Mobile Auto Network: Ford Envisions Less Traffic Jams and Accidents

  • Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, has a vision of lighter traffic and fewer fender-benders, a goal he considers within reach if car makers can collaborate on “an integrated system that uses real-time data to optimize personal mobility on a massive scale,” he said in a TEDTalk.
  • The plan would develop a mobile network to redirect drivers from congested areas and allow cars to communicate with one another. One potential problem is the demand on wireless carriers’ bandwidth, which would be overwhelmed with Wi-Fi in every car. The bigger hindrance, however, could be lack of cooperation.
  • “But competition between automakers may prevent that vision from ever happening, since companies pioneering the technology, like General Motors, see it as a competitive advantage and not something to work on together with rivals,” Mobiledia writes.
  • For now, many innovative apps are working to address the traffic issue. One app, Waze crowd-sources traffic navigation while another, Signal Guru (not yet public) gives suggestions of alternate routes and tells drivers how fast to drive to make lights.
  • “Ford’s vision for smart cars requires a lot of cooperation from automakers, wireless providers, phone makers and government regulators, and it may be difficult to pull off without a nudge from the government to entice businesses to stop competing and work together towards a common goal — cars designed to avoid clogging up the streets and running into each other,” explains the post.

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