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Ford Media Center
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 22, 2015 – Closing out the Innovate Mobility Challenge Series (IMCS) 2.0, Ford today announced that E-PASS 宜-PASS, a software platform that uses data and machine learning to deliver predictive traffic information, won the Grand Prize in the Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge. The conclusion of the challenge in Taiwan follows three other successful IMCS 2.0 challenges in 2015: in Sao Paulo, Mexico City and the Australian Outback.
Innovation and progress have been at the core of Ford’s company mission since its founding, and the IMCS invites participants to collaborate on crowd-sourced solutions that address the unique mobility challenges that different communities face. The challenge series began in 2014, with 14 cities around the world, and continued through 2015 with IMCS 2.0.
“Our mobility challenges have helped create a space where innovators and developers are coming together to help reshape the future,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company. “From the very beginning, Ford has been about providing personal mobility for all, and today that means using the latest advanced technologies to address the transportation challenges people are facing in different parts of the world.”
IMCS 2.0 is one aspect of Ford Smart Mobility, a globally minded plan to use innovative technology and smart solutions to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the consumer experience and data and analytics. Four global megatrends are driving the plan – a growing urban population, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns, and changing customer attitudes and priorities – as people all over the world rethink what personal mobility means to them.
Taipei’s congestion challenge
The Hsuehshan Tunnel Transformer Challenge asked developers to tackle a specific congestion problem: a stretch of Freeway 5 between Taipei and the popular tourist destination Yilan is often backed up during peak times, largely centered around the Hsuehshan Tunnel. This bottleneck can increase travel time on the Freeway from 30 minutes to two hours or more, and alternate routes between the two destinations range from a mountain pass to a winding shoreline highway – none of which provide a better alternative to the freeway.
Ford and the Institute for Information Industry of Taiwan, an IMCS 2.0 co-sponsor, provided resources to challenge entrants, including historical weather and traffic data, and a variety of information about the tunnel, freeway and surrounding roads.
The Grand Prize winner, E-PASS 宜-PASS, proposes using machine learning software to build more accurate predictive traffic models for Freeway 5, in order to help drivers make travel plans based around the times least likely to be plagued by traffic congestion. For a list of all the challenge winners, please visit the challenge site.
Sao Paulo’s partnership challenge
With traffic congestion increasing as rapidly as the city’s population of 12 million, the average car commute in Sao Paulo clocks in at an inconvenient and time-consuming hour and a half. Ford’s IMCS 2.0 challenge for the city asked developers to create software applications that combine the use of public transportation with that of private cars – the use of which has reached nearly 30 million daily trips.
The Sao Paulo challenge consisted of two competitions: one for national entries, and one for global. The Grand Prize winner for the global competition, Roll Together, is a cloud-based solution that combines information – including real-time vehicle data and GPS location information – to help inform the development of new Metro routes in the areas that are most in demand. For a list of all the challenge winners, please visit the challenge site.
The winner of the national Sao Paulo challenge, Muvall, is a platform that helps commuters integrate public and private transportation options into a single mobile application. For a list of all the challenge winners, please visit the challenge site.
Mexico City’s single-occupant struggle
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, and faces the challenge of a culture of single-occupant commuters. With a metropolitan population of around 20 million, approximately four million vehicles make 22 million daily trips, according to the national environment department (SEDEMA). The Mexico City challenge asked developers to find solutions to reducing single-occupant trips in order to help decrease the overall number of vehicles on the road.
The challenge’s Grand Prize winner, Bussi, is an app platform that enables ride-sharing in dense urban areas, with functionality that allows users to share their common routes and vote to determine the most in-demand areas. For a list of all the challenge winners, please visit the challenge site.
Challenge in the Australian Outback
Traveling in remote areas like the Australian Outback provides rewards as well as risks. The Australia Accessory Challenge invited entrants to create apps or accessories that would enhance the experience of traveling off the beaten path.
The winning solution proposed using the Ford SYNC connectivity system to deliver additional information to drivers in the Outback, including the location of the nearest area with mobile reception or a fuel station, and vehicle information like the range of remaining fuel. The ultimate goal of the solution was to reduce the risk of getting lost, and to help prepare drivers for the inherent risks associated with driving off the road.
“Beginning with Australia and continuing through the year to the Taiwan challenge, IMCS 2.0 has seen people from all over submitting ideas to make people’s lives better,” said Washington. “Getting people involved was a core goal of the series from the very beginning, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and the innovative mobility solutions that we’ve seen over the last two years.”
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, that is committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for and deepen the loyalty of those customers. Ford designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of connected, increasingly electrified passenger and commercial vehicles: Ford trucks, utility vehicles, vans and cars, and Lincoln luxury vehicles. The company is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, connected vehicle services and mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 182,000 people worldwide. More information about the company, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company is available at corporate.ford.com.