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Ford announced today that it's piloting an on-demand ride-sharing service for its employees that the company says can have an effect on communities far beyond its Dearborn, Michigan headquarters. In the long term, it argues, shuttle services like this could help reduce traffic across the country.

How, exactly? Well, Ford isn't saying much beyond what it revealed in a short video announcement Thursday that showed employees using their smartphones to summon the company's blue-and-black Transit Connect vans, which they are calling "Dynamic Shuttles." Ford says it has 21 shuttles in operation, servicing 129 locations and 300 passengers a day.


Ford's Dynamic Shuttles are powered by an evolving algorithm that is "learning constantly based on the data we're collecting," says George Verghis, a data scientist at Ford. Occupancy rates, traffic conditions, weather, and shuttle availability are compiled and analyzed by Ford's data team. The goal is to "reduce the number of single riders on the road," Verghis says.

A car company wants to help ease traffic congestion
Most intriguingly, Ford teases the possibility of using this new technology to help improve transportation in cities that lack mass transit or suffer from chronic congestion and gridlock — which sounds strange coming from a company that's ostensible goal is to sell as many cars as possible.

"All of us began to see this had a much greater importance than just our locale," says Greg DeGorsky from Ford's IT Rapid Response Team. "This could aid a lot of communities globally."

During last January's CES, Ford announced that it was testing ride-sharing systems in London, New York, Germany, and India, as well as by-the-minute car rental services akin to Car2Go. The programs are part of the Smart Mobility Initiative that Ford says will help the car company compete in a world in which the lines between transportation and technology are blurrier than ever.

Link: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/s/ford-wants-reduce-number-cars-173002707.html
 

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Discussion Starter #2
In Dearborn alone there are dozens of facilities in their engineering and development campus area. I often use their shuttles to go back in forth for meetings, what not. A simple phone call, computer or phone app gets you door service within a few minutes, and it is quite nice. Can't wait to see what Ford has planned on a bigger scale.

Below is a link that shows a map of our campus.

http://www.blueovalconnect.com/graphics/2-24-09/map.pdf
 

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WHAT, exactly, Is Ford’s ‘Smart Mobility’ Plan?
FordAuthority.com

by Aaron Birch — Dec 13, 2015


We’ve been hearing an awful lot about Ford’s so-called “Smart Mobility” plan lately, although the practical implications of such a broad initiative can be difficult to wrap one’s mind around. Is Ford Motor Company transitioning into a taxi/shuttle service? Is the automaker planning a future wherein it only makes fleet sales? Does Ford want a slice of the ride-share pie?

We don’t have all the answers yet, but let’s see if we can’t better explain what we do know about Smart Mobility.

“Smart Mobility” Means Experimentation...
...In effect, it’s an initiative to answer the question: “How can Ford meet the transportation needs of everyone on planet Earth, apart from making incremental improvements to cars, vans, and trucks?” It’s important to note that at this phase, the definitive answer is still unknown.

In practical terms, it means that Ford has been conducting numerous experiments beyond the scope of the conventional automaker. The Dynamic Shuttle pilot program, GoDrive car-rental experiments, and data-gathering OpenXC interface are early probes into possible future services. Our use of the term “services” is very important; Ford, it seems, isn’t opposed to expanding into a company which not only designs and manufactures automobiles, but also maintains rental fleets, administers public transit, and offers route-planning guidance, as well...

...CEO Mark Fields described the Smart Mobility initiative as a way to have “one foot in the present, and one foot in the future”...
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Perfect for those metro areas of the big cities with restriction to the private cars and only alow public transportation, like London.
 

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crossreference to FordPass®...mobility [CES][NAIAS]
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France’s “EV for the People” Misses the Big Picture in Future Mobility
The Fuse

by R. Kress | January 13, 2016


...“The truth is that car ownership will be obsolete. We won’t even need a car for the people. We’ll just need mobility that’s cheap, that’s affordable and available to everyone everywhere,” says Tony Seba (author of "Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation" (Link @ site) and lecturer at Stanford University) of this future. “That’s going to make transportation available to the very old who can’t drive, to the very young who can’t drive and the very sick who can’t drive. That’s transportation for the people—it’s not a $7,500 car. It’s very inexpensive, on-demand mobility. And that’s only going to happen when you have the combination of car sharing and self-driving [technology].”

Seba points out that by following the trends that are currently in action, by the time the cost of EVs declines into the more manageable price range of $15,000, self-driving cars will be much more common anyway.

Seba estimates that a future when self-driving cars and ridesharing coalesce could be as soon as 2025 or 2030. “That’s the real transportation for the people. Not a $7,500 car, not a $15,000 car, but when we won’t need to own a car at all.”

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I think we may need a new section for the non-car or even anti-car aspects of mobility
@administrator
 

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This is a very trendy idea that only works in high density population areas.

While I agree that transportation apps will improve coordination of public transport,
I think vehicles will still be controlled by humans but in dense traffic, those computers
will communicate to move the traffic cohesively, better than hundreds of frustrated humans.

People that make predictions 10 years in the future are counting on people
forgetting their words when proven wrong.
 
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