Ford Motor Company and the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are working together with Microsoft, Dell Technologies, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and other parties to try and come up with new solutions to mobility obstacles through crowdsourcing. The so-called “Pittsburgh City of Tomorrow Challenge” is the result: a crowdsourcing platform to allow residents, businesses, and community groups to propose and pilot new mobility programs that could address Pittsburgh’s existing mobility challenges.
The Ford Pittsburgh City of Tomorrow Challenge is slated to run for eight months, during which time residents, businesses, and groups are invited to provide feedback regarding their own experiences getting around the city. Pittsburgh officials will also solicit ideas for how to supplement existing transportation services, and the program includes $100k in funding for pilot programs to test the best ideas.
“Nobody knows the Steel City better than its own hard-working businesses and community members, which is why we’re reaching out directly to them with the City of Tomorrow Challenge,” says Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “We want to give anyone who’s interested in their city a chance to be a part of finding real solutions to the issues they face every day – and to put those ideas to the test for everyone’s benefit.”
Ford’s “City of Tomorrow” is the automaker’s evolving framework for how urban centers can be made more conducive to efficient mobility using data, automation, alternative propulsion, and other technologies. Ford’s “City Solutions” team plans to work with local governments all around the world in order to give shape to its ideas, and in addition to Pittsburgh, the company is collaborating with officials in San Francisco to try and come up with a custom-tailored mobility approach there.
“No two cities are the same – that’s why we’re committed to really understanding their specific issues and their needs,” says Ford City Solutions VP John Kwant. “With the City of Tomorrow Challenge, our goal is to provide a program and access to technology that makes it easy for cities to engage residents, businesses and other groups in a way that can lead to real solutions.”