A few years ago, Ford established its own startup incubator called FordX to create and support mobility technologies. FordX has gone public with its latest venture called Canopy, a 60/40 joint venture with security firm ADT. Canopy aims to do for vehicles what Ring has done for porches and driveways, which is to provide 24-hour live-streamable video coverage of what’s happening around a car and respond to potential threats through voice or otherwise. The first product won’t be launched in the US and UK until next year and is aimed at van and pickup truck owners. It will be an easy-to-install camera equipped with multiple sensor types such as radar and acoustic sensors that can look at the bed in the cargo area of a van or on the back of a pickup cab. And yes, it works through a subscription service.
Ford and ADT have developed AI that claims to know the difference between benign invaders like opossums and cats, and thieves. The vehicle owner can log into the video feed at any time to check the situation. When a real threat such as breaking glass or noise such as a metal cutter is detected, Canopy notifies the owner via the app. The system also automatically alerts ADT in such a situation, allowing human security officers to contact the owner, fleet manager or police. Eventually, updates will activate the owner’s ability to speak to the threat through a speaker on the Canopy camera, if desired, or a preprogrammed message can play ED-209 and let the culprit know he has ten seconds to follow the instructions. to follow .
The first product will be launched as part of Ford Pro for Ford vehicles, but the plan is a brand-independent system sold at dealerships, major retailers and online. And while the camera coming next year will be a standalone component, the planned product evolution includes a Canopy system that connects to a vehicle’s cameras and sensors and serves anyone looking to protect their belongings, not just commercial users. Peace of mind was also a consideration that emerged during two years of trials here and in the UK. Christian Moran, FordX president and interim CEO of Canopy, said: “While this wasn’t one of our original features, we heard from some pilot participants that one of their favorite features was live streaming around their vehicle when it was dark at night. Imagine walking in a dark, empty parking lot and you can use the app to look around your vehicle.”