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Ford Motor Company Using Motorcycle Data To Gain New Insights

Yesterday, we were made privy to a lot of new information regarding Ford Motor Company’s “Smart Mobility” vision for the future, including how the automaker is using data and analytics to get a better picture of mobility difficulties and needs around the globe.

Part of that is a new data sensor for two-wheeled motor vehicles being employed by healthcare workers in rural west Africa.

Ford Motor Company has been using an interface known as “OpenXC” to gather vehicle data from a number of different experiments for over a year. While it started off a car-specific technology, collecting data like GPS location and vehicle speed, OpenXC was later extended to bicycles, and now, motorcycles and dirt bikes. That’s especially important for international non-profit Riders for Health, as it means that the group’s entire fleet in The Gambia can now collect potentially helpful data relating to the difficulties faced on a daily basis.

Due to a lack of reliable roads in The Gambia, the group of healthcare workers known as Riders for Health use a fleet comprising Ford Ranger mid-size pickups, and motorcycles. Ford Motor Company has already gathered and analyzed data from the Ranger half of the fleet; with this new extension of OpenXC, the automaker can begin to help the motorcycle portion of the Riders’ fleet, as well. Ford’s new sensor kit will be fitted to a total of 50 motorcycles early next year.

“Our goal is to understand what mobility means to people who don’t have access to their own vehicles,” said Ford Research Analyst and Project Lead Arthur Zysk. “Ford’s commitment to smart mobility innovation is driving real, measurable change.”

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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