Ford: Automotive Industry Must Prepare To Rethink Transportation

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
ford automotive industry must prepare to rethink transportation

Sharing the pages of The Wall Street Journal’s 125th Anniversary issue with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Summers and Taylor Swift, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. sees a future for the automotive industry so bright, he’ll need to wear shades.

The chairman wrote in his op-ed for the paper that the automobile will become “part of a larger ecosystem,” and the industry must act accordingly. He explains that this challenge “represents a $130 billion business opportunity” to develop solutions to growing transportation concerns, such as a vehicle’s interactions with a city’s multi-modal infrastructure as a result of more people moving back into cities.

Ford also believes ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are signalling a shift from individual ownership, going as far as to proclaim the practice “may not be the primary model of vehicle ownership in the future.” He adds that future vehicles will be heavily connected with each other for high optimization of his future transportation ecosystem, noting the early phases of the connected car are already in existence.

Finally, the chairman states driving itself will need to be redefined thanks to autonomous vehicles taking the wheel — or lack thereof, in Google’s case — from the driver in more and more situations. In turn, drivers who would have handed over their keys in their twilight years would now have more time and greater mobility through autonomous technologies, as well as those with physical disabilities.

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  • #1 Ride-sharing is a layer of personal transportation, but the simple fact is, most people LOVE their cars and will not share them, downgrade or "have less" if they feel they can afford more. #2 Highly technological communications between cars and infrastructure are eventually gonna happen, but it's gonna take a long time and trillions of dollars that we are currently wasting in war and entitlements. AT CURRENT we have bridges collapsing, more traffic than ever before, underdeveloped rail services and an infrastructure that's so dilapidated no one wants to invest in America anymore beyond building a few factories so they can build their cars cheaper due to the weak dollar. DETROIT is the future of America. Out of control entitlements, stagflation lack of jobs, lack of opportunity, welfare... If only we had an benevolent dictator with American Protectionism at heart. It DISGUSTS ME to look at our borders. It DISGUSTS ME to look at our roads. It DISGUSTS ME to look at our economy. Who will rise to restore American exceptionalism?

    • See 4 previous
    • TW5 TW5 on Jul 09, 2014

      @28-Cars-Later Financial sustainability kills people. That might fly in low-income areas and nursing homes, but no lucid, educated American is going to subscribe to your doctrine.

  • Potemkin Potemkin on Jul 09, 2014

    Henry Ford felt you should be able to afford what you build so he paid his workers well and kept the price of his cars low. Today's Ford and other cars company's are pushing wages down while they push prices up. For a lot of people post "The Crash" car ownership isn't financially prudent. The problem for the manufacturers is that if 10 people buy cars that are driven 2 hours a day they sell 10 cars but if it becomes cheaper to use Uber et al they only sell 1 car and it's driven 20 hours a day.

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Jul 09, 2014

    Seems like a challenging future for a pickup truck company, although they are almost w/o peer when it comes to fleet sales.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jul 09, 2014

    Only 13 comments and I'm speechless.... well metaphorically I am. How does one try to use intelligence to answer the unintelligible?