Imagine living in a world where flying taxis are a reality and are being used as commonly as an Ola or Uber today. A connected world which would be capable of moving independent of human intervention. The coming of such a world is imminent, and this calls for brainstorming and ideating, which is exactly what happened in Delhi earlier today.
Ford Motor Company organized the City of Tomorrow Symposium, gathering opinion leaders, academicians, innovators, policy makers and TED speakers to share ideas on creating a better tomorrow, with a focus on mobility.
Amitabh Kant, the CEO of Niti Aayog, who was one of the main speakers at the event brought out a fact that big cities occupy only 3% of the earth's landmass, but generate more than 80% of the total pollution. One of the major contributors to the high pollution levels is vehicular pollution, and congestion in major cities.
Further Adding to the problem is the fact that, the aspiration of most middle class families is to have a car of their own, which when achieved, would bring millions of cars onto the roads which are already clogged up. The challenge here is to keep that growth going while keeping it environmentally sustainable.
Amitabh Kant went on to say, "Forums like the City of Tomorrow are crucial in kick-starting conversations that will help find solutions for the difficult issues our cities will face in the coming years." With the kind of thoughts and ideas brought to the table by the speakers at the symposium, solutions to the issues of the future do not seem far off.
The City of Tomorrow Symposium started off with a panel discussion involving Amitabh Kant and Rajendra Rao, the CEO of Ford Smart Mobility LLC. Topics for the same involved challenges of urbanization with specific focus on India, growth opportunities, etc.
The panel discussion was followed by a TED talk, which brought out ideas like taking inspiration from the human body's uninterrupted blood flow in designing transportation and mobility systems, having people from rural areas transform technology and become entrepreneurs, etc.
Ford made use of virtual reality technology and computer generated graphics to simulate being in the smart cities of the future.
There were a couple of panel discussions on the City of Tomorrow and how it would function, with opinion leaders including Zoomcar's CEO Greg Moran, Ford's Asia pacific business strategy executive Jeffrey Jones, Boston consulting group's Seema Bansal to name a few discussing infrastructure in future smart cities.
Ford is one of the few major companies at the spearhead of finding solutions towards creating a better tomorrow. The American auto giant has invested in Zoomcar in India to encourage car sharing. Ford is also planning to open a Smart Mobility Innovation hub in Chennai.
Ford even has a dedicated division named Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which is completely focused on green vehicles and mobility of the future. This division has recently started tis operations in the city of Indore, helping the local governing authorities with planning of infrastructure.
A future in which vehicles communicate with, and guide each other, in turn reducing the role of human beings in transportation, while being cleaner and greener, is imminent. The cities of tomorrow will have more green space and more automation than one can imagine.
However, it would take a lot of brainstorming and coordination between big companies and the government to achieve the feat of a truly smart city. It is exactly in this area that events like the Ford City of Tomorrow symposium contributes the most by creating a platform for the people involved in creating such a future.