Ford sees itself at center of transportation 'cloud'

Jim Hackett Ford CEO during his CES keynote

Jim Hackett Ford CEO during his CES keynote

For Hackett, who has now been in the top post 220 days, the focus was on smart cities of the future and Ford's role in realising them.

The Transportation Mobility Cloud is an open, cloud-based platform for mobility services to support the transportation system in cities so that any mode of transportation, whether vehicles, bicycles or mass transit, can work together. The companies are offering this cloud as a framework for cities to create systems in which every piece of technology - from buses and self-driving cars, to the infrastructure of the traffic system itself - speaks the same language.

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The recently appointed boss of the Detroit marque said the design of global cities was out-dated and have reached congestion capacity.

President and CEO Jim Hackett delivers a keynote address at CES 2018 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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"At its most basic level CV2X is a two way conversation", said Don Butler, Ford's executive director of connected vehicle and services, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Ford is partnering with Qualcomm to develop technology to connect cars to each other and to the world around them in the hope of easing congestion and adding other services for passengers. The automaker has chosen a city, but is not disclosing it Tuesday. Teaming with Autonomic, a company that Ford invested in a year ago, will help it ramp quickly since the Palo Alto company's staff has lots of experience building platforms intended for integration on a broad scale, including Amazon Web Services.

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Since taking over Ford last May, Hackett has steered Ford to rethink what mobility means to a company rooted in human-piloted automobiles. Hackett talked about Ford's City of Tomorrow, which he said will re-imagine how our streets and cities function. Then just three months into his job as CEO, Hackett said industry leaders and the news media had the narrative wrong: Using autonomous vehicles exclusively for ride-sharing is is too narrow of a view, he said.

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