Ford chief executive Mark Fields announced today that his car company is experimenting with ways to solve parking problems in major cities.
Ford is creating experimental apps that allow people to find nearby parking spots and recommendations for the best one to try to get first. There’s also an experiment in social collaboration, where residents in an area can reserve a parking spot in crowded neighborhoods.
“We don’t think these experiments will produce a single solution,” Fields said. But the company wants the ideas to flow. Fields made the announcement as part of a keynote talk at the 2015 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.
Fields also highlighted the work others are doing to create new transportation solutions to make people’s lives better.
An app dubbed Crowd Park will suggest the cheapest and most convenient parking lot. If you find a lot but there is a cheaper lot around the corner, it could tell you that. Another app is Parkopedia, which chronicles information on millions of parking lots and spots in the U.S.
Ford has 16 partnerships with universities and research institutes to study mobility as part of its larger Smart Mobility Challenge. Fixing parking is a big deal because cities are going to get more crowded. Fields said that predictions show that we will see the global middle class grow from 2 billion to 4 billion by 2030, and that the number of cities with more than 10 million people will grow from 28 to 41 by 2030.