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Ford helps to build the cities of tomorrow

With the increase in congestion in Miami-Dade, residents must be at the centre of the conversation to address unique pain points, says Ford 

Ford autonomous vehicle testing in Miami
Ford autonomous vehicle testing in Miami

Ford Motor Company and Miami-Dade County in the US state of Florida are working with public stakeholders and companies including AT&T, Dell Technologies and Microsoft to launch a crowdsourcing platform for residents, businesses and community groups to propose and pilot solutions that improve mobility.


The Miami-Dade County City of Tomorrow Challenge will focus on enhancing and creating future mobility solutions, including flexible transportation options and simple journey planning.


The Miami-Dade population has increased 7.8 per cent since 2010 while commuting times are 15 per cent worse than the national average, according to the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organisation. With the increase in congestion in Miami-Dade, it is important that residents are at the centre of the conversation so their unique pain points can be addressed.


Solutions to many mobility issues already exist in some form, but Ford believes it’s about creating a more inclusive process so that communities and entrepreneurs have a space to contribute their ideas. By working with communities to crowdsource new mobility designs and innovations and funding pilots to test the top solutions, the programme’s goal in Miami-Dade is to identify meaningful opportunities to create immediate impact for residents and support long-term improvements to how people get around.


The Miami-Dade City of Tomorrow Challenge is also part of Ford’s continued collaboration with Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A Giménez. Ford recently launched its self-driving vehicle business in Miami-Dade County, which is focused on proving out the self-driving business model and testing the customer experience to serve residents and businesses.


“Miami-Dade has some of the longest commuting times in the United States, so we want to help our residents by making it easier to get the information they need to plan their commutes – and build their confidence in all of the options available to them,” said Giménez.


“We have joined the City of Tomorrow Challenge because we believe we can strengthen our approach to new mobility by collaborating on new ideas that address our most pressing transportation problems. Great ideas can come from anyone – no matter if they’re college students, business professionals or commercial drivers.”


Throughout the eight-month programme, Miami-Dade will explore how the County can make daily journeys fresh and adaptable to the needs of its people. Residents, businesses and community organisations are invited to share how they experience transportation in Miami-Dade, and how mobility either enables them or serves as a barrier to accessing their daily needs. The challenge also includes a prize of up to $100,000 to fund pilots that test the top solutions in a real-world setting.


Miami-Dade marks the second location for the City of Tomorrow Challenge, following last week’s announcement of a challenge in Pittsburgh. Each is tailored to a specific city or county and is focused on addressing those unique needs.


“We know that every city and county is unique, which is why the City of Tomorrow Challenge isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach,” said John Kwant, vice president, Ford City Solutions. “Miami-Dade understands the need to seek out new ideas to improve the way its residents get around, and our goal is to provide the county with an easy, efficient way to engage people and do just that.”


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