HomeChannelsNewsFord joins with AT&T to crowdsource mobility solutions in Miami, Pittsburgh

Ford joins with AT&T to crowdsource mobility solutions in Miami, Pittsburgh

Ford has joined with AT&T, Dell and Microsoft to crowdsource ideas for mobility solutions in Pittsburgh and Miami-Dade County. Ford will award $100,000 to fund pilots of the best community-led ideas in each city.

The two eight-month projects, headlined by the crowdsourcing element, marketed as the City of Tomorrow Challenge, will see Ford collaborate with the municipal authorities in both cases, alongside AT&T, Dell and Microsoft, to stimulate local community interest in future mobility solutions.

Ford wants citizens to inform its urban mobility strategy. Residents, businesses, and community organisations will be invited to share how they experience transportation, and how mobility enables and frustrates their daily lives. It is making available $100,000 to fund the best ideas from both grass-roots community incubators.

John Kwant, vice president of city solutions at Ford, said: “Every city and county is unique, which is why this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Hearing from the people is the best way to develop solutions that actually work for them. We want as many people and groups as possible to participate and make this a truly collaborative effort.”

Ford quoted United Nations figures that 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The population in Miami-Dade has increased by 7.8 per cent since 2010, according to the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization; commuting times are 15 per cent longer than the national average.

Carlos Giménez, mayor of Miami-Dade, said: “We can strengthen our approach to new mobility by collaborating on new ideas that address our most pressing transportation problems. Great ideas can come from anyone – no matter if they’re college students, business professionals or commercial drivers.”

It did not quote equivalent statistics for Pittsburgh, but Karina Ricks, director of mobility and infrastructure for Pittsburgh, said the city is at “the precipice of change,” and that the Ford programme is poised to put analytical power into the “service of the people of Pittsburgh” to help solve “today’s mobility challenges.”

Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, commented: “Nobody knows the Steel City better than its own businesses and community members, which is why we’re reaching out directly to them. We want to give anyone who’s interested a chance to be a part of finding real solutions to the issues they face every day – and to put those ideas to the test for everyone’s benefit.”

Michael Zeto, vice president for IoT and general manager for smart cities at AT&T, said: “Data is powerful. Having information to predict, learn and make near-real-time decisions means communities can address the social and environmental challenges their people face.”

Mike Geertsen, director of government solutions at Microsoft, said: “The power of technology not only will help societies thrive, but help them catch up to the demands modern cities and their citizens are asking for.”

The challenge websites, for Miami-Dade and Pittsburgh, allow residents of both cities to share experiences and sign up for community working sessions. Participants can submit ideas for new mobility solutions from July 2 in Pittsburgh and July 9 in Miami-Dade. Semi-finalists will be selected in September to attend a prototyping session and receive support to refine their ideas before submitting a final pilot proposal.

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