- Ford CEO Jim Hackett has announced a partnership with Silicon Valley-based company Autonomic with plans to develop an open, cloud-based mobility service platform called the "Transportation Mobility Cloud," Smart Cities Dive reported.
- The platform's main objective is to enable "transportation modes" in cities — channels that allow personal vehicles, ride-share services, bike-sharing networks, delivery services, buses and trains — to communicate travel details and traffic information, among other relevant facts.
- Accordingly, Autonomic will be developing cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, to allow "vehicles, stoplights, signs, cyclists and pedestrian devices" to communicate quickly and securely in a major effort to reform our current, ineffective methods of transportation.
Rather than simply develop self-driving vehicles, Ford is taking a more holistic approach to urban transportation, delivery and communication.
Urban supply chains are already seeking alternative methods for last-mile effectiveness, including off-hours delivery, the development of traffic-restricted superblocks, and even resurrecting the taken-for-granted USPS, which has accepted the challenge of adding Sunday delivery to its service offerings.
With efforts like these already in place, Ford's vision of harmonized communication has the potential to raise the potential for success even higher.
Rather than operating independently, the delivery arm of the supply chain could easily join the C-V2X platform, coordinating within the improved system.
Ford says, "We aren't interested in developing self-driving vehicles to operate simply as isolated nodes in a massive transportation environment, because that likely won’t deliver on the potential the technology can bring about. Inside an efficient, connected and optimized transportation system, this technology holds the promise for a whole new approach to moving goods, distributing content and serving humanity."
To succeed in realizing that vision, the supply chain must play a part.