Car Industry

Ford drops $182M into Pivotal, the company behind FordPass

The automaker's contribution comprises the majority of a $253 million round of financing for the software developer.

Photograph by Erik Unger

People doing vague, data-y things.

Ford

If lobbying has taught us anything, it's that the more money you have to throw about, the faster you can get things done. In order to push forward on software innovations and get new tech out to customers faster, Ford is putting $182.2 million into Pivotal, the software-development firm behind the automaker's FordPass app.

While the two companies are already partnered up, this new round of funding will seek to "further strengthen its core software abilities" and "expand the use of advanced software development methodologies, analytics tools and a cloud platform," Ford said in a statement. To cut through the flowery language, Ford's dumping money into Pivotal so more things can be made faster.

Ford hopes to secure its place in this new mobility-centric market, where automakers attempt to move beyond just selling cars, before other automakers do the same. Toyota has already launched its own data-centric company, Toyota Connected, and others are in the process of doing the same.

FordPass is one of the automaker's first steps into this new territory. When it's fully fleshed out, it will shoehorn the Big Blue Oval into buyers' lives beyond the car, offering connections to car-sharing services, special offers for users and other mobility-slash-lifestyle features. It's all a bit vague, still. Hopefully $182.2 million will help clear that up.