Cloud-connected cars that talk to the city they move around, and to each other, and a world without traffic jams or accidents are the future according to the head of Ford motor company, Bill Ford.
In his keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ford outlined a vision for the future that will see fewer privately-owned cars, but increased mobility.
“4 billion cars could create a global gridlock,” he said. “If that impedes the movement of emergency services and food, then that becomes a human rights issue.”
Cars that completely sync communications technology including smart phones are inevitable, according to Ford.
“Cars must communicate with each other to make safer, more efficient transport. Smart systems will tie all modes together – everything from cycling to cars to plane must be fully integrated and optimized.”
Ford admitted that his company cannot create his new vision alone, calling on mobile communications companies to join with them to provide expertise.
He also said that Ford’s just talking to Ford’s would be futile. Talks are already underway in the US between car companies, to resolve how to work together.
Ford described his vision for the future as a logical extension of introducing other communications, like police radios, mobile phones and stereos into cars.
At a hosted dinner later in the evening, Bill Ford went on to say: “People say it sounds like I’m talking about selling fewer cars, but there’s no point selling more cars when you can’t drive them anywhere because you just get stuck, or you can’t afford the fuel.”
Ford said that 30% of fuel currently used in cities is burned looking for a parking space. He added that your car should talk to infrastructure to reserve a space at the start of your journey.
Currently, car buyers wait for years to see even simple technology like USB plugs introduced into models. In Ford’s new vision, processors and hard drives could be upgraded much like headlights, tires or oil changes.
Ford is not the first example of how mobile communication and motor vehicles come together. RIM’s BlackBerry 10, to be introduced in late 2012, will feature the QNX operating system used in many vehicles, including Porsche, emergency and military vehicles.