench that provides resting pedestrians with solar-powered wifi and the chance to recharge their phones. What, you would be forgiven for asking, is one of the world’s largest auto companies doing installing something as undeniably prosaic as a park bench? And yet, far from being a bizarre PR stunt, Ford’s support for smart benches, not to mention its growing interest in bike sharing, car clubs, and logistics services, is part of a fascinating transformation that could revolutionise both the auto giant and the wider automotive sector. In recent months, the company has begun the long journey of repositioning itself as something more than a car manufacturer. It increasingly wants to be seen as a provider of “mobility services”, a smart city pioneer capable of delivering a “transportation operating system”.
Business Green 16th Jan 2018 read more »