Car maker Ford has outlined its vision of mobility beyond 2025 as an integrated transportation network and smart vehicles capable of fully autonomous navigation.

Bill Ford Jr., the great grandson of Henry Ford, presented the car maker’s vision for the future, called “Blueprint for Mobility” at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona in Spain earlier this week.

The plan details the technologies, partnerships and business models that Ford believes are needed over the coming years to avoid “crippling congestion” in transport networks because of the growth in car ownership. According to Ford, the cost of congestion to the economy in England through lost time owing to congestion will rise to around €26 billion annually by 2025. In Germany, sustaining a town of 300,000 people is estimated to require 1,000 truck deliveries daily.

The plan is split into three sections: near term (5-7 years), medium term (2017-2025) and long term (beyond 2025). Near term goals include the development of in-car mobile communications and vehicle to vehicle communications, the development of autonomous systems for parking and slow moving traffic and more car sharing services, such as Zipcar.

Mid-term, Ford wants to see more of the same – “auto-pilot” style car platooning, the integration of vehicle to vehicle communication with transport infrastructure, as well as more smaller one, two and three person “city” cars.

Finally, after 2025, Ford envisages a future transport network which prioritises saving time, conserving resources, lowering emissions and improving safety above all else, where bicycles, private cars, commercial and public transport are one big, happy integrated transport network.

The “blueprint” largely echoes what many other car makers are saying about the future of the automotive industry, and it’s difficult to disagree with its positive attitude to solving the challenges that society faces with transportation. The speech and press release can be found here.



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