Bill Ford Sees a Future in Public Transit
While Ford's North American CEO Mark Fields is prognosticating that electric-drive vehicles, from hybrids to pure electrics, could comprise as much as 25% of the company's sales by 2020, the grandson of the founder apparently also sees a promising future for public transit, not in the vehicles themselves, but in supporting digital technology; in this case a company called Masabi, based on London.
Masabi's lead product is called JustRide. Writing on Gigaom, Kevin Fitchard describes it this way:
a cloud-based end-to-end ticketing platform that allows riders to purchase, manage and store transit tickets and passes in their mobile phones. Users can buy tickets from an app in their smartphones rather than wait in ticket lines. For train systems with conductors, the tickets show up as animated watermarks easily identified by ticket takers. For automated ticket systems, the app will display a QR code that will get you through the turnstile.
As Fitchard points out, Bill Ford, Jr. is also a champion of vehicle-to-vehicle communications to improve traffic management. His firm's investment in digital ticketing to expedite transit use appears to be very much in keeping with his strong environmental philosophy.
Masabi already has contracts with 13 European transit agencies and just recently added Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to its list of clients.
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