Connectivity. It’s the primary enabler for mobility and is essential to so much of 21st century life. We’ve never seen a time when so many technologies have come together so quickly. Every aspect of our lives is interconnected. It’s not just people connected to people, but things connected to things, and people connected to things. All that information can help individuals make better transportation choices and find better ways to get around.

In 2014, there were 4.3 billion smartphones in the world. By 2016, there will be 5.1 billion – a number equivalent to 80 percent of the world’s population.

Ford identified the connectivity trend early on with our introduction of Ford SYNC® in 2007. Today, SYNC is the most popular communications and entertainment connectivity system in the industry, with more than 12 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on the road, all over the world. Our latest generation – SYNC 3, which we revealed in December 2014 – is our most advanced version yet.

As we look ahead, we will continue to equip our vehicles with ways to link up to the Internet while experimenting with more ways to connect cars to each other – and to the roadways and networks around them. The systems we use today to bring entertainment into the vehicle and to map our routes are the same systems that will help us create a smart vehicle network.

Connected vehicles could alert each other about traffics jams, accidents, hazards, road works and inexplicable delays. This would allow emergency services to get faster help to people who need it. The potential benefits from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity are tremendous as the automobile becomes better integrated into the broader transportation system.