Artificial intelligence has established more and more of a place in auto technology, and car manufacturers are wasting little time taking advantage. Take, for example, Ford’s newest initiative: Ford City Insights. It aims to improve urban driving conditions by using AI to monitor behaviour of cars and pedestrians on the road. Using data about parking, traffic, safety and transit, it helps urban planners visualize how a city’s transportation ecosystem can be improved.
While this technology remains relatively new, it’s nonetheless an intriguing example of how AI is changing the way we drive. After being tested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, City Insights is set to expand to six more cities. Here’s what those entering the auto industry need to know.
The AI Technology Aims to Solve Various Types of Issues on the Road
As mentioned, Ford City Insights is programmed with the aim of improving road and transportation conditions in urban communities through the use of data and technology. It can analyze road problems as various as where car accidents are likeliest to happen, whether enough parking spots are available in a certain town or city, and which roads are best suited for certain types of vehicles (eg. scooters). To do this, City Insights uses sources like police reports and traffic cameras to collect and interpret data in ways that weren’t previously possible.
Using these sources for this type of data has already shown results. Ann Arbor, for example, decided against constructing a new parking structure after Ford City Insights showed that there were already enough parking spaces available within the city to accommodate its everyday traffic flow. Instead, the city focused on how they could better direct drivers to spaces that are already in place. Those in auto technology school will be intrigued by how this type of technology allows cities and transportation officials to analyze solutions that can better improve conditions on their roads.
Auto Technology School Students Should Know The Project’s Six Major Focus Areas
If you plan on pursuing the more technological side of the industry in your auto career, systems like these could be the way of the future. Ford’s City Insights could potentially have a significant impact on a number of issues affecting mobility in urban areas. Specifically, the Ford City Insights project is zeroing in on six areas: safety, parking, commutes, transits, livability, and micromobility (the latter meaning bikes and scooters, for example). With each focus area, data and detailed analytics are used to find gaps and put forward solutions that can best meet the needs of a city.
Another important part of City Insights is its City Insights Studio. With this initiative, a 3D-printed model of the city is laid on top of maps on LCD screens. This allows analysts to better visualize transportation and mobility issues through an interactive model of the city. Through this increased visualization, city officials can then more easily identify potential solutions.
While City Insights has so far only been tested in Ann Arbor, it is set to expand to Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Other unnamed cities are also in negotiations with Ford to bring City Insights to their communities.
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