Gamers Deliver Fresh Perspective on Mobility with Ford

Gamers Deliver Fresh Perspective on Mobility with Ford



Online games that encourage commuters to nurture avatars, take selfie challenges and meet new travel companions are among the six finalists in the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge; a competition inviting developers to create game concepts that could inspire real-life solutions to global mobility issues.

Ford and Cologne Game Lab hosted a 30-hour Smart Mobility Hackathon at the Clash of Realities international digital games conference in Cologne, Germany, Nov. 3-4, to decide the two remaining finalists for the Challenge that was first announced in August at Gamescom – the largest interactive games trade fair in Europe.

The Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge, developed with Cologne Game Lab, encourages developers to turn the integration of different transport modes within a city into fun and engaging online games. During the Smart Mobility Hackathon, developer teams were challenged to create game concepts linked to at least one of three diversifiers: augmented reality, Barcelona, and smartwatch. You can view a video of what happened here

Gamification has proven to be an effective way to solve real-life problems in many areas, including the search for a cure for AIDS, and the learnings from the Challenge could lead to innovative solutions and new approaches to integrating urban transport and encouraging positive commuter behaviour.

“Gaming enables people to access data in a fun, engaging and rewarding way, and by encouraging people to share data, gaming offers the potential for better planning of personal journeys, and more seamless, less stressful travel,” said Will Farrelly, user experience innovation, Ford Smart Mobility, Ford of Europe. “The fresh perspectives and innovative ideas delivered by developers through the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge demonstrate the potential for gaming to have a hugely positive impact on the next generation of transport solutions.”

The six Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge finalists that will go on to compete for €17,500 in prizes including a €10,000 top prize are:

  • deCommute – a route-planning game, with users competing in teams to reach milestones such as distance travelled, and also earning  points for adventurous, energy- and time-efficient journeys
  • ECO Saviour – a multiplayer game that rewards players for reducing smog levels in a virtual version of their city by awarding “pollution points” based on how they travel in the real world
  • Jaunt – an interactive tool that matches users with travel companions for regular commutes and spur-of-the-moment outings, to save money, make new friends and travel safely
  • moopi – a Smart Mobility Hackathon-winning app concept that enables users to nurture a “moopi” avatar by adapting their journeys to make the most efficient use of the road network
  • SelfieGo – a selfie-challenge app that livens up commutes with a GPS-enabled map that shows the optimal route to take selfies at a city’s major attractions, and enables them to be shared on social media
  • wave-calmer – a Smart Mobility Hackathon-winning concept that turns traffic jams into a game by encouraging drivers to maintain a steady speed using graphics projected on to the windscreen, helping traffic move more smoothly and preventing accidents

The Challenge finalists have until Jan. 11, 2016, to develop their concepts. The jury will select three projects to be presented to an international audience of experts at Mobile World Congress on Feb. 22, 2016, where the winning team will be announced and will have its work presented.

Farrelly delivered a keynote address on harnessing the power of gaming to help keep cities moving, at the Clash of Realities conference, and also is one of the judges of the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge, alongside: Prof. Björn Bartholdy, Cologne Game Lab; Tracy Fullerton, USC Games Program; Prof. Paolo Tumminelli, Cologne International School of Design; and Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director, Turn 10 Studios.

At the beginning of the year, Ford unveiled its Smart Mobility plan to help change the way the world moves through innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.

Ford continues to play an active role in the tech and developer community to drive innovation. The SYNC AppLink Challenge Dublin – won by Drive Efficient – was held at leading technology conference Web Summit in Dublin on Nov. 2, and follows successful SYNC developer events in Australia, Brazil, China, Israel and the U.S.

Ford also has embraced gamification to accelerate the development of autonomous technologies and to enhance the Ford ownership experience. Ford’s SmartGauge technology rewards drivers for fuel- and energy-efficient driving, and the MyFord Mobile app enables drivers to remotely manage the charging of their electric vehicles and shows CO2 savings as exercise balls or hot-air balloons. Ford also is using gaming elements in developing MoDe:Link, the prototype journey-planning app that is part of the Handle on Mobility electric bike experiment.