As cities become smarter, new challenges are arising for mobility solutions. Shifting perceptions of vehicle ownership are leading to changes in public transportation, infrastructure and the way in which vehicles in the city are aligned.\n\nCities are being challenged by growing populations, which puts a strain on existing infrastructure and the resultant congestion caused by increased traffic flow. Within the next 40 years, an estimated two-thirds of the world's population are expected to live in a city. For Ford, this presents new challenges; the company's original intention was to drive human progress through mobility, says Sarah-Jayne Williams, the OEM's Director for Smart Mobility in Europe - but that was a strategy developed a century ago, well before congestion had reached anywhere near current levels.\n\nWilliams leads a European team tasked with identifying and developing innovative mobility solutions that enable Ford to remain relevant in an automotive industry that is rapidly evolving from ownership to 'usership'. Based in London, Williams is keenly aware of the challenges of worsening congestion.\u00a0In London alone, a population increase of just two million people would equate, she notes, \u00a0to approximately six million extra car journeys every day.\n\nAn important aspect of Ford's Smart Mobility strategy is the software platform off which much of its initiatives operate. In early 2018, Ford Smart Mobility acquired Autonomic, the first open Cloud-based mobility platform which looks to connect and empower the mobility systems of the future. As Amar Varma, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Autonomic, explains, \u201cWe recognise our responsibilities in terms of the environmental performance of vehicles going forward, and we also recognise the move towards zero emission vehicles.\u201d Congestion is a major concern not only for the frustration it causes and the time it wastes, but also the emissions and wasted fuel; as a result, low and zero emissions vehicles are a crucial aspect of Ford's approach to smart cities.\n\n\n\nTimo M\u00f6ller,\u00a0Head of McKinsey's Center for Future Mobility, speaking in a recent Greenstreetsoftware.info webinar entitled The smart car in the smart city, cautioned that a \u201ccriticism of smart cities is when things are thrown at cities without tailoring it to the needs of the actual location.\u201d While the may be little in the way of commonality between any one city and another, the fundamental issues of infrastructure, congestion and traffic control remain common to all. This allows companies with a global impact such as Ford to create generalised yet flexible solutions that can be applied across multiple markets.\n\nAs a result, many of the new smart mobility solutions are being designed to act as a partner to existing transport, rather than as a replacement. As M\u00f6ller explained, \u201cShared mobility complements existing systems, which consist of private ownership and public transit. Now we have something in the middle.\u201d This could help to address the issue of congestion, as well as wait times for public transport. Offering services such as ride-hailing, where customers are often guaranteed a seat, acts as an incentive for reducing the use of personal vehicles. This ultimately reduces congestion and has the potential to reduce emissions, especially when the services use low or zero emissions vehicles.\n\nImplementing the necessary infrastructure to include smart mobility in smart cities is crucial to the proper utilisation of these developments. Jessica Robinson, Director of City Solutions within Ford's Smart Mobility division, wants to see that \u201ccities are not designed around automobiles, but that they take into account the people that live there. Infrastructure has the chance to bring this to life.\u201d\n\nThis may sound like a monumental challenge, but future mobility success may not require a drastic transition; integration that propels cities into the future without causing major disruptions to existing systems will allow familiarity without reshaping a city's fundamental structure. As M\u00f6ller and Williams both have underlined, collaboration is essential for the success of mobility. The growing number of partnerships between the industry and cities highlights that the future of the industry is bigger than any one sector, company or organisation and requires as much collaborative effort as possible.