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Bill Ford Jr.  (Source:
Ford said as the population increases, auto sales will increase, but congested highways will prevent us from traveling/commuting

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) conference today, Bill Ford Jr. addressed his concern regarding future auto congestion in urban areas, which he says could eventually threaten our freedom to commute.

Bill Ford Jr. is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who founded Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903. Before the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1908, many people did not travel more than 25 miles from home. However, having an automobile made further travels possible -- it gave them freedom.

But Bill Ford Jr. said this freedom could be at risk due to increased population, which means increased auto sales and congested highways that could one day limit the number of automobiles that can be sold or used on the roads at a given time.

"What I'm really worried about is the role of the car in the long-term," said Ford. "If we do nothing, it will limit the number of vehicles we can sell. If we can solve this problem of urban mobility, I think there's a great business opportunity for us."

According to LMC Automotive, a consulting firm in Michigan, there are currently 1.2 billion vehicles on the roads globally.

While issues like the environmental impact of vehicles have already been addressed via efforts like the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal that intends to boost fleet wide fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, Ford is moving on to other issues that are not so close to being addressed. His issue of choice is what to do about future traffic jams once the population increases, and urges the mobile technology industry to take action in developing solutions.

Ford already has a few solutions in mind, and they're all communications-based answers. Some are currently being developed, and some are not. For instance, Ford sees cars having radar-based cruise control and blind-spot monitoring systems in five years that allow vehicles to communicate with one another. These systems are currently being developed, where vehicles can "talk" to each other, offering information like the speed of another vehicle nearby. This could potentially avoid fatal crashes. Toyota is just one automaker that discussed the introduction of smart road technology back in 2010. Others like Ford and General Motors have worked to offer better and smarter safety systems as well, but they're mostly crash-based instead of traffic congestion-based.

Ford envisions a future beyond 2025 where cars will drive themselves as close together as possible to use the maximum amount of space on a highway. Vehicles will also do the same in parking lots to make more room for others. In addition, he imagines automakers building smaller cars that can offer additional space for other drivers.

"Even if the technology is there, there's still going to have to be tremendous thought by urban planners," said Ford. "That [driving] freedom has been threatened unless we redefine what personal mobility can be in a congested urbanized world."

Source: The Detroit News

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By retrospooty on 2/27/2012 8:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think we agree on most of what you are saying, its just not a liberal issue to me.

Kind of like with govt. You blame all the overspending on liberals, even though conservatives do it too. I blame all the overspending on our elected officials, rep, dem, lib, con... all of them do it. Its not because they are liberals, its because they are criminally negligent... Or just plain criminals. Call it what you want, it does suck.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 8:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
No it's not a Liberal issue. I'm not saying it is. His tone and words is what makes him one, not where he stands on the issue.

You blame all the overspending on liberals

I don't think that's fair. ALL spending? No. All spending under Obama, most certainly yes.

By retrospooty on 2/27/2012 8:54:47 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, but you use the word liberals like I would use the word "loser" or "dumbass". Its become a bucket for you to throw anything you don't like into. I just think you are losing sight of what Liberal is and putting alot more into it than what is real. Liberals are not what ruined the country. The CRIMINALS we elect and have been electing for decades have ruined our country. They have sold us out. They are reps, dems, libs and cons. They are all of the above, its not just a liberal thing.

I agree with almost all you say, as far as what pisses you off, it pisses me off too... But my point:

"Anyone who demonizes someone for exercising a right freely to the point that they are made out to sound evil, is using the liberal playbook."

No, that isnt in the liberal playbook. That is in the political playbook and its called hypocracy.

"another big liberal trademark, he's admitting his hypocrisy by doing what he attacks others for"

Again, not simply a liberal trait. Reps dems, libs and cons all do this.

By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 9:05:04 PM , Rating: 1
Ya, but you use the word liberals like I would use the word "loser" or "dumbass".

Well of course. Liberal is a 4 letter word :)

No, that isnt in the liberal playbook. That is in the political playbook and its called hypocracy.

Oh come on now. Not even you can believe that. Don't be intentionally naive bud.

Of course anyone can be a hypocrite, but on the typical ideological scale, liberals score higher at being hypocrites. Big time.

It's really hard to be a rich politician living in Washington flying everywhere in private jets or taking limousines, while at the same time railing against the "rich" and demonizing others for not being environmentally friendly enough, and NOT come off like a hypocrite.

Again, not simply a liberal trait. Reps dems, libs and cons all do this.

Again, missing the point. Of course Conservatives can be hypocrites at times. But Liberal Democrats have built an entire national platform on HYPOCRISY! "Do as I say, not as I do" is their slogan.

Liberals are not what ruined the country.

Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

By retrospooty on 2/27/2012 9:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion."

I think we can at least agree on this... The criminal/hypocrite politicians we elect and continue to elect have ruined us.

You call them liberals, I call them politicians, they are all the same to me.

By Spuke on 2/28/2012 5:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
You call them liberals, I call them politicians, they are all the same to me.
This is the boat I'm on.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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