Ford’s Go Detroit Mobility Innovation Challenge Is About Detroit, Not Cars
Last June it was revealed that Detroit had the worst transit system in America. While it’s troublesome to hear about mobility and transit problems plaguing any large metro area, it’s particularly disconcerting in a city that was built on automotive transportation. Ford, a keystone to American innovation, technology and manufacturing, and a steward to the Detroit community, quickly responded.
In November, Ford launched the “Go Detroit Mobility Innovation Challenge”. The simple idea was to uncover new ideas in technology and innovation that would help fix Detroit’s transit system and mobility issues for it’s residents.
“To ensure people continue to enjoy freedom of movement, Ford is looking beyond the needs of today and interpreting what mobility will mean to future generations,” Chairman Bill Ford told the Ford Authority. “We’re committed to developing mobility solutions for changing transportation needs worldwide. At the same time, we’re working to bring solutions to our backyard and the metro Detroit community, which is what Go Detroit is helping us accomplish.”
Over 160 ideas were submitted. Semi finalists in the contest worked with city stake holders, Ford mobility experts and the Ford sponsored startup accelerator, “Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit”.
The winners, revealed last week, will get a share of a $60,000 prize provided by Ford. Here are the winners:
Social Entrepreneur Winners:
Cart – Convenient Affordable Reliable Transportation ($15,000): Cart seeks to increase access to grocery stores by connecting them with ride-share companies.
Caravan – However You Go, Together ($7,500): Caravan is focused on delivering greater access to healthcare, education, and employment by improving the needs-based transportation network in Detroit.
Vehicles for Change – Bringing Cars to Low Income Families Full Circle ($3,000): Vehicles for Change is a non-profit that strives to grant greater mobility independence to low-income families by helping them to acquire reliable cars, and providing technical skills training.
App Developer Winners:
Aired.IO – Personal Routing Chatbot to Guide You Through Safer Streets ($15,000): Aired.IO is a web app that plots fast driving routes with fewer accidents. An integrated “chatbot” can answer questions regarding costs associated with the route, distances, and accidents.
Detroit Smart Commute – Don’t Let Commuters Travel Alone and Be Unaccounted For ($7,500): Detroit Smart Commute is an app that lets commuters to communicate their current status and location quickly and easily, helping stranded individuals get help and, with its Project Greenlight integration, find a safe place to rest.
Oodles Rewards – A Smart Journey App That Earns Rewards ($3,000): Oodles Rewards helps Detroiters earn gas money back on their everyday purchases, and keeps tabs on gas prices in the area to help drivers save money on fueling costs.
Quicken Loans, another company committed to the local community in Detroit, recently announced this $1 million dollar startup challenge.
Find out about Ford’s Go Detroit Mobility Innovation Challenge click here.