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Ford appoints European director of smart mobility

Date: 17 August 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Ford has announced that Sarah-Jayne Williams will join the firm in September in the newly created role of director for smart mobility in Europe.

Williams will report to Ford of Europe president and CEO Steven Armstrong, as well as John Larsen, Ford's global vice-president of smart mobility operations.

She will be responsible for the firm's expansion into the mobility arena, and will lead new transport plans to address the needs of European cities by working closely with city planners and public transport bodies.

Recent schemes include the announcement of a trial of fleet of plug-in hybrid Transit vans - as exclusively revealed earlier this year by our sister magazine What Van? - and Ford said the future could include shared services, such as a ride-sharing scheme.

In the US, Ford has recently launched a crowd-sourced shuttle service to help to reach areas of New York underserved by public transport.

Called Chariot, the service is designed to reach 'transit deserts' (areas that are not within walking distance of public transport) and provide a new way of getting from A to B.

Each Chariot vehicle can seat more than a dozen people, with shuttles travelling to busy areas where people work and then taking them back at the end of the day.

According to Ford, the service is launching with two pre-planned routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, offering transport for a flat rate of $4 a day.

Prior to joining Ford, Williams was a partner in the automotive team at business consulting firm BearingPoint for 14 years where she worked with OEMs and leasing providers to design new business models.

"The auto industry is on the cusp of a revolution as great as that when Henry Ford first made the car accessible to the masses over 100 years ago," she said. "I'm looking forward to joining the Ford team and to being part of its adventure into the world of smart mobility."

"Her role is to tackle urban transportation challenges and opportunities, and respond to the growth of the sharing economy by defining and implementing Ford of Europe's smart mobility strategy," Armstrong said. "She will focus on accelerating the launch of mobility services across Europe through collaboration, especially with cities, innovation and growing the existing team."

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