Tresorit adds file restore to its e2e encrypted cloud storage service


Europe-based cloud storage startup Tresorit, which mainly focuses on selling to small to medium size businesses, has added a file restore feature to its e2e encrypted cloud storage platform. It’s touting this as a helpful feature if you’re trying to recover from a ransomware attack.

Or, more prosaically, if you’ve accidentally deleted something.

Here’s a GIF showing the file recovery feature in action:

The file restore feature covers files stored in Tresorit’s cloud and files synced locally to a user’s devices.

Obviously, if files are only stored locally and not backed up or synced to Tresorit’s cloud there’s no fallback restoration in the event of a ransomware infection. (While files stored in Tresorit’s cloud that not synced locally would not be affected by any local ransomware infection.)

Tresorit already had a file versioning feature, which allows users to recover any previously saved versions of their files. But it says the addition of file restore helps mitigate the types of ransomware attacks that encrypt files without deleting them first.

There’s no time limitation on the file restore option. Files can always be recovered so long as
the user hasn’t confirmed permanent deletion.

Which does mean, over time, the feature may end up eating into your storage limit — at least if you don’t tidy up and fully delete files you no longer need.

“Non-permanently deleted items count towards the storage space of a user. So, it requires some ‘housekeeping’ from the user,” confirms a Tresorit spokeswoman. “But it is easy to get rid of all these deleted items that a user doesn’t need by selecting ‘Remove deleted items’.”

Also helpful: Tresorit has announced it’s doubling the amount of storage space it offers for individual plans — with its premium (aimed at individuals) and solo (freelancers and professionals) plan users now getting 200GB and 200TB respectively.

Today it’s also introduced a new basic plan which it describes as a “more capable” free version —  intended to help external collaboration between its business users and their clients or partners (who may not be Tresorit users).

Last year it launched free subscriptions for NGOs and activists for whom strong privacy is not just a nice to have. And the spokeswoman tells us more than 100,000 people are now using its tools — which includes both consumer (so some non-paying) and business users.

“Almost two-thirds of our customers are European, led by the traditionally security and privacy conscious countries like Germany and Switzerland. The next biggest European markets are the UK and the Benelux-states. The second largest region is North-America (mostly the US),” she says, adding that Europe’s incoming update to its data protection framework is also driving local uptake.

“With only a few months to go until the GDPR, we are seeing an even higher demand for secure, end-to-end encrypted online services with European data centers. A lot of smaller companies are just starting the preparation for the GDPR, and looking for secure services they can easily switch to.”

Tresorit’s zero-knowledge e2e encryption architecture means that, unlike cloud storage giants like Dropbox, it cannot decrypt and access users’ files. So it cannot be subpoenaed to hand over content data itself.

Although it can provide some user and service activity data in exchange to lawful requests — such as names, email addresses, billing details and so on. The company recently started publishing a Transparency Report to list any government data requests it receives and provide details on how it handles such requests.

“During the period covered in this (from September 24, 2013, to November 30, 2017), we received one informal request from a Swiss police authority to retain certain user data, however, as there was no official decision by Swiss authorities on this case, in the end, we didn’t hand over any data,” the spokeswoman tells us.

“As a Swiss company, Tresorit is primarily subject to Swiss jurisdiction regarding data protection and criminal procedures. Without an official decision by a Swiss cantonal or federal authority, no information can be provided to foreign requests.”

Amazon Asked for Patience. Remarkably, Wall Street Complied.

How that infatuation developed is the story of a company that figured out how to tame Wall Street. In a business environment that demands, and rewards, quarterly profits and short-term strategic thinking, Amazon showed extraordinary resolve in focusing on long-term goals, somehow persuading investors to go along.

Over its first decade in existence, including long stretches where it consistently reported losses, Amazon enjoyed a luxury afforded few companies: leeway.

“I think it comes down to a consistent message and consistent strategy, one that doesn’t deviate when the stock goes down or goes up,” said Bill Miller, the chief investment officer at Miller Value Partners, whose largest holding is Amazon.

In part, Amazon has inured itself to pressure from Wall Street by ignoring it. While many chief executives devote significant time to fielding questions from investors, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is famously stingy about the time he spends with major stockholders. He hasn’t appeared on an Amazon earnings calls in years.

In a 2014 interview with Business Insider, Mr. Bezos said he spent a measly six hours a year on investor relations and then only with long-term shareholders, who have been willing to weather the company’s ups and downs. Mr. Miller is one of them.

Mr. Bezos has constantly reminded the market of his philosophy. Each year in the company’s annual letter to shareholders, Amazon attaches a copy of the very first letter from 1997, its first as a publicly traded company.

Photo

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, is famously stingy about the time he spends with major stockholders. He hasn’t appeared on an Amazon earnings calls in years. Credit Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

“We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions,” Mr. Bezos wrote in a section of the letter titled, “It’s All About the Long Term.’’

Mr. Bezos has been true to his word. Amazon has reported an annual profit in only 13 of the 21 years that it has operated as a publicly traded company, according to FactSet, a financial data firm.

And its profit margins, already low by some measures, have fluctuated from year to year — hardly moving in the straight upward line that Wall Street usually likes to see.

Yet investors have rewarded Amazon for plowing its profits back into growing its businesses, whether in online retail, cloud computing or, most recently, in grocery stores, with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.

It may sound like a Pollyanna view of stock investing, particularly in a market increasingly dominated by trading algorithms and macro bets on the direction of interest rates. But in the case of Amazon, it is actually true.

“If Wall Street would allow more companies to reinvest like Amazon, it would create great benefits for the economy,” said Henry Blodget, a former stock analyst, who first came to prominence in 1998 by setting a $400 price target for Amazon shares. (He is now editorial director of the online publication Business Insider, in which Mr. Bezos was an investor.)

The reality of the economy, however, is that most other companies are still playing by Wall Street’s old rules, which demand consistent profit growth.

And to compete with Amazon and meet those profit expectations, many retailers and manufacturers are laying off workers, closing stores and shedding factories. Last month, Kimberly-Clark, under pricing pressure from Amazon and Walmart, said it was laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing or selling 10 of its factories.

It wasn’t always so easy for Amazon. During the tech boom of the late 1990s, Amazon was one of a number of promising tech start-ups that were losing money. But it showed the potential for longer term profit, as it moved from selling books into music and toys.

But like the rest of the tech sector, Amazon’s shares tumbled in 2000 and 2001 as investors began to wonder if these companies could ever make money. A young debt analyst at Lehman Brothers warned in June 2000 that Amazon might soon run out of cash, causing investors to worry about its survival.

Mr. Bezos had squirreled away enough capital to get through those dark days. But it took many years for investors who had been burned by the dot-com crash to give Amazon a second chance.

For long stretches from 2002 to 2006, Amazon’s stock price languished, while it invested in researching and developing new technologies and businesses.

Photo

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday, one day after Amazon reported the biggest quarterly profit in its history, its share price increased 3 percent even as the Dow fell 2.5 percent. Credit Bryan R. Smith/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mark Mahaney, a tech analyst at RBC Capital Markets, looked at the company’s slipping profit margins during that period and warned investors to stay away.

Mr. Mahaney said he failed to realize “that all that spending on R.&D. was a bullish sign for the future.” He has had a buy rating on the company for more than a decade.

Those long-term investments, which Amazon didn’t detail at the time, eventually gave rise to some of the company’s most profitable businesses, like its cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services.

The success of the cloud computing business proved a tipping point. If investors allowed Amazon to spend time and money investing, patience would pay off.

Investors are now awaiting the payoff from Amazon’s foray into groceries with its $13 billion acquisition of Whole Foods last spring. How it plans to integrate hundreds of brick and mortar stores with its core e-commerce business is far from clear.

By now, Wall Street has been well trained to believe that Amazon has a strategy for Whole Foods and it will take time to carry it out.

“What the market finally figured out is Amazon is extremely good at investing those dollars,” said Mr. Miller, the investment officer at Miller Value Partners.

Ultimately, much of the investor confidence in Amazon reflects a belief in its future opportunity — what investors frequently call a company’s “addressable market.”

For Amazon, the addressable market in retail is roughly $5 trillion in the United States and many times that globally, Mr. Miller said. And that’s not even including the traditional information technology market that Amazon Web Services is attacking. “I asked Jeff what the addressable market is for A.W.S.,” Mr. Miller said. “He just looked at me and said, ‘Trillions and trillions.’”

Online spending represents less than 10 percent of total retail spending, and Amazon captures almost half of every dollar spent in online shopping by Americans.

Even Mr. Gillespie, the skeptic, acknowledges that Amazon is “operating extremely well.” But he questions whether years of low interest rates have helped inflate Amazon’s value because investors are so starved for return, they are willing to overlook some of the risks.

Those risks, he said, include regulators deciding the company is growing too large or not paying its fair share in taxes.

“People tend to assume away these things,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Amazon Asked for Patience. Remarkably, Wall Street Complied.

How that infatuation developed is the story of a company that figured out how to tame Wall Street. In a business environment that demands, and rewards, quarterly profits and short-term strategic thinking, Amazon showed extraordinary resolve in focusing on long-term goals, somehow persuading investors to go along.

Over its first decade in existence, including long stretches where it consistently reported losses, Amazon enjoyed a luxury afforded few companies: leeway.

“I think it comes down to a consistent message and consistent strategy, one that doesn’t deviate when the stock goes down or goes up,” said Bill Miller, the chief investment officer at Miller Value Partners, whose largest holding is Amazon.

In part, Amazon has inured itself to pressure from Wall Street by ignoring it. While many chief executives devote significant time to fielding questions from investors, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is famously stingy about the time he spends with major stockholders. He hasn’t appeared on an Amazon earnings calls in years.

In a 2014 interview with Business Insider, Mr. Bezos said he spent a measly six hours a year on investor relations and then only with long-term shareholders, who have been willing to weather the company’s ups and downs. Mr. Miller is one of them.

Mr. Bezos has constantly reminded the market of his philosophy. Each year in the company’s annual letter to shareholders, Amazon attaches a copy of the very first letter from 1997, its first as a publicly traded company.

Photo

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, is famously stingy about the time he spends with major stockholders. He hasn’t appeared on an Amazon earnings calls in years. Credit Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

“We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions,” Mr. Bezos wrote in a section of the letter titled, “It’s All About the Long Term.’’

Mr. Bezos has been true to his word. Amazon has reported an annual profit in only 13 of the 21 years that it has operated as a publicly traded company, according to FactSet, a financial data firm.

And its profit margins, already low by some measures, have fluctuated from year to year — hardly moving in the straight upward line that Wall Street usually likes to see.

Yet investors have rewarded Amazon for plowing its profits back into growing its businesses, whether in online retail, cloud computing or, most recently, in grocery stores, with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.

It may sound like a Pollyanna view of stock investing, particularly in a market increasingly dominated by trading algorithms and macro bets on the direction of interest rates. But in the case of Amazon, it is actually true.

“If Wall Street would allow more companies to reinvest like Amazon, it would create great benefits for the economy,” said Henry Blodget, a former stock analyst, who first came to prominence in 1998 by setting a $400 price target for Amazon shares. (He is now editorial director of the online publication Business Insider, in which Mr. Bezos was an investor.)

The reality of the economy, however, is that most other companies are still playing by Wall Street’s old rules, which demand consistent profit growth.

And to compete with Amazon and meet those profit expectations, many retailers and manufacturers are laying off workers, closing stores and shedding factories. Last month, Kimberly-Clark, under pricing pressure from Amazon and Walmart, said it was laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing or selling 10 of its factories.

It wasn’t always so easy for Amazon. During the tech boom of the late 1990s, Amazon was one of a number of promising tech start-ups that were losing money. But it showed the potential for longer term profit, as it moved from selling books into music and toys.

But like the rest of the tech sector, Amazon’s shares tumbled in 2000 and 2001 as investors began to wonder if these companies could ever make money. A young debt analyst at Lehman Brothers warned in June 2000 that Amazon might soon run out of cash, causing investors to worry about its survival.

Mr. Bezos had squirreled away enough capital to get through those dark days. But it took many years for investors who had been burned by the dot-com crash to give Amazon a second chance.

For long stretches from 2002 to 2006, Amazon’s stock price languished, while it invested in researching and developing new technologies and businesses.

Photo

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday, one day after Amazon reported the biggest quarterly profit in its history, its share price increased 3 percent even as the Dow fell 2.5 percent. Credit Bryan R. Smith/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mark Mahaney, a tech analyst at RBC Capital Markets, looked at the company’s slipping profit margins during that period and warned investors to stay away.

Mr. Mahaney said he failed to realize “that all that spending on R.&D. was a bullish sign for the future.” He has had a buy rating on the company for more than a decade.

Those long-term investments, which Amazon didn’t detail at the time, eventually gave rise to some of the company’s most profitable businesses, like its cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services.

The success of the cloud computing business proved a tipping point. If investors allowed Amazon to spend time and money investing, patience would pay off.

Investors are now awaiting the payoff from Amazon’s foray into groceries with its $13 billion acquisition of Whole Foods last spring. How it plans to integrate hundreds of brick and mortar stores with its core e-commerce business is far from clear.

By now, Wall Street has been well trained to believe that Amazon has a strategy for Whole Foods and it will take time to carry it out.

“What the market finally figured out is Amazon is extremely good at investing those dollars,” said Mr. Miller, the investment officer at Miller Value Partners.

Ultimately, much of the investor confidence in Amazon reflects a belief in its future opportunity — what investors frequently call a company’s “addressable market.”

For Amazon, the addressable market in retail is roughly $5 trillion in the United States and many times that globally, Mr. Miller said. And that’s not even including the traditional information technology market that Amazon Web Services is attacking. “I asked Jeff what the addressable market is for A.W.S.,” Mr. Miller said. “He just looked at me and said, ‘Trillions and trillions.’”

Online spending represents less than 10 percent of total retail spending, and Amazon captures almost half of every dollar spent in online shopping by Americans.

Even Mr. Gillespie, the skeptic, acknowledges that Amazon is “operating extremely well.” But he questions whether years of low interest rates have helped inflate Amazon’s value because investors are so starved for return, they are willing to overlook some of the risks.

Those risks, he said, include regulators deciding the company is growing too large or not paying its fair share in taxes.

“People tend to assume away these things,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Microsoft’s Azure Event Grid hits general availability


With Event Grid, Microsoft introduced a new Azure service last year that it hopes will become the glue that holds together modern event-driven and distributed applications. Starting today, Event Grid is generally available, with all the SLAs and other premises this entails.

Using Event Grid, developers can easily connect virtually any service to another, no matter where they run. The service sits on top of Service Fabric, Microsoft’s platform for building microservices, and complements other serverless Azure tools like Functions and Logic apps. The basic idea here is that Event Grid can route information about an event (say a new file is uploaded to a storage service) and then route that to another service to process this data (maybe for image analysis) — and you can even fan this event notification out to multiple services, too. That’s a core feature for every serverless application.

As Microsoft’s director of Azure Compute Corey Sanders told me, the service currently handles about 300 million events per week, though he expects that number will go up significantly now that Event Grid is out of preview. During the preview, Microsoft saw a lot of customers who used the service to build IoT solutions and to streamline some of the processes of their ops teams.

Another trend Sanders noted was that most users currently use the service to connect their own customer applications with services in the Azure Cloud. Event Grid allows you to use WebHooks to connect any two custom applications together, too, but Microsoft isn’t seeing a lot of users who are completely bypassing other Azure services beside Event Grid.

The service is now available in about 10 Azure regions in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with more to come soon. Like all Azure products that come out of preview, Event Grid is now also backed by an SLA with a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee. What’s maybe more important, though, is that Event Grid also has a 24-hour retry policy, so if one side of your system goes down, Event Grid will continue to deliver its notification for a full day. Supported languages include Python, .NET, Node.je, Go and Ruby — and Microsoft promises to add more in the future.

In explaining Microsoft’s strategy behind Event Grid, Sanders echoed a mantra that you’ll often hear from Microsoft these days: “It’s to enable developers to build these solutions, no matter where and how they build them.”

Microsoft won’t charge developers for the first 100,000 events per month. After that, developers pay $0.60 per one million events. During the preview period, this number was $0.30 per million; I guess that means Event Grid was making well less than $100 per week by the end of the preview period. To be fair, though, this service is meant to give developers more reasons to use the rest of the Azure lineup, and the company probably doesn’t expect Event Grid to become a major revenue driver anytime soon.

Microsoft’s Azure Event Grid hits general availability


With Event Grid, Microsoft introduced a new Azure service last year that it hopes will become the glue that holds together modern event-driven and distributed applications. Starting today, Event Grid is generally available, with all the SLAs and other premises this entails.

Using Event Grid, developers can easily connect virtually any service to another, no matter where they run. The service sits on top of Service Fabric, Microsoft’s platform for building microservices, and complements other serverless Azure tools like Functions and Logic apps. The basic idea here is that Event Grid can route information about an event (say a new file is uploaded to a storage service) and then route that to another service to process this data (maybe for image analysis) — and you can even fan this event notification out to multiple services, too. That’s a core feature for every serverless application.

As Microsoft’s director of Azure Compute Corey Sanders told me, the service currently handles about 300 million events per week, though he expects that number will go up significantly now that Event Grid is out of preview. During the preview, Microsoft saw a lot of customers who used the service to build IoT solutions and to streamline some of the processes of their ops teams.

Another trend Sanders noted was that most users currently use the service to connect their own customer applications with services in the Azure Cloud. Event Grid allows you to use WebHooks to connect any two custom applications together, too, but Microsoft isn’t seeing a lot of users who are completely bypassing other Azure services beside Event Grid.

The service is now available in about 10 Azure regions in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with more to come soon. Like all Azure products that come out of preview, Event Grid is now also backed by an SLA with a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee. What’s maybe more important, though, is that Event Grid also has a 24-hour retry policy, so if one side of your system goes down, Event Grid will continue to deliver its notification for a full day. Supported languages include Python, .NET, Node.je, Go and Ruby — and Microsoft promises to add more in the future.

In explaining Microsoft’s strategy behind Event Grid, Sanders echoed a mantra that you’ll often hear from Microsoft these days: “It’s to enable developers to build these solutions, no matter where and how they build them.”

Microsoft won’t charge developers for the first 100,000 events per month. After that, developers pay $0.60 per one million events. During the preview period, this number was $0.30 per million; I guess that means Event Grid was making well less than $100 per week by the end of the preview period. To be fair, though, this service is meant to give developers more reasons to use the rest of the Azure lineup, and the company probably doesn’t expect Event Grid to become a major revenue driver anytime soon.

Ford acquires Autonomic and TransLoc as it evolves its mobility business


Ford is acquiring Autonomic and TransLoc, two of its partners, in deals that will help its new mobility business take shape. The acquisitions follow Ford’s announcement at CES earlier this month that it would be working with Silicon Valley-based Autonomic, a transportation architecture and technology provider, on its forthcoming Transportation Mobility Cloud open platform for cities and transportation partners.

TransLoc is a company that builds technology to support “microtransit” services, including, real-time tracking, demand modelling and response analysis, as well as consumer-facing mobile apps and services. All of those components are important pieces of the puzzle for something like the Transportation Mobility Cloud, which Ford hopes will be adopted by partners including other automakers, public transit providers, and service operators including ride-hailing and ride sharing companies.

“Between the acquisition of Autonomic and TransLoc, plus the organizational changes, this is an acceleration of the mobility strategy here at Ford,” explained Neil Schloss, Ford’s CFO of Ford Mobility in an interview.

Ford’s acquiring both of these companies through its Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary, and the new companies bring new talent, which is also part of a general realignment of its Mobility group. Autonomic CEO Sunny Madra will lead a new part of Ford called ‘Ford X,’ which will be essentially a skunkworks where Ford can incubate internal idea, concepts and projects before deciding what to pursue to more mature product status.

“Ford X is going to be given a little bit of money, a little bit of people, and a very short timeframe to go in individual groups, have ideas and incubate them,” Schloss said. “I expect the majority of them get killed, but the gems will come out, and once we’ve proven that they’re a real business with customer need, and they generate a successful return on what investment that will be required, then they move into the Mobility Business Group to be scaled.”

Those more mature experiments, when they demonstrate true market viability, will live in Ford’s new  Mobility Business Group, which is part of the new mobility structure, and which is home to Chariot, as well as Ford Commercial Solutions, and the automaker’s non-emergency medical transportation business. It also plays host to FordPass, and any of Ford’s digital service businesses including those focused on self-driving vehicle opportunities, and in-vehicle offerings in general.

“The businesses that are in [the Mobility Business Group] today, and I think you’ll see the digital service piece, those are businesses that are in development today, but clearly businesses that we believe we can scale, and that have a real demand need for them,” Schloss explained. “And then the third piece is the stuff that will come out of Ford X.”

Ford is also creating a new Mobility Platforms and Products sub-group, which will focus on stuff like managing vehicle fleets as a service, the AV partnership platform that counts companies including Lyft, Domino’s, and Postmates as members, and its forthcoming Transportation Mobility Cloud platform.

Finally, Ford is establishing a Mobility Marketing and Growth division, which will focus (unsurprisingly) on global marketing efforts regarding its mobility businesses. The aim here is to increase visibility for its efforts, and to gain more buy-in not just from consumers, but also from city stakeholders, commercial parents and more.

Ford’s CES 2018 keynote signaled a major shift in focus for the carmaker, which is likely the most significant change in its business in its 100+ year history. CEO Jim Hackett focused entirely on Ford’s vision of the future of city transport during the presentation, highlighting how smart infrastructure and autonomous vehicles together might transform the way we move around urban environments. He even ended by bringing an ethicist on stage to discuss what this means in terms of our privacy.

The new structure of Ford’s Mobility group reflects this shifted focus, and should do a lot in terms of making it possible for Ford to more quickly develop and flesh out experimental new mobility offerings internally, using both existing resources, and people says it intends to hire in and around this field for the specific purpose of building out Ford X. Meanwhile, Ford says it will continue to work with partner Pivotal on its FordLabs software development program, and that its new mobility teams will all benefit from that continued partnership.

Ford and Autonomic are building a smart city cloud platform

Ford and Silicon Valley-based Autonomic will work together to build a new open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced the news on Monday at the CES 2018 keynote kicking off the annual conference.

The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, as well as adjacent connected offerings, uniting them with one common language to help coordinate all this efforts in real-time. That means tying together personal cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in, incorporating things like bike sharing networks, public and private transportation services, including buses, trains, ride hailing and beyond.

The Transportation Mobility Cloud will support location-based services, determining routes, sending out alerts about things like service disruptions, handing identity management and payment processing, as well as dealing with data gather and analytics. It’s intended not only as a kind of connective tissue for the forward-thinking services and vehicles that will make up the smart city of tomorrow, but also as a platform upon which new apps and services can be built from the heath of data available.

Ford says to think of it like “a box of Legos” with pieces that can be quickly taken apart and reassembled to build new types of assets and products to better serve city residents. It’s intended to be flexible enough to work with all partners, and to change from city-to-city depending on local requirements and implementation specifications.

In a blog post detailing the news, Ford suggests some possible uses to illustrate what the platform could do, including routing autonomous vehicles away from the most densely clogged arteries occupied by human cars in times of peak traffic, and rerouting cars on the fly to help reduce congestion, or even letting cities fence off ares of the city to restrict them to EV only zones in order to help mitigate air quality and emissions issues.

Ford stresses that it has designed this platform “for everyone,” a road base group that includes transit service operators, as well as competitor automakers, who it invites to join in with the effort in order to help make it as widely compatible as possible. Ford says it hopes to use its open approach to drive adoption to the point where it can claim to be the smart city platform with the most connected vehicles by the end of 2019, and eventually it hopes to achieve a 100 percent compatibility rate with vehicles and services on the road.

It’s a massive undertaking, but if successful, it could pave the way to cities better able to launch and incorporate Ford’s growing stable of mobility service offerings, including things like last mile shared commute service Chariot, as wells Ford GoBike and its forthcoming autonomous ride hailing fleets. Teaming with Autonomic, a company that Ford invested in last year, will help it ramp quickly since the Palo Alto company’s staff has lots of experience building platforms intended for integration on a broad scale, including Amazon Web Services.

Part of the promise of ride-hailing has been that it would reduce congestion in cities – but studies show the opposite is true, which Ford says it hopes to help correct with a platform like that that can help optimize their rollout and integration into existing services and traffic flows.