2% of world’s land mass inhabits 70% of its population. Ford ‘City Of Tomorrow’ presents a blueprint for connected mobility in the near future for our cities.
As the world celebrates #ZeroEmissionsDay and renews their resolve to be more conscious of their consumption, a conversation is starting to take place that evaluates the health of our most populous cities.
Our cities have become notoriously over-crowded and congested. While the sad state of affairs in prestigious cities like Mumbai & Delhi might dominate headlines on prime time news bulletins, the state of most other urban areas in India tells a frighteningly similar story.
It was this context that made Ford India’s ‘City of Tomorrow’ symposium on 20th September in New Delhi especially relevant.
I spent the day gaining incredible insight into Ford Motor Company’s ambitious and scientific blueprint for urban spaces of the future.
Connected, Shared and Electric were the three biggest takeaways for the ‘City of Tomorrow’ symposium.
Transport systems in the near future will have to be an integrated system of smart cars talking to each other and communicating critical data with other city wide systems. We can no longer enjoy reckless indulgence if our cities have to be stopped from failing completely. A combination of conducive government policies, private infrastructure and citizen’s sensitivity is required to bring this grand plan of ‘City of Tomorrow’ to any fruition.
Amitabh Kant, the CEO of Niti Aayog spoke about Indian cities getting a massive makeover in terms of technology adaption and capacity upgradation with mass transit systems like Metro.
There was also an extremely immersive VR exhibit of Ford’s autonomous driving tech called LIDAR that let a viewer see what a smart car sees.
What is interesting is that Ford is not just focussing on getting more cars on the road, but is making strategic investments in the area of future of mobility. They have invested in self-driving car service Zoomcar and are opening a Smart Mobility Innovation Hub in Chennai. They are also treating the city of Indore as a pilot project for the vision of ‘City of Tomorrow’.
The symposium also brought the original TED Talks to India and through a variety of speakers presented a beautiful vision of an inspiring future for our cities and its inhabitants.
More importantly, Ford’s City of Tomorrow was a platform with relevant conversations involving all possible stakeholders involved.