Building the transportation mobility cloud
A new open platform has been proposed. This is designed to enable cities to build out infrastructure communications and connected traffic systems. The technology comes from a Ford and Silicon Valley-based Autonomic partnership.
The new open platform will allow city planners to design such 'smart city' concepts as connected traffic lights and parking spots. The new solution is called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud", and it was announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.
According to The Verge, Ford has put together a series of measures intended enhance the development of autonomous and connected vehicles. This includes an intention to to work with Qualcomm on V2X communications for cities, cyclists, and cars. V2X is an extension of the global cellular standard and is considered a factor in next-generation wireless technology for automated driving solutions.
There will also be a partnership with Postmates, the on-demand delivery company. The two companies intend to work together to test autonomous driving technology for deliveries, conducting various pilot services throughout the year.
Smart, connected transport
However, the news that has attracted the greatest interest is Ford’s new venture with Autonomic, since this could set a new standard for the way smart traffic solutions develop. The aim of the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform is to connect cities and cars seamlessly together.
The 'big picture' is to bring together private cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in; plus incorporating transport-as-a-service solutions like bike sharing networks; different transportation services like buses, trains, and bike hires; and location-based services technology, with interactive maps and systems to send out alerts where bad traffic is detected.
Examples of the future technology in practice include the ability to route self-driving cars away from the most densely areas during periods of peak traffic; or altering the direction cars take to help reduce congestion; or even restricting areas that cars with a poorer environmental class can travel within.
Bringing people into cities without congestion
According to Rich Strader, Ford Vice President, in a Ford blog post, if everything comes together right: "We can help allow for millions of people to move into cities and keep streets less congested, not more. We can connect people living in transit deserts to the city center for better jobs. 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."