Ford, Uber and Lift Announce Data Partnership To Improve City Transportation

Ford Motor Company has announced a partnership with the world’s two most prominent ride-hailing companies — Uber and Lyft — that sets out to improve transportation and mobility in urban areas through a commitment to sharing transportation data.

The three companies will work with cities using a data platform call SharedStreets, which helps connect private sector companies and cities to find urban mobility solutions. SharedStreets helps share information between public and private sector organizations, which Ford says will help manage curb space, reduce congestion, reduce vehicle emissions and improve the efficiency of streets in urban communities.

Ford will develop a universal data standard for “real-time curb demand and availability” as part of the partnership. Uber will work to produce the “first-ever freely available set of vehicle driving speeds,” which can help cities identify hazardous streets where people speed or engage in other dangerous driving habits. As part of the partnership, Lyft will produce a model for curb usage data that city leaders can use to determine where curbside drop-offs and pick-ups are in highest demand so they can work to minimize congestion.

Ford says the partnership will provide more resources for city planning, which could ultimately result in more efficient result in more efficient transportation, if successful.

“The partnership gives mayors unparalleled access to road traffic data, allowing them to make better planning and investment decisions as shared and autonomous mobility arrive in their cities,” Ford said in a statement. “The agreement also fills a long-missing link for mobility companies, providing a common standard for sharing data across all cities, where local requirements currently vary widely.”

The partnership was announced at the second annual Bloomberg GLobal Business Forum in New York City, a fitting venue since SharedStreets is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said the partnership offers an opportunity for both the public and private sectors to inject new life into transportation.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for business and government to work together to rethink transportation,” he said in a statement. “Collaborating through initiatives such as Shared Streets will enable us to use vehicles, road systems and data together to create a new roadmap for mobility. We are working toward a future where all cities are smart and curb space is actively managed, increasing efficiency and safety, while reducing driver stress and pollution.”

Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013, said the partnership is a shining example of how government and business should work together.

“Ride-share and auto companies have been gathering an enormous amount of data on transportation and traffic. Now, cities will be able use it to find new ways to manage congestion, reduce carbon emissions, prevent traffic crashes, and prepare for the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a great example of how governments and businesses can work together to solve tough problems and build a better world - and I want to thank all the companies that are taking part.”

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