Ford's Grand Plan For 'Mobility' Is Co-Opting Other People's Ideas

Ford CEO Mark Fields took to the stage of the Consumer Electronics Show to give a buzzword-laden talk about mobility and where Ford fits in. Its big ideas? Parking apps, parking snitch apps, and lots of car sharing.

It was obvious that Ford didn't have much to show at this year's CES, which is surprising considering it's been a headliner in Vegas for the past several years. So with Sync 3 already announced and no substantial updates on its autonomous vehicle program, Ford opted to announce 25 "global mobility experiments" that it's exploring around the world.


From what we can gather, Ford tapped a slew of startups around the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America to pad its vision of mobility into something vaguely resembling a grand plan. There are a few from Ford, but the vast majority came from other people, and these are the highlights.

Big Data Drive in Dearborn

Ford had 200 employees volunteer to allow the automaker to collect their driving data so they could learn about how people get around and use their vehicles.


Car Swap in Dearborn


Ford employees swap Ford-owned fleet vehicles and exchange them based on their needs.

Data Driven Healthcare in Africa


Ford equips its pickups and SUVs with its OpenXC data collecting system to keep tabs on vehicle health and map some of the far-flung regions in Africa.

Data Driven Insurance in London


Install this box in your car and your driving data is used to determine your insurance rates, just like a handful of insurance companies are already doing.

Info Cycle in Palo Alto


Ford straps its OpenXC device to get information on where and when bikers ride to figure out when peddling is better than driving

Parking Spotter in Atlanta

Georgia Tech taps into the sonar and radar sensors on Ford cars and when they're driving through a city they keep track of open parking spaces on the street and relay them into a constantly updating database.


Remote Positioning in Atlanta

Live out your GTA fantasies in real life with an LTE connected golf cart that's remotely controlled to replace valets.


Monsoon App Downpour in Mumbai


An app that crowd-sources and tracks flooded areas in Mumbai during the monsoon season and then provides drivers with alternative routes.

Summur Golden Hour in Delhi

Golden Hour is the 60-minute window when trauma patients have the best shot at survival. This app compiles data from witnesses on the scene to help provide information to first responders to make sure the victim gets the right treatment.


Crowd Park in Los Angeles

And finally, make parking fun! Not just getting updates on parking spaces, but let you snitch on people that aren't paying! See someone that's parked in an expired space, snap a picture of their car, and YOU get to be the enforcer! And collect a small reward.

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