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Bill Ford: Smart Mobility is About Improving Lives, Increasing Access

When it comes to improving lives, Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., has big plans for the automaker. Specifically, Ford said he envisions more investment in services like ride-sharing, which he said will play a larger role in the company’s long-term growth.

During a keynote address at the Forum, Ford also shared how automakers must begin to think differently about how cars are made and utilized.

“Everything has changed, that is what this entire forum is about,” said Ford. “Everything is being disrupted – from the power transmission to even the way we build vehicles.”

Embracing the looming change, Ford stressed the importance of nurturing relationships with startups that help contribute to solving complex mobility problems such as efficiently moving people from Point A to Point B and reducing human error on roadways. In 2009, Ford created Fontinalis Partners, an investment fund, to further support the growth of technology companies focused on mobility solutions.

Ford said mobility also has its place in helping improve lives in urban areas in developing countries — an area he is particularly passionate about.

“It becomes a social rights issue when people can’t get to food, jobs or opportunities due to a lack of mobility,” he said. “I think we can use mobility solutions to make people’s lives better even as populations grow.”

Despite varying agendas and the historic competitive nature of automakers, suppliers and technology startups – Ford called for more public and private collaboration across sectors.

“We all have to work together; this is bigger than one company or one institute,” he said. “It is going to need OEMs and startups – this is ‘all-hands on deck’ to ensure a safer and better future of mobility.”


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