Open Innovation Solutions to Get the World Moving

Published Jan-12-15

A demonstration of the ability of open innovation to deliver outstanding innovations. Ford Motor Company’s OI contest selects novel solutions for transport issues around the globe.

Ford Motor Company, United States

The Story:

Open Innovation Solutions to Get the World Moving Whether we’re talking about high fuel costs, congested freeways or polluted cities, there are clearly many transport issues across the globe.

Ford Motor Company believes that as our world becomes more interconnected, we must adapt our approach to mobility to resolve these problems. To ask the right kind of questions and to get the right sort of answers, it has turned to open innovation.

Through a series of crowd sourcing contests, the Innovate Mobility Challenge was seeking solutions that will make mobility better - economically, socially and environmentally.

Innovate to Get Moving

The initiative is an integral part of Ford Smart Mobility, the company's far reaching program for innovations in mobility. It was outlined by Ford's President and CEO Mark Fields in his address at the 2015 International CES, the global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show.

Developing Solutions

Participants visit the specially created web portal where there are a number of challenges faced by different regions. Ford worked with local experts to determine the mobility needs of each area and to frame the challenges. For example:

How can real-time data be used to deliver goods and services in congested streets like those in Lisbon, Portugal?

How can mobility be used to extend the reach of healthcare in rural regions of Tamil Nadu, India?

Open Innovation Winners

In early 2015, the company announced the winners of 11 challenges that spanned the globe and included Africa, Europe, China and India.

Among the winning solutions were:

Mumbai Monsoon Helper - an app to help stranded commuters in Mumbai, India during the monsoon season. The app comprises up-to-date weather information for the region with news of the severity of flooding and crowdsourced information. The software program was developed by developed by Khyati Majmudar from India.

Crowd Park - a crowdsourced private and public parking app that provides real-time alerts for when spots become available in Los Angeles. The app was developed by Liam Ronan from the United States.

MultiModal Transportation Platform - a smart routing system for China that provides fuel efficient and pollution-reducing travel options. It was developed by Clyde Wallace from the United States.

Urban Shuttle - two types of electricity powered shuttles to increase the efficiency of public and private transport in the traffic clogged streets of Argentina. The project was developed by Gabriel Minutella and Melina Nikiel from Argentina.

Open Innovation Potential

"One of the most thrilling aspects of the mobility challenges has been watching people come together from all over the world,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “To see people in the United States getting involved with finding solutions in India or China, and vice versa, is a remarkable demonstration of what an environment of open innovation can accomplish.”

More than $200,000 was awarded to help winners realize their mobility solutions.

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