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Ford designs Smart Mobility in urban and rural Africa

ABR Staff Writer Published 13 August 2015

US automotive giant Ford has geared up to extend Smart Mobility for connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and big data through Ford vehicles for reaching out to under-served communities in urban and rural Africa.


The initiative comes after the automaker carried out a range of experiments and developer challenges around the globe, including in Africa, to gain a better understanding of consumers' mobility needs.

Ford research and advanced engineering global mobility solutions manager Erica Klampfl said: "Our goal is to make people's lives better by changing the way the world moves.

"The Ford Smart Mobility plan supports our commitment to innovation and is aimed specifically at developing smarter transportation systems. This initiative extends far beyond vehicles and includes investing in a range of mobility pilots and experiments. Such ongoing research projects help us to find out what works and to develop smarter, more connected mobility solutions."

The multi-faceted Ford Smart Mobility plan also incorporates Data Driven Healthcare with a view to improving healthcare services in rural areas.

The Ford X-Car drive helps organizations to develop support programs based on data gathered to assist rural communities and remote areas and Multimodal Urban Mobility.

The automaker has also declared Ford X-Car Social Innovation Action Partnership Program for supporting public-private partnerships by using Ford vehicles for catering to under-served communities.

Ford sustainability, environment & safety engineering vice-president Kim Pittel said: "With the X-Car program, we're using innovative partnerships to bring critical services to communities in South Africa, including access to health care, purified water and education.

"X-Car is a good example of a sustainable mobility solution, where we develop a new transportation model to bring services and programs to those in need and contribute to a better world."

The Ford X-Car will also be armed with OpenXC plug-in device, a connectivity platform offering analytic insights from the vehicle and its day-to-day activities.

Under Ford Smart Mobility, Ford's focus lies on Flexible Use and Ownership, and Multimodal Urban Mobility.

Ford has also devised MoDe Pro eBike connects seamlessly with a rider's smartphone that harnesses real-time information regarding weather, congestion, parking costs, time, traffic and public transportation.

Image: Ford's MoDe Pro eBike. Photo: courtesy of Ford Motor.