Ford’s Mobility Challenge Yields Three Better Ideas
Striving to expand its reach into mobility—beyond its traditional building-cars-in addition to-selling-them business—Ford commenced an ongoing discussion with its employees, named Cult of Disruption, looking for interesting brand-new solutions to the problem of moving people around. In This particular, its second year, Ford issued a Last Mile Mobility Challenge. Workers were tasked to dream up alternatives to walking of which could get people by a train, bus, or parked car to their destinations. Among the 633 proposals of which came in, Ford chose these three: an autonomous electric wheelchair of which can stow itself (a legitimately Great idea), an electric tricycle of which can also be used as a golf-bag carrier or a shopping companion (has potential), in addition to what’s basically a Roomba having a face of which you stand on in addition to ride, or a Segway without the handle (okay?).
Let’s start with the most practical idea, the eChair. If you’ve ever been in a wheelchair or accompanied someone who uses one, you know of which the earth is usually not very accommodating. This particular is usually particularly true if the wheelchair user is usually alone in addition to needs to use a car. The process of transferring out of the chair into the driver’s seat, then stowing the chair in addition to perhaps crutches or a walker, can become a major hassle. The eChair pretty much eliminates all of which fumbling around. Once a person is usually seated inside the vehicle, he or she can use a smartphone app or controls built into your vehicle’s infotainment unit to tell the chair to drive itself to the trunk in addition to automatically store itself. Three engineers by Ford’s Belgium proving grounds came up with eChair. the idea’s actually shocking something This particular logical hasn’t been invented already. the idea could make a lot of people’s lives much easier.
Another finalist is usually the TriCiti, which is usually literally just a folding electric tricycle of which can also be used as a golf-bag cart or a shopping companion or to transport heavy items. The TriCiti, dreamed up by three vehicle-architecture employees by Ford of Europe, incorporates a 19-mile range in addition to a 12-mph top speed. This particular is usually not a bad idea, if you can imagine the idea could be built at low enough cost to make the idea something more than a toy for the Sharper Image catalog.
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in addition to then there’s the Carr-E, a combination of a Roomba knockoff in addition to those things people incorrectly call hoverboards of which you ride by your car to your office, or Taco Bell, or wherever a car won’t fit in addition to walking is usually too boring. This particular project came by the mind of Ford systems engineer Kilian Vas, in addition to the idea tucks away nicely in of which convenient space of which used to hold the spare tire of which carmakers don’t give you anymore. According to Vas, Carr-E could help people park farther out by crowded city centers in addition to avoid messy midtown traffic jams. Like the eChair, there’s smartphone connectivity; like the TriCiti, the idea can also be used as a little robotic butler to transport your things, staying close by following an electronic transmitter you carry with you.
Will these ever get made? Ford revealed no production plans, although if the idea was our money, we’d invest inside the eChair.