- Ford is adopting Pivotal® software development services to deliver innovative products and to improve the customer experience – with the agility of a start-up
- Leveraging Pivotal Cloud Foundry® and Pivotal Big Data Suite to build its Ford Smart Mobility connected vehicle platform, Ford is becoming a nimbler software developer
- Through its work with Pivotal, Ford’s software development time has sped up from months to weeks in some cases; further improvements expected
- Recent introduction of new Ford SYNC® Connect technology provides avenue for additional connected services and features for customers in the future
PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 – Ford is teaming up with software company Pivotal®, giving the automaker the capabilities of an innovative software team to enhance its connected vehicle experience for customers, simplifying how they use technology to access vehicles and services.
Ford’s three-year strategic collaboration with Pivotal, which is dedicated to accelerating the digital transformation for enterprises, supports the automaker’s development of mobile and user experiences.
The collaboration aims to make Ford an even more agile software developer, enabling even better customer experiences by leveraging Ford’s recently introduced SYNC® Connect technology that provides remote access to vehicle features via a smartphone app.
This digital evolution is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.
“As we grow to become both an automaker and a mobility company, having leading software development expertise is critical to delivering at the speed consumers expect,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford vice president and chief information officer. “Customers today are used to frequent software updates on their mobile devices, and expect them with all technology. This collaboration with Pivotal allows for quicker vehicle software updates and an even better user experience for Ford customers.”
Working with Pivotal technology provides a platform where improved software skills can deliver innovative new experiences. That includes SYNC Connect, which delivers a true connected car experience due to its built-in modem.
Initial features of SYNC Connect include the ability to lock and unlock doors, schedule a future start to warm up or cool down the vehicle, check on fuel and oil levels, and locate where the vehicle is parked. Over time, these features will grow with software enhancements.
SYNC Connect makes its global debut in the spring in the new Ford Escape, with other vehicles to follow.
At Pivotal Labs in Toronto, Ford software developers are working side-by-side with Pivotal engineers to create software with the agility and expertise of Silicon Valley leaders.
Taking an idea into production within a few days gives Ford the ability to merge its auto industry expertise with modern software development capabilities, boosting its software-led digital transformation.
“Typically, it took Ford months to develop software,” said Bill Cook, Pivotal president and chief operating officer. “At the outset of working with Pivotal, Ford engineers started producing compelling software in a matter of weeks. Since mastering Pivotal Labs’ cutting-edge, agile software development methodologies, Ford now is operating at start-up speeds – able to create software in mere days.”
Ford plans to build a component of its new connected vehicle platform on top of Pivotal Cloud Foundry® – one of the world’s most powerful continuous-innovation cloud platforms. Ford also is leveraging Pivotal Big Data Suite to analyze data in real-time and over longer periods, to develop software-powered applications.
“When someone like Ford, with more than 100 years of domain expertise and data, evolves the ability to create software like Google, Uber or a venture-backed start-up, then they have a unique opportunity to disrupt the disrupters,” said Pivotal CEO Rob Mee.