While I was at the Ford Trend Conference I attended the Urbanization session. I wasn’t interested in the Urbanization session at all. I just figured that I didn’t care about big cities, I hate driving to Seattle and what could Ford tell me that’s interesting about cities? All I wanted to learn was about the technology in the cars and what the cars look like and how do they drive. I was surprised about what I learned.
I thought the US was getting over crowded and suffering from traffic problems. It always seems that by the time cities are done adding lanes those lanes are already full of traffic. Other countries have even bigger traffic problems, like a 45 day traffic jam. I know that people just abandoned their cars at that point but how can they live like that. One solution was how Ford is partnering with Zipcar.
Car sharing seems like a simple enough idea, but there’s a reason that Zipcar has become the leader for cars on demand—we took a simple concept to new heights. It’s not just about less cars, less congestion and less pollution (though we’re not complaining), it’s about understanding why those things are a problem, and finding sustainable solutions. We’re idea people acknowledging that this is something bigger than all of us, something that can take over the world (literally) if we’re smart about it. And it’s not just a theory. We have the industry’s gold standard service, allowing our members 24/7 access to thousands of cars around the globe. We’re working daily to take things to the next level, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.
Ford and Zipcar are taking cars to universities. This provides benefits to universities and to students. There will be less need for parking, reduces the carbon footprint, the price is low and there is self-service access on campus. It’s a win for the environment and the “starving student” that can’t afford a car.
Another way Ford is looking to help urbanization with working globally with other car and technology companies creating cars and technology that allows communication between the cars. If your car notices that the car in front of you is slowing down then you will slow down. If your car notices that you aren’t driving safely your car will correct you and alert you that you need a coffee break. It’s imitatives like these that are going to save lives and help with traffic issues. When there are fewer fender benders there will be less traffic issues.
Ford paid for my travel and expenses on this trip.