A new Ford Motor Company pilot program aims to enhance mobility health services in rural areas of South Africa and Nigeria.
Ford Project Better World brings together multiple organizations such as World Vision South Africa, and social entrepreneurs to deliver health education, medication, nutrition and basic services to thousands of underserved people in remote areas. The services will be accessed using enhanced mobility and connectivity technologies from Ford vehicles. Ford Project Better World is detailed in the automaker’s 17th annual Sustainability Report, released today.
At Ford, we are looking beyond the traditional role vehicles play in society and are aggressively pursuing solutions to address the human challenges faced around the globe. Those challenges take us to remote areas where we can use advanced vehicle and connectivity technologies to change people’s lives and make the world a better place.—Bill Ford, executive chairman
Two modified Ford Rangers will work as mobile clinics to deliver health services, dispense medication for chronic conditions, and monitor the growth of children in South Africa. The information gathered will aid agencies in tracking the health of children and help with protective services.
Each truck is equipped with connectivity technologies including a dual-battery management system that powers a video projector, mobile refrigerator, tablet computer and other equipment to enable child healthcare, protection and gender-based violence awareness campaigns.
In Nigeria, Ford is working with Riders for Health to strengthen healthcare access by training the group’s technicians to maintain their motorcycles, four-wheeled vehicles and trucks in order to deliver medical professionals and supplies to people in rural areas and extend the amount of time vehicles are in service.
The vehicles will be equipped with sensors and Ford’s OpenXC technology to collect data designed to make Riders for Health work more efficiently. OpenXC technology will also help create the first accurate maps of remote areas of the West African nation.
Ford Motor Company and its philanthropic arm, Ford Fund, have worked for decades on multiple projects globally to advance human welfare; Project Better World is the latest example.
Mobility and electrification. The 2015-16 Sustainability Report highlights key environmental benchmarks and the ongoing work of the automaker, including its expanded focus beyond vehicle production to developing mobility solutions for the future.
Earlier this year, the automaker created Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a new subsidiary to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services using existing Ford innovations, products and technologies. (Earlier post.)
Ford has unveiled a number of new technologies to help people stay better connected behind the wheel. Its latest, FordPass—an innovative consumer experience platform (earlier post)—will offer such services as remote vehicle access through a smartphone app, and mobility solutions such as parking and car sharing.
Ford is collaborating with startups and tech companies to design and build mobility services. Early this month, Ford and Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit introduced its 2016 class of startup businesses that will develop future mobility solutions. Launched in 2015, the mentorship-driven accelerator program supports a dozen startups annually that are working on ride-sharing services and technologies, improving the car-ownership experience, and safety and autonomous-driving technologies.
In the past 16 months, the company has conducted more than 30 global mobility experiments to gain insight into changing consumer transportation preferences. Several ongoing pilot programs include GoPark, which is building a predictive parking system in London capable of directing drivers to streets where they are most likely to find a space; also in London is GoDrive, a car-sharing program that provides vehicles with guaranteed parking at busy locations. At the Ford World Headquarters campus in Dearborn, the Dynamic Shuttle program allows employees and visitors to summon point-to-point rides on-demand.
Ford, the top seller of plug-in hybrid vehicles in the US, has also announced an expansion of its research and development in Europe and Asia. Investing $4.5 billion, the automaker plans to add 13 electrified vehicles to its portfolio, making 40% of its nameplates electrified products by 2020. (Earlier post.) Ford will also spend $2.1 million on a state-of-the-art facility at the University of Michigan to boost research and development of advanced battery technology. (Earlier post.)The automaker has consistently reduced its global water usage per vehicle produced for several years. Carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle produced has also improved. Numerous Ford facilities send no waste to landfills.
Ford is the only automaker named to the World’s Most Ethical Company list by Ethisphere Institute for seven consecutive years. Ford earned an “A” for its work to conserve water by CDP, the world’s only global environmental disclosure agency. And earlier this month, the company won the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council award for its innovative Partnership for A Cleaner Environment program. PACE aims to help company suppliers minimize their impact on the environment by sharing details of Ford’s best practices for water, energy and carbon dioxide reduction.