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Ford announces Smart Mobility plan at Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Ford has announced its new Smart Mobility plan at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The brand is set to conduct 25 mobility experiments around the world, this year, which will test transportation ideas to create better customer experiences, more flexible user-ship models and social collaboration that can reward customers.

Ford president and chief executive Mark Fields spoke at the event. “Even as we showcase connected cars and share our plans for autonomous vehicles, we are here at CES with a higher purpose," he said.

“We are driving innovation in every part of our business to be both a product and mobility company – and, ultimately, to change the way the world moves just as our founder Henry Ford did 111 years ago.”

Nine experiments will be conducted in Europe and Africa, eight in North America, seven in Asia and one in South America. Each experiment is designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation 'ecosystem'.

“We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute,” Fields said. “The experiments we’re undertaking today will lead to an all-new model of transportation and mobility within the next 10 years and beyond.”

Chief operating officer at Ford of Europe Barb Samardzich said: “At Ford, we are open to smarter ways of keeping the world moving freely, for the benefit and progress of all. It is very unlikely there is a one-size-fits-all solution to mobility issues. Right now, we’re at the research phase – testing and refining projects so that we can find out what works and develop smarter ways of ensuring freedom of movement for all.”

London based research will test different ways of alleviating congestion in urban areas, including car-sharing, parking and shuttle service projects.

Experiments include:

City Driving On-Demand, to help understand what is needed for a high-quality, more flexible and integrated car-sharing scheme, which fits the needs of commuters in major urban areas. Currently in a pilot user test phase – a zero-emission Focus Electric and fuel-efficient, low-emission Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost cars are reserved via an app or call centre

Data Driven Insurance, to research into giving drivers a more tailored insurance quote

Painless Parking, which is a smartphone app helping drivers to find a suitable parking space.

Check out the manufacturer’s webcast on its Smart Mobility plan in this video.

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