Ford is expanding City One challenges to three new cities



The Metropolis One problem permits Ford to work with metropolis leaders and residents to assist with mobility ache factors.

Ford is increasing Metropolis One challenges to a few new cities
The Metropolis One problem permits Ford to work with metropolis leaders and residents to assist with mobility ache factors.

At SXSW 2019, TechRepublic Senior Author Teena Maddox spoke with Brett Wheatley, vice chairman of mobility advertising and progress at Ford Motor Co. to debate Ford’s increasing Metropolis One challenges, quickly to incorporate a global metropolis. Wheatley additionally talked about what was achieved within the three preliminary Metropolis One communities. The next is an edited transcript of the interview.

Teena Maddox: Inform me concerning the information that Ford mobility introduced at SXSW.

Brett Wheatley: As we speak we introduced the Metropolis One challenges increasing for Ford. We did three challenges in 2018, in Grand Rapids [Michigan], Miami, and Pittsburgh. And primarily based on the success of these metropolis challenges, we’re now increasing to some new cities: Austin, Texas; Indianapolis, and Detroit. Quickly, we’ll be saying a global metropolis. So it is a large day for us at Ford.

Teena Maddox: Now, what’s going to these challenges embody?

Brett Wheatley: What we do with the challenges, is, we get proper with the residents. We go into every of the cities, and we begin speaking to the person residents, among the metropolis leaders. We are saying, “What are the ache factors that you’ve got, so far as mobility goes on this metropolis, and the way can we show you how to include some options?”

What’s actually thrilling is that we convey the tech group collectively. We convey startups collectively, and all of the residents. We have provide you with some actually attention-grabbing issues within the three cities we have been in to this point, and we won’t wait to see what we come out with within the subsequent three cities.

Teena Maddox: Inform me about what advantages the cities get.

Brett Wheatley: Nicely, the cities will profit with… they will provide you with some nice concepts. What we have discovered within the three cities we have labored in to this point [is] you have acquired nice concepts that will come from startups, who simply haven’t got the funds to truly blowout their concepts. We may help them take their concept, develop it, and work with our tech companions.

Final yr, we had Dell Applied sciences, Microsoft, and AT&T. They’re going to assist us refine these concepts, after which we’ll give $100,00zero to the winners in every of these cities, to, once more, actually convey their concepts to life, whether or not it is an app, whether or not it is a mobility answer working with transport companies, no matter it could be.

Teena Maddox: All proper, and when will this begin with every metropolis?

Brett Wheatley: The primary metropolis we’ll kick off with is Indianapolis. We’ll be doing that within the subsequent couple weeks, after which we’ll comply with shortly, with Austin, and Detroit, after which once more, a global metropolis — that’ll be introduced most likely in a number of months.

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Teena Maddox: Inform me, Brett, about how among the winners of the problem used the funds final yr.

Brett Wheatley: Nicely, I will share a extremely attention-grabbing instance that got here out of the challenges, by a gentleman named Saravana Pat Bhava. He had a real-life story that helped him develop an app. He went into college to choose up his baby. Somebody acquired in, and he drove away. [He] began to drive away from the varsity, [but] seemed within the backseat, and discovered that it wasn’t his baby, so, a really, very scary instance. [He] simply identified that it was an actual ache level that he had, and thought that many different dad and mom would most likely have, too.

He had an concept to develop an app that primarily based on geofencing. So when your automobile comes as much as the varsity, the varsity would know you are there, and would launch the suitable scholar, your individual baby. And it really goes to assist scale back a whole lot of the site visitors congestion, on the curb of the varsity — which in his case — many occasions he’d watch for 30 minutes on the curb, so an amazing concept he dropped at us. We labored with our expertise companions, helped them construct out that app. In order that’s one of many actual success tales popping out of the town challenges.

Teena Maddox: Okay, and the way does the Metropolis One problem profit Ford?

Brett Wheatley: The neat factor concerning the metropolis challenges and the way they profit Ford, is, we go right into a metropolis and we assist them resolve some speedy considerations. That is a profit for the town, and it is a profit for us. However we additionally wish to develop a relationship with that metropolis for the long run. So, if you consider the town problem in Miami, we began off with a problem. We developed such a robust relationship with the town, and with the group, we have introduced will probably be one in all our beachhead cities for autonomous autos. So not each problem metropolis will likely be getting autonomous autos, however we hope to type a long-term relationship. We may help them resolve their long-term mobility issues.

Teena Maddox: All proper, Brett. So are you able to inform me about different expertise Ford is utilizing with mobility?

Brett Wheatley: Nicely, one of many applied sciences we introduced just lately at CES in Las Vegas is C-V2X. That is mainly mobile vehicle-to-everything. The attention-grabbing factor about this expertise is that it permits the autos to speak to one another, discuss to the infrastructure, and really learn what is going on on with pedestrians. It is a expertise we’ll begin rolling out on our autos by 2022.

Once we had been in Vegas we created a state of affairs the place it was a four-way cease. All of the autos had C-V2X expertise, and we had a bike with C-V2X expertise, and we really had a pedestrian with a cellphone. Think about driving as much as a four-way cease: it is all the time somewhat bit awkward, as a result of you do not know if the automobile on the proper, or to the left, is the one which’s alleged to go first. This may mainly provide you with alerts in every of the autos, saying who ought to go first. That is going to scale back congestion, and ensure there’s a very orderly process on the intersections.

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It is also going to warn you if there is a pedestrian, possibly crossing at a crosswalk; you did not see them. Or possibly even crossing the road, while you did not anticipate it, [it will] provide you with a warning in your automobile so you’ll be able to take the corrective motion. So it may be an amazing expertise; we’re very excited to be main the best way at Ford with that expertise.

Teena Maddox: All proper, Brett. So what does this imply for the way forward for Ford autos?

Brett Wheatley: C-V2X is simply going to make the operation of our autonomous autos even stronger. Everybody is worked up about autonomous autos, and this expertise will actually be on the forefront of creating it a improbable operation.

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