When we think about innovation at Ford, it’s more than designing smarter, safer and more efficient vehicles – it’s about the future of mobility and how innovative thinking today will shape the world tomorrow.
Today, most North American cities are designed around cars, from the width of our roads and expressways, to the land we dedicate to parking. Our neighbourhoods are planned to accommodate traffic flow. Every weekday, millions of Canadian drivers endure a rush hour commute, which results in hours of frustrating traffic congestion. In fact, the portion of highway 401 that passes through Toronto, Ontario is the busiest highway in the world, accommodating almost 500,000 vehicles per day.
In August, Ford hosted a City of Tomorrow symposium to discuss the future of mobility. More than 600 speakers, panelists and other attendees, crossing automotive, tech, government and not-for-profit sectors, discussed how we want our cities, streets and highways to look in the future – from integrating more, safer bike lanes; to making our downtowns more enjoyable and safer for pedestrians; to the future of car-sharing services, efficient deliveries, autonomous vehicles, and public transit. These engineers and researchers, technology experts, policy makers, urban planners and enthusiastic citizens convened to co-create a vision of the future world and how this will affect our urban-living experience. Because it’s all about how we move.
We covered a lot of terrain – including how to use sustainable power to move these new vehicles, and how we can leverage sustainable technology to reduce the number of cars on the road. Ideas like restructured roadways, innovative carpooling, and sustainable energy are essential building blocks as we work towards improving our commutes, our communities, and our lives.
Autonomous cars are already starting to be integrated into our daily lives. Dominos and Ford are collaborating on an industry-first: using self-driving cars to deliver pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’ve also teamed up with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to test how driverless cars might communicate with pedestrians – in this case, through light signals that let the pedestrian know what action to expect form the driverless vehicle. Steps like these pave the way to bigger changes and new ways to move, while extensive testing will help ensure that safety is always at the forefront.
We’re on the cusp of a transportation technology revolution that will change how we think about mobility. Driverless cars could give us back countless hours spent behind the wheel, and could improve and optimize many of our everyday services – like the delivery of delicious pizzas… pineapple topping optional.
Do you want to learn more? Take a closer look at how Ford is paving the way to the City of Tomorrow:
- Taking the City of Tomorrow from Fantasy to Reality – Together by John Kwant, Vice President, Ford City Solutions
- How Pizza Is Helping Us Design our Self-Driving Future by Sherif Marakby, Ford Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification
- It’s Time City Streets Match Our Societal Values by Erica Klampfl, Greenfield Labs Director, Ford Smart Mobility, and Ruth McLachlin, Design Researcher, Greenfield Labs, Ford Smart Mobility
- How Self-Driving Cars Could Communicate with You in the Future by John Shutko, Ford’s Human Factors Technical Specialist for Self-Driving Vehicles
- Building a Business Enabled by Self-Driving Technology by Sherif Marakby, Ford Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification
Tell us what most interests you about the City of Tomorrow, and how driverless cars could make your life easier in the comments below or on Ford Canada’s Facebook page!