As Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) 2012 winds down, one of the most surprising and innovative speeches of the event had to be Tuesday, when Ford Motor Company’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, discussed technology, cars and the future. Ford discussed how the innovation and evolution of mobile technology would help future generations of smart transportation systems and vehicles. He stressed the need to develop vehicles and systems that are smarter and more efficient, and that the mobile industry could play a huge role in helping to develop these future technologies, particularly in regards to creating inter-connected transportation networks to relieve pressure on the world’s road networks.
“The telecommunications industry is critical in the creation of an inter-connected transportation system where cars are intelligent and can talk to one another as well as the infrastructure around them,” Ford said. “I believe our two industries are critical partners in achieving a future where transportation continues to represent freedom, power and economic growth and we’ll get there if we work more closely together than ever before.”
Ford predicts vehicles that could communicate with each other through cloud systems could be a great assistance to drivers by providing them with alternative routes when traffic on our over-crowded roadways reaches critical mass.
And although there have been many articles and stories written on distracted driving recently, this seems to be a whole separate subject, namely cars being able to help navigate and communicate with each other to keep drivers aware of possible traffic dangers and slow downs. With this “helpful driving” proposal, mobile networks and cars can combine to create a useful network that could be connected not just to drivers, but to pedestrians, bikers and anything else that may inhabit the roadways.
The overarching issue Ford touched on was the fact that roads will continue to be more crowded every year, and there has to be a solution to deal with problem.
“When we do the math, and look at the global vehicle population, there is cause for real concern,” Ford stated. “There are about a billion cars on the road worldwide. With more people and great prosperity, that number could grow up to four billion by mid-century,” raising the possibility of global gridlock that will waste time energy and resources to control.
The possibility of mobile networks and car companies teaming up seems like an innovative idea that will help us in the end. As a company that was once struggling to find its identity in the “new” automotive world, Ford should be commended for taking the initiative and bringing this to the mobile conference. It is an idea that has many kinks to be worked out, but it could be something that changes the industry and the world in the distant future.
Edited by Rich Steeves