Ford wants to turn commuting into a game with its Smart Mobility Game Challenge

2015 Ford Focus
Ford thinks gamification could help streamline people’s commutes, and it’s calling on game developers to try to make that happen.

The car company from Dearborn, Michigan, went to Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, to launch the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge. Brewed up with Cologne Game Lab, it calls on developers to create games that can show ways of integrating different transportation modes.

Ford hopes it can glean insight into how to connect different forms of transportation, such as public transit, cycling, and its own cars, to identify the most efficient door-to-door journey for a given situation. It believes gamification might be one way to encourage people to fully consider all of their options.

Potential games could, for example, reward commuters based on criteria like time taken for a journey, cost, comfort, and convenience, Ford says. The company also suggests that these games could use personal data harvested from smartphones and other devices.

Other possibilities include games that reward commuters for walking or cycling in appropriate weather, that connect users to car-sharing services like Ford’s own European GoDrive, or that encourage people to take under-utilized routes, which Ford claims might help ease congestion in cities.

Ford will pick five finalists, whose games will be judged by a panel of experts. The winner will receive 10,000 euros ($10,887), and an opportunity to show their game at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The game challenge is the latest manifestation of Ford’s “Smart Mobility Plan,” a wide-reaching effort to cultivate what the company sees as relevant technologies and trends, including self-driving cars, increased connectivity, and alternatives to ownership like car-sharing services.

The ongoing first phase of the Smart Mobility effort includes 25 experiments being conducted in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa focusing on those areas. End products are expected to include Ford’s first production self-driving car.


Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.