CES: Ford drives innovation with new Smart Mobility plan

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Ford has unveiled a far-reaching connected car initiative at CES that aims to drive innovation and address new challenges in future transportation. 

The car manufacturer’s Smart Mobility plan includes 25 experiments across Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America levelled around connectivity, mobility, automation, customer experience and big data.

They will focus on “global megatrends” surrounding air quality and public health concerns, changing customer attitudes and an expanding population, particularly within urban areas.

Several of Ford’s experiments will take place in London, where the manufacturer will test a new on-demand vehicle shuttle service that it claimed would be “more convenient than a bus, better value than a taxi.”

Ford will also test a new smartphone app designed to help drivers find parking spaces using real-time location information, as well pilot a new urban car-sharing scheme using zero-emission Ford vehicles that can be accessed 24 hours a day via a smartphone app.

A data-driven insurance scheme will also be trialled, which will use vehicle monitoring to create personalised insurance quotes for drivers.

An additional car-sharing experiment will take place in Germany, meanwhile Ford also revealed it was testing a “fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle.”

Fields said: “Our priority is not in making marketing claims or being in a race for the first autonomous car on the road. Our priority is in making the first Ford autonomous vehicle accessible to the masses and truly enhancing customers’ lives.

“We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute. The experiments we’re undertaking today will lead to an all-new model of transportation and mobility within the next 10 years and beyond.”

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