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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., and TAIPEI, Taiwan, September 10, 2015 – Building on the success of Ford’s Innovate Mobility Challenge Series (IMCS) 1.0 in 2014, Ford today launched the Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge in Taiwan, which asks developers to submit traffic-busting solutions for the main highway artery between Taipei and popular tourist destination Yilan.
In addition to Taiwan, Ford has introduced new challenges throughout 2015 in Australia, Brazil and Mexico as part of IMCS 2.0. IMCS is a series that invites developers from around the world to tackle mobility issues by providing solutions to meet the unique needs of different communities.
“As a key part of Ford Smart Mobility, our Innovate Mobility Challenge Series helps us engage and collaborate with developers and individuals outside of Ford to find innovative mobility solutions that improve people’s lives,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and. Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company. “Technology and global trends are reshaping the transportation landscape, and it’s important to implement solutions that have local relevance for people in different cities.”
IMCS 2.0 is part of Ford Smart Mobility, a global initiative to use smart solutions and innovative technology to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the consumer experience and big data and analytics. Ford Smart Mobility addresses four global megatrends – a growing urban population, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns, and changing customer attitudes and priorities – that are challenging today’s transportation models and redefining personal mobility.
IMCS 2.0 follows the first set of 10 global challenges, which were held throughout 2014 in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Ford announced the winners of IMCS 1.0 in January. Winning solutions included the use of smart apps to share weather, traffic and parking data in real time, pioneering approaches to multi-modal transportation, and the use of navigation and other tools to help people gain access to medical care in remote areas.
Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge
The Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge in Taiwan will task developers with optimizing traffic between the Taipei metropolitan area – home to seven million residents – and Yilan, a popular tourist destination for weekend and holiday getaways. The most common route for cars and buses is Freeway 5, which can get highly congested during peak times. This is particularly true on the stretch between Nangang and Toucheng, where traffic can become severely backed up at Hsuehshan Tunnel.
Traffic congestion around the tunnel can increase travel time on Freeway 5 from 30 minutes to two hours or more. Alternative routes to Yilan include a winding shoreline highway or a mountain pass, both potentially dangerous cliff-side roads that take even longer. As part of the challenge, Ford and the challenge cosponsor, the Institute for Information Industry of Taiwan, are providing resources to developers to help them find new ways to increase traffic efficiency. These include three months of historical weather and traffic XML data, plus a plethora of information about the Hsuehshan Tunnel, Freeway 5, and alternate routes.
“We’re thrilled to announce this challenge and to work toward a solution to the congestion on Freeway 5,” said Thomas Fann, president, Ford Lio Ho Motor Company. “This is an issue that impacts millions of people in Taiwan, and working with local stakeholders like the Institute for Information Industry of Taiwan ensures we have the data and insight to make change happen.”
Submissions for the Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge run from September 2 through November 19. Full details of the challenge, as well as submission guidelines, can be found on the challenge website: http://hsuehshantunnel.devpost.com/
Ongoing challenges in Sao Paulo and Mexico City
Brazil’s mobility challenge launched in June and tasks software and app developers with creating smart ways to integrate private and public transportation options to decrease traffic in South America’s largest metropolis, Sao Paulo. Ford is looking for innovative software solutions that will help make life more convenient for the 19 million residents of the greater metropolitan area.
The Sao Paulo challenge accepted submissions from Brazilians, as well as from global applicants, with two prize pools of R$59,000 and US$20,000, respectively. Submissions to the challenges closed on September 8 and are now in the judging phase. More details can be found on the websites for the global (http://saopaulo-global.devpost.com/) and Brazilian (http://saopaulo-national.devpost.com/) challenges.
The Mexico City Mobility Challenge launched in August and is looking for solutions that mitigate traffic congestion by effectively increasing vehicle occupancy to contribute to a more pleasant and safe commute in the Mexican capital. According to statistics from the national environment department (SEDEMA), more than 4 million vehicles make around 22 million trips every day, contributing to inefficiency and congestion in the city of more than 20 million. The Mexico City challenge is taking submissions until November 3, and has a total of US$30,000 in prize money. More details can be found on the website: http://mexicocity-mobility.devpost.com/
Australia Accessory Challenge comes to a close
The Australia Accessory Challenge (https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933613) launched in May with a submission deadline of June 14, and asked for solutions that use apps and accessories to enhance the driving experience for vehicles traveling in the Australian Outback. The challenge awarded US$15,000 to the winners, with US$10,000 for the first place winner and US$2,500 each for second and third place.
Details of the winning solutions are as follows:
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