Ford and ADT to form joint venture

Ford and ADT will invest in a new joint venture called Canopy that combines ADT’s professional security monitoring and Ford’s AI-driven video camera technology to help customers strengthen security of new and existing vehicles across automotive brands.

Canopy’s first smart vehicle security system accessory offering will make use of acoustic sensors for vans, onboard cameras, radar, LTE, and GPS. The initial product will have a camera that can be mounted in either a van’s cargo area or on a pickup facing the bed. The platform will use AI technology to identify and report credible threats while reducing false alarm signals.

Customers will be connected to the system via the Canopy app to livestream video from the vehicle, get notified of suspicious activity, or review past events. The system will trigger a smartphone alert of any indicators of potential criminal activity, such as breaking glass, metal cutting, or suspicious motion or sound near the vehicle. Customers can warn potential thieves they are being monitored by speaking through the smartphone app, enabled by a two-way audio feature that will be available by next year.

The system’s AI is designed to distinguish true threats from benign acts – such as a cat jumping into a pickup bed or construction sounds near a vehicle – before alerting the owner or ADT monitoring agents of potential theft. The system will alert ADT monitoring professionals if it detects a person loitering around or breaching the vehicle. ADT monitoring agents can then contact customers, fleet managers, or police to take additional measures to help prevent theft. Credible threats will trigger additional responses, including audible alerts and programmable voice recordings and two-way audio in future updates.

Canopy products will be sold through vehicle dealerships, major retailers, and online. The first products will be available in the U.S. and the UK early next year.

Canopy Security also plans to begin integrating camera security solutions in Ford vehicles next year for seamless protection inside and outside vehicles and it will seek factory-vehicle integrations with other automakers over time. Aside from partnering with other automative brands, Canopy will look to partner with insurance and technology companies to expand offerings, explore insurance benefits for use of the technology, and co-create new innovations.

Ford and ADT’s investment in Canopy is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals, and initial funding is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. The partners expect to invest approximately $100 million during the next three years.

“The combination of our technologies and our deep security experience creates a new category of protection for work and personal vehicles. Vehicles represent the second-most-valuable asset for consumers, and helping to protect them extends ADT’s safe, smart, and sustainable solutions far beyond the home.” – Elliot Cohen, ADT chief business development officer.

“Thieves have been even more active during the pandemic and know business owners store valuable equipment in vehicles, often hauling more than $50,000 of gear. Canopy is here for those who’ve had enough of thefts that threaten their livelihoods. Key to Ford’s software-led transformation are new ideas such as Canopy and collaborating with other innovators such as ADT, which brings to vehicle security their leadership protecting families, homes, and businesses.” – Franck Louis-Victor, vice president, Ford New Business Platform.

“Commercial customers around the world are laser focused on protecting investments from costly replacements that can impact their bottom lines. Canopy will help Ford Pro deliver another service to fleets helping to improve total cost of ownership by staying productive and avoiding downtime associated with stolen tools and damaged vehicles – including the majority with mixed fleets since Canopy technology will be available across brands.”” – Ted Cannis, CEO, Ford Pro.