Ford has said that it wants to offer a technology platform to cities to help them integrate connected and autonomous cars with the city infrastructure and improve traffic flow.
The carmaker has teamed up with Silicon Valley-based Autonomic to build the Transportation Mobility Cloud, an open, cloud-based platform that connects various components in the transportation ecosystem, including public transport, personal vehicles, pedestrians, and city infrastructure such as traffic lights and parking locations.
If congestion occurs, the platform can reroute vehicles based on data from vehicles already in traffic. It could also help ensure that no empty self-driving vehicles are driving on important routes used by people during their rush hour commute home, according to an opinion piece by Rich Strader, Ford’s vice president for Mobility Product Solutions, and Autonomic CEO Sunny Madra.
Other benefits include combating pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with city authorities defining geofenced regions and districts where hybrid electric vehicles are required to operate in full electric mode.
And cities could use the platform to give residents access to route planning services to help them calculate — in advance or in real-time — the best route plan for a given journey.
“Moving around something as dynamic as a bustling city shouldn’t be an act of frustration; it should be affordable, accessible and enjoyable,” the blog post says.
“We’re entering an era of connected vehicles at scale, working toward a future where self-driving cars will be ubiquitous, and where we have the potential to transform cities to meet the needs of all those living in them. We’re moving into this new era working not just to optimise for Ford tools or Ford services — we’re inviting anyone and everyone to communicate between vehicles, people and other elements of a city so that we can all build a future where mobility can achieve its full potential.”