- Ford enters into a new partnership in Nanjing, China, to offer a shuttle service for employees of participating companies in the Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone
- Ford will provide the technology platform, algorithm and data analytics necessary to run the service, while the Jiangning Public Transportation Group will supply the vehicles and manage operations
- First public-private collaboration of its kind in Jiangning will use smart technology to enhance the existing mass transit system and reduce congestion
- This collaboration underpins Ford’s vision to find innovative solutions to improve people’s lives through new transportation and mobility options
Ford Motor (China) Ltd. signed a letter of intent with the Nanjing Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone Administrative Committee and the Nanjing Jiangning Public Transportation Group Ltd. for a pilot project aimed at reducing travel times for daily commuters.
The project, which kicks off in the third quarter of this year, creates a new shuttle system for employees of companies within the Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone.
During the trial period, shuttle routes will be optimized along employees commuting routes using an existing shuttle fleet. As the technology partner, Ford will provide an algorithm that optimizes the routes in order to ensure the most efficient use of the vehicles and passengers’ time, as well as providing a user and driver interface that allows employees to find out in real-time if there are any delays with their shuttle.
The partnership with Ford is the first public-private collaboration of its kind in Jiangning. The project aims to gain insights during the pilot phase, which could lead to expanding the concept on a larger scale.
“Ford’s vision is to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves. This exciting partnership in Nanjing, a vibrant but increasingly congested city, is a great example of how we can work with governments to achieve this vision,” said Dave Schoch, president, Ford Asia Pacific and chairman, Ford China. ‘‘We want to not only provide great vehicles but also serve as a leading technology provider to offer unique and innovative mobility solutions for consumers.”
The partners are hopeful that the trial will ultimately lead to a more dynamic, on-demand shuttle experience on a broader scale in the future.
Addressing Nanjing’s mobility challenges
As China’s economy continues to grow at unprecedented speeds, an unwanted side-effect can be seen in cities across the country – nearly unbearable levels of traffic congestion clogging highways and city streets.
Nanjing is one of the most congested major cities in China, with residents spending an average of 65 minutes traveling from work to home. Shared mobility solutions such as the shuttle service can go a long way in helping alleviate this problem. A 2016 report for Ford Motor Company by KPMG estimated that for every shuttle in operation, there will be an average of 25 fewer cars on the road, helping reduce urban congestion
The new shuttle program is the first step toward easing congestion in the city and making life easier for the residents of Jiangning Technological and Economic Development Zone.
The Nanjing Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone is home to more than 2,000 companies and 1.2 million residents. Like other regions in China, it is experiencing rapid economic development.
While focused on Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone currently, the implications of the pilot could be much farther reaching.
Technology paving the way for smarter future
In this partnership, Ford will provide the technology platform, algorithm and data analytics necessary to run the service.
Through its experience with the Chariot shuttle service in San Francisco and its recent on-demand shuttle experiment in Shanghai, Ford has built a solid foundation of designing and refining such optimization algorithms to improve transportation efficiency.
The Nanjing Jiangning Public Transportation Group Ltd. is a comprehensive transportation company in Jiangsu province with extensive experience in public transportation and operational vehicle management. In their role as service provider, they will be responsible for providing all vehicles, drivers and operational licenses.
The Nanjing Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone Administrative Committee will be responsible for introducing and promoting the customized enterprise shuttle service in Jiangning Economic and Technological Development Zone as well as for providing any necessary government related support and resources.
“Ford innovates, designs the concepts, and develops a vision for the ‘City of Tomorrow,’ which focuses on the products and services related to dynamic shuttles, urban transportation management, big data and autonomous driving, which provide effective solutions for emission reduction and mobility. This vision fits well with our philosophy of ‘Intelligent Jiangning’ and ‘Green Mobility’,” said Qi Yuwei, governor, Jiangning District Government. “We will seize this great opportunity and conduct pragmatic cooperation to build an innovative image of our city operation management.”
Finding innovative solutions for the city of tomorrow is part of Ford’s smart mobility vision.
The Company aims to develop various smart mobility technologies including shared mobility, autonomous vehicles and optimized infrastructure to increase capacity and reduce congestion.