Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge: Can Urban Travel Be Revamped?

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Ford Motor Company announced today during Gamescom a competition that challenges video game developers to create solutions for global mobility issues.

The Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge, developed with Cologne Game Lab, encourages developers to turn the challenge of integrating different transport modes within a city into fun and engaging online games.

Gamescom 2015 – the largest interactive games trade fair in Europe – is taking place this week in Cologne.

Gamification has proven to be an effective way to solve real-life problems in many areas. The learnings from the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge could lead to innovative solutions and new approaches to integrating urban transport, with joined-up door-to-door journeys.

For instance, the games developed could reward participating commuters for successful journeys, based on criteria such as time taken, cost, comfort and convenience. They also could utilise personal data and technology including smartphones and watches.

Five finalists will be chosen by a panel of gaming and mobility experts, including:

  • Bjoern Bartholdy, professor for media design and co-director, Cologne Game Lab
  • Will Farrelly, User Experience Innovation, Ford Smart Mobility, Ford of Europe
  • Tracy Fullerton, director of the USC Games Program and chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division, University of Southern California
  • Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios in Redmond, Washington, U.S.
  • Prof. Paolo Tumminelli, Design Concepts, Köln International School of Design

The winner will receive €10,000 and the opportunity to show their work at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ford has embraced gamification to accelerate the development of autonomous technologies and to enhance the Ford ownership experience.

Ford also is using gaming elements while developing MoDe:Link, the prototype journey-planning app that is part of the Handle on Mobility electric bike experiment.

Games could reward commuters for walking or cycling in good weather, and connect them to services beyond public transport, such as Ford's GoDrive car-sharing service. By encouraging commuters to take underutilized routes, games also could help ease congestion.

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Story first published: Thursday, August 6, 2015, 16:08 [IST]
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