You can now reserve and pay for parking ahead of time... if you own a Ford

Earlier this month I brought you a story about Lexus drivers getting their own parking spots at Edmonton’s International Airport. The idea was conceived by a local dealer who wanted to extend its customer service base, and as such, rented out a number of spaces that are dedicated to use by people who drive Lexus vehicles. Some people are upset over the whole matter, but it looks like the idea is catching on. Well, kind of catching on, anyway. This time, it’s Ford with a new app. It’s called FordPass.

While it’s not quite as arrogant as the whole Lexus parking spot thing, it does offer new solutions for finding and paying for parking spots. In more than 160 cities, Ford owners can now use the app to reserve garage parking and even pay for it in advance. Apparently, parking availability is updated in real time, and certain parking spots can even be “bookmarked” so they are easy to find in the app next time.

Elena Ford, the Vice President of Global Dealer and Consumer Experience for Ford, said, “Finding and paying for parking is one of the biggest pain points for drivers. This new feature is just one of many ways we are delivering better, smarter, more efficient mobility solutions for consumers with FordPass.”

The updated FordPass app is available for download from all of the major app stores now.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

I live in a city, but not a city that is plagued by more cars than parking spots – at least not yet anyway. I’ve recently spend some time in Chicago, however, and finding parking downtown can be as painful as passing a large kidney stone. Not only does it take you forever to find a parking space – in my situation, I was driving a Ram Pickup, which made finding one I could fit in even harder – but it’s also quite expensive once you do find a spot.

At least with an app like this, you already know the spot is available before you get there, which cuts down on the endless block circling that is sometimes required when you’re someone who drives a car in an overpopulated city. Of course, I think something like this should exist for all car owners, regardless of what make or model you drive, but at least this is a start. Expect to see more like this from other automakers in the coming years.

Press Release

More than one-third of American adults agree: Finding parking is such a pain that they’re ditching driving to avoid the hassle. But with FordPass®, drivers can eliminate that anxiety – and avoid a showdown over parking – before they even get into their car.

FordPass users can locate, book and pay for garage parking in more than 160 cities across the United States – all without ever leaving FordPass – saving time and avoiding the hassle of hunting for a place to park.

“Finding and paying for parking is one of the biggest pain points for drivers,” says Elena Ford, Ford Motor Company vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “This new feature is just one of many ways we are delivering better, smarter, more efficient mobility solutions for consumers with FordPass.”

With park and pay now available on the FordPass platform, members can access these new features by downloading the latest FordPass update on their smartphone.

Search, click, pay, park
Simply by entering their destination into FordPass, drivers can view all available supported parking areas nearby, see how much parking there costs, set up their wallet in FordPay, then opt to pay for parking in advance.

Parking availability is updated in real-time, so drivers always have up-to-date information throughout their trip. FordPass even allows users to bookmark their favorite parking for repeat use in the future, making once-frustrating trips potentially more convenient than ever.

Ford has integrated these features into its FordPass platform not just because trying to find parking in a crowded area is annoying, but it wastes precious time.

A recent Harris Poll reveals commuters going to work or school report spending an average of 14 minutes looking for parking. Those out running errands don’t fare much better, reporting 12 minutes trying to park. For someone searching for parking just once a day in a typical five-day work week, it adds up – at least one hour a week is wasted driving around in circles.

This daily grind has 34 percent of respondents saying they use other modes of transportation rather than driving – buses, subways and taxis. In fact, respondents say the No. 1 advantage of ride-hailing services is not saving time or money, but eliminating the worry involved with searching for parking.

Reinventing the customer experience
As Ford expands its business model to be both an auto and mobility company, it is reinventing the customer experience with FordPass, a free digital, physical and personal platform designed not only to alleviate anxiety over parking, but to offer mobility solutions for everyone – car owners and non-car owners alike.

There are four benefits for members: Ford Marketplace includes mobility services such as parking; Ford Guides help consumers move more efficiently; Ford Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and Ford Hubs, where consumers can experience Ford’s latest innovations. The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by Ford Hubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.

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