Ford-owned shuttle service Chariot expands to Texas

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Chariot, a Silicon Valley-based shuttle service recently purchased by Ford Motor Co., on Thursday said it has expanded to Austin, Texas.

Founded in 2014, Chariot operates about 100 Ford Transits along 28 different routes in San Francisco. The company crowd-sources its routes based on ride demand, and will eventually use real-time data and advanced software algorithms to determine the most efficient routes.

The Dearborn automaker announced it would acquire Chariot last month, part of a number of announcements Ford made in new mobility services. CEO Mark Fields said at the time that Chariot would expand to five new markets, including ones outside the United States.

Austin is the first of those five new markets. In addition to neighborhood routes, Chariot will offer a service in Austin that ferries employees of a local Whole Foods and ad agency GSD&M.

“This is exactly the kind of tech-enabled transportation option that’s going to give Austinites more ways to get around town in a way that will address traffic congestion,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement.

Ford has been experimenting with shuttle service around the country. Last year itlaunched a pilot program for employees on its Dearborn campus, and earlier this year became the exclusive vehicle provider for Ride KC, a shuttle service run by Bridj.

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