Last time you were late for work – what was the reason? According to a recent survey, traffic is the most common cause, ahead of bad weather and public transport delays. *
Beyond the daily commute, increased journey times also affect how long it takes food to get to the supermarket, or even how long it takes for a police car, or ambulance to arrive.
And for those who live in cities in particular it looks likely that will continue – with increasing urbanisation, and the rise of more and more so-called mega-cities.
A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research states that congestion costs the U.K. economy £13 billion last year, a figure predicted to rise to more than £21 billion by 2030. **
That’s where the Ford Smart Mobility plan comes into play. This looks at significant areas where our innovation can help change the way the world moves through:
- Autonomous vehicles
- Customer experience
- Big data
It was exactly a year ago at global tech fair Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, we introduced the car that can drive itself.
And in 2015 we have already launched a wide range of global experiments to research, test and implement solutions to global congestion. (In the U.K. that already includes London-based pilot projects for car-sharing, parking, insurance, and a shuttle service.)
Recently we announced we are providing two prototype cars for U.K. Autodrive, a new government-sponsored initiative studying how driverless and connected cars can be integrated into everyday life. And we told you that we were teaming up with experts at RWTH Aachen University, in Germany, to take a look at ways of helping solve future global transportation challenges
And so it goes on. This week we were back at Mobile World Congress to reveal a new experiment called Handle on Mobility, which will use electric bikes, supported by a smartphone app, to investigate how connected journeys could be more efficient, safer and healthier.
“At Ford, we’re innovating in every part of our business and we’re open to smarter ways of keeping the world moving freely,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. “Such ongoing research projects help us to find out what works and to develop smarter, more connected mobility solutions.”
You’ll be hearing more about Ford Smart Mobility as the year goes on.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted.
And who knows? Maybe one day we’ll look back with a tinge of nostalgia to those days when we had a ready-made excuse for arriving late at the office.