Mobility issues are complex and rapidly changing – and too big for one company to solve on its own. Developing solutions to mobility challenges requires innovative, systems thinking, across a wide range of stakeholder groups. We partner with organizations that can give us access to the latest research, insights and integrative ability.
For example, Ford has been working with the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART) project since 2005. SMART takes a collaborative, systems approach to developing innovative, sustainable and connected mobility and accessibility solutions in urban regions around the globe. Building on the seminal work of Moving the Economy in Toronto, SMART has pioneered new thinking, new partnerships and pilot projects related to emerging markets and industry development. SMART’s technology transfer collaborations, which are active globally, focus on three primary areas: “Connecting the Dots” (taking a systems approach); “Moving Money” (advancing innovation and New Mobility industry, jobs and economic development); and “Moving Minds” (attitudes and behaviors of people and decision-makers related to New Mobility).
Ford and SMART are leveraging each other’s strengths to develop New Mobility business opportunities and markets while seeking to improve quality of life, employment and other community benefits in cities around the world over the long term.
SMART has been working with Ford’s support to develop new visual and analytical platforms and tools for advancing new mobility industry development and enterprise. These tools are focused on understanding how markets grow in general, and how they grow for New Mobility in particular, to support economic development from Mobility. Additional projects are assessing cultural and demographic shifts and entrepreneurship with the objective of informing our product, service and technology development as well as our new mobility marketing strategies.
This approach is reflected in our support for educational goals as well. SMART and Ford are among several organizations funding programs at the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute, which gives students real-world experience studying and applying scalable, energy-efficient mobility systems that have been deployed in countries around the world.
For more information, visit the SMART website.
Also, see the Electrification section for a discussion of a partnership with Whirlpool and others focused on improving the energy efficiency of cars, homes and the electric grid as a system.
What’s an automobile manufacturer doing working on bicycles? Furthering our vision for urban mobility.
In 2013, we announced a partnership with Dahon, a leader in folding bicycles, to produce a complete line of new Ford-branded bicycles. Expected to launch in 2014, the licensing agreement will create a range of folding bicycles and electronic bikes (also known as e-bikes) for adults and children.
Both Ford and Dahon are committed to delivering smart, high-quality mobility solutions that meet customers’ needs. Together, the two companies hope to influence more people to change their transportation habits and reduce carbon emissions.
© 2014 Ford Motor Company