Ford Motor Co. and Silicon Valley startup Autonomic are teaming up to create what they hope will be the center of an open, connected transportation system called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.”
With Ford providing the vehicles and engineering know-how, and autonomic bringing its understanding of cloud and smart city technologies to the table, they have been crafting a new platform on which a new generation of transportation would be created.
The Transportation Mobility Cloud is an open cloud-based platform. Its goal would be to connect vehicles with virtually everything. This is not just for Ford cars and trucks. It’s also for bicycles, pedestrians, mass transit, and even a city’s infrastructure including lights and parking.
A Truly Connected Open Transportation System
In a blog post published by Rich Strader, Ford’s Vice President of Mobility Product Solutions, and Autonomic CEO Sunny Madra, the two companies outlined their plans.
“With this platform, cities will be able to facilitate communication between various transportation methods and services operating within them, including individual vehicle data.”
This open system could be utilized by just about anyone, even Ford’s competitors, to create a more connected transportation ecosystem.
Benefits for Drivers, Cities, and Beyond
For drivers, this means being able to do things like route a direct path to the nearest open parking space. They can pay for parking from the comfort of their car and have a real-time update on how long it will take them to reach their next stop directly on their smartphones.
Autonomous and self-driving vehicles, which are under development by Ford and almost every other major vehicle manufacturer, would have an ongoing connection with other cars on the road and second-by-second traffic updates. This has safety implications and would result in faster commutes and less overall traffic congestion.
Cities benefit from having a more connected infrastructure. Transportation authorities would have access to an immense amount of real-time data. City management could use this information to act on traffic issues as they arise. They can identify areas for improvement, and reduce congestion on the roadway.
What’s in it for Ford?
Ford is building massive platform with high ambitions of becoming the default system for smart cities and transportation systems worldwide.
As more cities adopt this technology, Ford will benefit from being the most compatible provider of cars and trucks early on. Strader wrote, “With Ford’s commitment to 100 percent connectivity, we aim to have the most vehicles connected to any platform by the end of 2019.”
Connected cities are on the rise. Dozens of major metropolitan areas are turning to smart city technologies to improve their citizens’ lives.
By having a single, unified open transportation system that connects vehicles, municipalities, and local services together, Ford hopes to sit at the center of the “City of Tomorrow.”