Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ford acquires Palo Alto-based Autonomic for cloud platform for mobility apps

Ford Motor Company announced its acquisition of Autonomic, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California that is developing an open cloud-based platform "for connecting and empowering tomorrow’s mobility systems." Financial terms were not disclosed.

Autonomic said it is working on building blocks for smart mobility applications and services. Ford said the acquisition will accelerate the automaker’s mission to establish the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform and support its plans to scale up other key mobility initiatives, including the drive toward full connectivity, Chariot and non-emergency medical transportation.

Ford also announced the acquisition of TransLoc, a Durham, North Carolina-based provider of demand-response technology for city-owned microtransit solutions.

“We believe transportation done right – as part of a systems approach – can bring life back to our cities,” said Marcy Klevorn, president, Ford Mobility. “By accelerating our delivery of mobility services through the changes we are making today, we are enabling that revival, enhancing our competitiveness and creating long-term value for Ford shareholders.”

Ford has outlined a strategy with the following components:


  • Transportation operating system: The company’s open, cloud-based platform – the Transportation Mobility Cloud that manages information flow and basic transactions between a variety of components in the transportation ecosystem – will be expanded beyond Ford to include other automakers, suppliers, partners and cities; a developer network to build and support the system also will be launched.
  • Connectivity: Preparing to deliver digital services to personal, fleet and city customers, Ford’s mobility team will deliver on the company’s commitment of 100 percent connectivity of new vehicles in the United States by 2019 and push toward its goal of 90 percent connectivity globally by 2020.
  • Ride sharing: Chariot, the cornerstone of Ford’s microtransit solutions, will see an acceleration of city launches globally this year; launches will be based on a major shift in focus to the unit’s enterprise business, which provides employee transportation services for businesses. Just last week, Ford announced the launch of service in Columbus, Ohio – Chariot’s fifth city.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation: Tapping into the growing healthcare transportation market, Ford Mobility will expand its non-emergency medical transportation operation from a Southeast Michigan pilot with Beaumont Health into a full business serving multiple medical systems.
  • Vehicle Management as a Service: Founded in 2017, Ford Commercial Solutions is leveraging vehicle connectivity to deliver data services and fleet optimization to the commercial segment, building on the automaker’s historical strength in serving fleet customers. Ford Commercial Solutions will expand its offerings globally this year.


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