Making getting around easier

December 20, 2015

We are continually looking for ways to make it easier for people to get where they want and need to go, now and in the future.

Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level.

Previously we have highlighted how bicycles, car-sharing and gaming could all play a role. Now, with Dynamic Shuttle, we’re developing an on-demand ride-sharing service in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., that uses customised Ford Transits with complimentary Wi-Fi, and USB charging capability.


Shuttle discovery

Once a mobile-based ride request is made, the app immediately determines the shuttle best suited to address the request without extending the travel time for passengers already aboard.

It then sends the rider an offer detailing the proposed pick-up time and maximum trip duration. If accepted, the request is dispatched to the shuttle driver’s navigation interface, along with the most efficient route to complete the requests of all riders in the timeliest manner.

“The Dynamic Shuttle solution could fill the gap between a taxi service and public bussing in cities around the globe,” said Erica Klampfl, global mobility solutions manager, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.


Bike track

Another innovative research gathering project that could have wider benefits involves equipping motorcycles with sensor kits to map areas of community healthcare services in rural West Africa.

Inspired by our OpenXC hardware platform, the system captures data that helps researchers detect patterns and develop new mobility solutions, and could be expanded to other transportation modes, helping ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world.


Driving ahead

Meanwhile, over in California, fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicles will be taking to the streets next year as part of the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program.

With more than 100 researchers, engineers and scientists on staff at its Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, Ford now has one of the largest automotive research centres in Silicon Valley.

“Our Palo Alto team has grown significantly this year, using research and innovation to explore and develop future mobility solutions,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re attracting top talent from around the world to join our team in Silicon Valley, including employees from local technology companies and universities who want to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”