Ford has named the latest winners in its Innovate Mobility Challenge series, a key part of Ford Smart Mobility – the first widespread implementation of the company’s long-term plan for sustainable mobility solutions.
The series is comprised of 11 global challenges in which Ford invited developers to come up with innovative solutions to mobility problems around the world. Challenges included delivering healthcare solutions in Tamil Nadu, providing real-time information to improve transportation during Monsoons in Mumbai, decrease time taken to get help after a traumatic incident in Delhi, busting traffic congestion in some of China’s most densely populated cities, and improving the delivery of goods and services in Portugal.
Winners from around the world were showcased during Ford President and CEO Mark Fields’ 2015 International CES keynote address, which outlined the company’s far-reaching plans in mobility, connectivity and autonomy to create a better world for millions of drivers all over the globe.
“Ford has been enabling personal mobility since day one,” said Fields. “Now, more than ever before, Ford’s open-innovation approach, new technologies and a globally connected network of developers are enabling mobility solutions at an unprecedented rate.”
The challenges span the globe, from The Americas to China, Africa, Europe, Australia and India. Prizes exceeding $200,000 (U.S.) will be awarded – as well as scholarships for entrepreneurial education in Argentina.
“One of the most thrilling aspects of the mobility challenges has been watching people come together from all over the world,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “To see people in the United States getting involved with finding solutions in India or China, and vice versa, is a remarkable demonstration of what an environment of open innovation can accomplish.”
Global solutions to local challenges
For each challenge, Ford worked with local experts to address the unique mobility needs of that location. Once the submissions came in, a panel of local experts and Ford executives involved in mobility solutions judged each competition.
“There’s no single solution for mobility challenges, which are – at their core – local issues,” said Washington. “Our goal with this series was to bring the global developer community together in the pursuit of creating a more sustainable and efficient transportation landscape for the future.”
Details of the winners of India-specific challenges are as follows:
· Mumbai, India: With an often-crippling monsoon season that can leave commuters stranded, the Monsoon App Downpour challenge focused on leveraging vehicles and real-time information to improve transportation during inclement weather. Mumbai Monsoon Helper, developed by Khyati Majumdar from India: This Grand Prize winner combines such features as real-time weather and forecasts, information on the severity of flooding throughout Mumbai, and crowd-sourced information about conditions into a mobile app that can help commuters make smart decisions. Click here to know more about Khyati’s winning solution.
· Delhi, India: SUMURR Golden Hour invited developers to create applications that can decrease time-to-care within the critical Golden Hour after a traumatic incident. Flare, developed by Utsav Shah from India: This Grand Prize winner is an app that creates an opportunity for volunteers in the community to help others in times of need, while simultaneously working with Delhi authorities to improve medical outcomes. Click here to know more about Utsav’s winning solution.
· Tamil Nadu, India: The SUMURR mHealth challenge focused on using information to improve the delivery of health services to remote regions accessible from Chennai. SimPrints Solutions for Community Health Workers, developed by Tristram Norman from the United Kingdom: This Grand Prize and Special Jury Prize winner connects healthcare workers to patient medical records with a fingerprint – enabling more informed decision making and improving medical outcomes. Click here to know more about SimPrints’ winning solution.
Other Global Challenges included:
· Lisbon, Portugal: The delivery of goods and services is a challenge in cities of all sizes. The City Mobility challenge specifically targeted cities with fewer than 600,000 residents.
· Los Angeles: The objective of L.A. Parking Lot 2.0 was to rethink and repurpose outdoor surface parking areas to increase efficiency and optimize use.
· Shanghai: The Urban Commuter challenge called on developers to improve quality of life through apps that help increase mobility and overcome traffic congestion.
· Chongqing, China: The Mobility Integration challenge sought multimodal transportation solutions for cities with complex geographical constraints.
· Johannesburg: This challenge focused on adding value to vehicles – especially commercial vehicles – by creating innovative accessories that increase a vehicle’s utility.
· Argentina: Future of Mobility challenged college students and entrepreneurs to submit ideas for projects that will help mitigate traffic congestion and improve overall mobility in Argentina, particularly relating to urban planning, intelligent infrastructure and new models for public and private mobility.
· London: In the Traffic Tamer challenge, developers were asked to submit new or existing software solutions that help drivers overcome the stresses of navigating London’s crowded streets.
Ford’s open-innovation approach to enabling smarter mobility solutions worldwide will continue in 2015, with an upcoming mobility app challenge in Australia. With the third-lowest population density in the world, Australia poses a unique set of challenges for drivers. Innovators are being asked to create vehicle accessories that help drivers stay aware in remote areas where assistance is limited, and increase self-sufficiency in the event of electrical failure, dangerous road conditions and inclement weather. The winner of the Australia Accessory Challenge will be announced in early 2015.