Ford CEO Mark Fields launches FastPass at the Detroit auto show last January

Ford CEO Mark Fields launches FastPass at the Detroit auto show last January

Music streaming app Spotify is to joins McDonald's, 7-Eleven and BP as a partner in the FordPass membership service that Ford is pitching to its customers and potential future customers.

FordPass membership is available to Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike and Ford says it provides a new mobility experience platform that "reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer by offering benefits that include a marketplace of mobility services and rewards for membership". Ford claims the mobility experience platform aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.

"The FordPass platform is about understanding people's needs and developing great experiences and ways to help them move better," said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, global dealer and consumer experience. "The combination of FordPass and Spotify will create a great music experience both inside and outside of the vehicle."

Spotify is the newest FordPass Appreciation partner, joining McDonald's, 7-Eleven and BP as retailers that will provide members with merchandise and unique experiences.

Ford says that one focus of FordPass is to tap into the more than 900 hours annually that people spend on the move and provide for them the entertainment options they desire. In addition to music offerings from Spotify, FordPass also plans to partner with providers of news, sports, children's programming, audiobooks and more.

"Our goal is to light up the FordPass experience with music," said Jorge Espinel, Spotify vice president for business development. "We want to be everywhere fans listen to music, and this partnership deepens our relationship with Ford and FordPass members."

The FordPass platform officially launches in April in the United States and Canada. Members of FordPass will benefit from four elements: Appreciation, which includes offerings from Spotify, as well as Marketplace, FordGuides and FordHubs.

Ford says ut is working with ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help people find and pay for parking more easily, and with FlightCar to help members borrow and share vehicles when they travel. In the future, services will include ride sharing and car sharing, multimodal transportation and more, Ford says.

Members can also pay for services through FordPay – a virtual wallet that is part of FordPass.

Ford owners can also connect with their preferred dealer to schedule maintenance and service appointments or to review their Ford Credit vehicle finance account details. Members who own a Ford vehicle equipped with SYNC Connect, debuting on the 2017 Ford Escape this spring, can use FordPass to lock, unlock or locate their vehicle and schedule remote starts.

FordPass members can also speak directly to "trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides". For example, if a member decides he would like to book advanced parking for an upcoming show but is unsure how to reserve it, one push of a button on his smartphone lands him in a live chat with a FordGuide who will lead him through the options and help to reserve parking.

The guides will be available free of charge. Their only job is to guide, serve and help solve mobility challenges – not to sell, according to Ford.

FordHubs

FordPass also includes the opening of FordHubs, where consumers will be able to explore the company's latest innovations, learn about its mobility services and experience exclusive events.

The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York. It will be joined by FordHubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai. On-site FordGuides will help guests understand mobility options available in their cities, explore solutions for their mobility needs, view a real-time mobility map of their city, and experience special events, including new vehicle reveals.