Published on June 16th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Ford to Unveil Proposed Solutions for Congestion at Mobile World Congress
When you’re stuck behind the wheel in endless gridlock or squeezing onto a packed subway car for a difficult commute, it can be hard to imagine that anyone recognises or understands your frustrations. It may be even harder to imagine that a company like Ford not only understands you but is actively researching ways to relieve the pain of congestion by revolutionising mobility around the world. At the upcoming Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Ford will be giving consumers a chance to see for themselves some of the advanced solutions it is working on – including Ford Smart Mobility experiments that explore ways to make parking in crowded cities more convenient, and ways to optimise public transit services to make them more reactive to consumer needs.
In a recent survey of consumers and commuters across Asia Pacific conducted on behalf of Ford, about half of respondents said they spent more time sitting in traffic than a year ago, with only 18 percent reporting that traffic had improved. The survey also sought consumer opinions about how to reduce congestion and found widespread agreement that the future of mobility will rely on the shared capabilities of city governments, mobility companies and even commuters themselves.
In China, home to some of the world’s worst congestion and many eager adopters of new technology, that future may be increasingly autonomous. Nearly half of Chinese respondents ranked smarter cars and technology solutions, including autonomous technologies and real-time traffic information, as one of the top three cures for congestion, the highest rate in the region.
Other top-ranked solutions in China included improved infrastructure, at 63 percent, and greater collaboration between private companies, research institutions and government, at nearly 40 percent. One-quarter of respondents in China said that car-sharing programmes could be a top congestion cure, and one in five pointed to the importance of ride-hailing apps like Didi Chuxing and Uber.
Across the region, more than 65 percent of respondents listed a better public transport network as among the three most important cures for congestion, with high support in markets as different as Taiwan (79 percent) and Australia (73 percent). But illustrating the diversity of the region, respondents in China were nearly twice as likely as their counterparts in Vietnam to see smarter cars and technologies as one of the top three congestion fixes.
Not all of the favoured solutions involve advanced technology or heavy infrastructure investment. Forty-four percent of respondents across Asia Pacific – and a full 69 percent in Vietnam – said that simple driver education and better adherence to the rules of the road would be an important contributor to congestion relief.
MWC Shanghai takes place from June 29 through July 1 at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center.