10 Jan 18

Ford looks beyond the car to the city

“It's time to bring the streets into the sharing economy”, said Ford CEO Jim Hackett at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. In other words: Ford's mobility vision is expanding beyond the car, to include the city. 

To reduce congestion and pollution, sharing transportation – be it ridehailing, carsharing or using public transport - will become indispensible, Hackett told the audience at the Consumer Electronics Show. It follows that Ford will focus on more than its own self-driving car. It will also care about the cities in which they will operate. 

Smooth transition
As self-drive and connected technologies play an ever greater role, those cities will have to keep up, and offer smart infrastructure, said Hackett (pictured). Ford aims to help – and Hackett and other Ford execs listed a range of partnerships developing the smart cities the future of mobility needs. 

Ford's partnership with carpooling specialist Lyft is a good example: it now provides 40% of the Ford's ridehailing trips. 

Ford plans to smoothe the transition from human-driven to self-driving cars by deploying autonomous vehicles to supplement human-driven ridehailing services, especially in underserved areas. Ford is currently piloting autonomous delivery services with Domino's Pizzas and will partner with delivery app Postmates to further develop driverless delivery. 

V2I and V2E
The Detroit-based manufacturer is also working on its vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) capabilities, working with software startup Autonomic to build a cloud network allowing vehicles, pedestrians and infrastructure to communicate with each other.

The company also revealed it will use Qualcomm's V2E ('vehicle-to-everything') platform to connect to a range of other technologies.

Image: Maize & Blue Nation, CC BY 2.0

Authored by: Frank Jacobs