Our Ford Smart Mobility Plan, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015, will help us address mobility needs. The plan uses innovation to test breakthrough ideas for transporting people, goods and services. The first steps undertaken in 2014 were 25 experiments – eight in North America, nine in Europe and Africa, seven in Asia and one in South America – each of which was designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation ecosystem.
Fourteen of the initial portfolio of experiments were built around mobility solutions, data insights and technology advancement; the 11 others, also led by Ford, were part of our company’s Innovate Mobility Challenge Series (see box below), a contest that invites innovators and developers to “crowd-source” solutions for specific mobility challenges in specific parts of the world. We opened up these challenges to the public because we know that Ford can’t solve these problems alone. Solutions must come from a wide variety of individuals, including those who are directly impacted by the challenges we’re working to solve.
From finding solutions to the woes of parking in dense cities to exploring new models of car sharing, the experiments are designed to help us learn while making mobility more accessible for all, including underserved communities. We know these experiments alone won’t solve the mobility problem, but we believe they are a great place to start.
The experiments focus on customer experiences, flexible usership and social collaboration. Each experiment is unique, with different timelines and learning objectives, all designed to help us make better products and mobility services. We’ve already added initiatives and will continue to modify, expand or close out projects throughout the year as we broaden our understanding of the issues and expand our capabilities.
Read more about one of the challenge series winners.