Could game developers revolutionise urban travel?

Ford is inviting video game developers to create games that could help solve real-world problems with urban transportation, making commuting less stressful.

The car manufacturer has launched a competition, the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge, encouraging developers to turn the challenge of planning journeys and integrating different transport modes within a city into fun and engaging online games.

According to Ford, this could help inspire real-life solutions to global mobility issues.

For example, the games developed could reward participating commuters for successful journeys, based on criteria such as time taken, cost, comfort and convenience. Games could also reward commuters for walking or cycling in good weather, and connect them to services beyond public transport, such as car-sharing schemes. Or, by encouraging commuters to take under-utilised routes, games could help ease congestion.

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, explained Ken Washington, vice president of 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.

Five finalists in the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge will be chosen by a panel of gaming and mobility experts. The overall winner will receive €10,000 (£7,150) and the opportunity to show their work at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

In recent years there has been an increasing recognition and application of the power of video games to engage and educate. From the early days of video games, car racing has always been a popular genre and it will be interesting to see how entrants to this competition tackle this challenge.”

Paul Gardner, Partner

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts