Ford sees Pivotal as a sound business investment and a partner it wants to work with more closely, Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s chief information officer, said in an interview.
“It builds on our existing relationship with Pivotal, which has been very successful,” Klevorn said. “We think this gives us the ability to continue the journey together in a more collaborative fashion.”
The investment is not just about mobility services, she explained, noting that software is a huge part of the vehicles Ford already builds. The F-150 pickup has more than 150 million lines of software code, and Ford holds 275 patents on its EcoBoost technology, mostly related to software controls and calibration.
FordPass, which Ford unveiled in January and has since launched, enables consumers to use a smartphone to reserve parking, pay for transportation and get help reaching destinations. Ford hopes the app will forge a stronger relationship with its customers and even with consumers who don’t own Ford vehicles.
Pivotal, of Palo Alto, Calif., also works with Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG.
“We will provide our customers with completely new offerings, as we transform Volkswagen from a pure car manufacturer to a mobility provider,” Volkswagen’s chief information officer, Martin Hofmann, said in a March 30 statement announcing a partnership with Pivotal.