Video games can be so absorbing that a few minutes play can easily turn into a few hours – and occasionally an all-nighter. But did you think they could ever actually save you time and help to keep us moving in the crowded cities of the future?
That is exactly what we are aiming to achieve through our Smart Mobility Game Challenge.
We are looking for developers to create games that reward players – real-life commuters –whose journeys are cost-effective, time-efficient, and convenient.
Earlier this year we surveyed Londoners to find that, for them, commuting is actually more stressful than work. Through the games that will be developed, and with the help of data from the smart phones and watches they carry and wear, those commuters could help find new ways of integrating different transport modes in cities.
Games are now a powerful problem-solving tools for an array of real-world challenges, from finding a cure for AIDS to encouraging recycling initiatives. Developed with the Cologne Game Lab and announced during Gamescom, the Smart Mobility Game Challenge offers €10,000 (₤7,025) to the winner and the chance to show their work at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next year.
“The Smart Mobility Game Challenge is designed to harness the creativity of the gaming community and empower gamers to take a fresh approach to tackling today’s global mobility issues,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Applying the fun, engaging and rewarding aspects of games to journey planning can allow people to improve their commutes, track their success and become aware of how their behaviour impacts the transport infrastructure as a whole.”
We also used gamification to develop Ford’s SmartGauge technology, which rewards drivers for fuel- and energy-efficient driving; and the MyFord Mobile app, which enables drivers to remotely manage the charging of their electric vehicles and shows CO2 savings as exercise balls or hot-air balloons.
We’re also using gaming elements in developing MoDe:Link, the prototype journey-planning app that is part of the Handle on Mobility electric bike experiment.
Developers can submit their entries at www.ford-smart-mobility-game-challenge.com until Oct. 1, 2015.