Ford Motor Company will begin making its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public. The service offers flexible, practical and affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys with easy parking throughout the city.
With the global car-sharing industry expected to exceed USD 6 billion by 2020, Ford is introducing GoDrive to target on-demand use and gain insight on emerging mobility trends and customers' car-sharing habits. Ford is exploring the opportunity for car‑sharing services, working with Londoners to better understand their mobility needs and travel and parking patterns.
Intended to complement existing transport systems for integrated journeys, GoDrive is the only car-sharing service offering one-way trips with guaranteed parking. A pay-as-you-go approach, with pay-by-minute pricing covers congestion fees, insurance and fuel. Drivers use a smartphone app to easily reserve and access a car. Half of the fleet consists of Focus Electric vehicles.
The pilot experiment launched with 100 registered members accessing zero‑emission Focus Electric or fuel-efficient, low-emission Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost models from secure parking hubs near major public transport locations, such as Waterloo and Victoria railway stations. Ford now is inviting 2,000 people to register for a free expanded service offering 50 cars across 20 locations.
Since its launch earlier this year, feedback on the experiment has been largely positive, with the majority of initial users expressing optimism for the future of Ford in the growing car‑sharing space. Users have cited access to technologies found in Ford's current model line‑up, such as Ford SYNC and parking assistance features, as a selling point of the project.
Members also highlighted the convenience of a one-charge, pay-as-you-go system that includes the London Congestion Charge (currently £11.50). Drivers can familiarise themselves with the car during a five-minute grace period free of charge. Running costs are displayed via their app.
With the experiment currently in its beta phase, Ford hopes to build on the initial success and gain further insight into user behaviour that will help refine the customer experience. Different weekend and day-hire pricing options, and further on- and off-street parking options will be investigated.