Ford used its keynote speech at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show this week to announce the Transportation Mobility Cloud.
Being developed in conjunction with Autonomic, a Silicon Valley-based firm specialising in cloud-based technology and machine learning, the project aims to connect together self-driving cars, public transportation vehicles, cyclists, regular cars, parking spots, traffic lights, and, even, pedestrians.
With all these elements tracked in the cloud and able to talk to each other, it could allow cities to dictate that plug-in hybrids switch to EV mode in certain areas, redirect self-driving cars along less congested roads, or clear routes for sporting events or emergencies.
The system could also be used to improve navigation services.
The Transportation Mobility Cloud is envisaged as an open platform that’s not restricted to privately owned cars or vehicles from the Ford Motor Company.
As such, Ford and Autonomic have put out a call for other automakers, suppliers and fleet operators to join its endeavour, although the companies have yet to announce any external partners.
No timeline has been given for when the Transportation Mobility Cloud will enter limited or real-world testing. Ford says, though, it is committed to “100 percent connectivity” for its cars, and aims “to have the most vehicles connected to any platform by the end of 2019”.
“If we play our cards right, we can help allow for millions of people to move into cities and keep streets less congested, not more”, the company says.
Should Ford’s vision come to fruition, the company sees a future where “we can manage our curbs better, remove parked and idling cars, and instead plant more trees and share fresh air with more in our community”.
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