LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As L.A. continues to grow, so do our transportation challenges, whether it be traffic or expanding public transit to serve the entire city. The solutions could lie in new technology, some of which was on display at Ford's City of Tomorrow Symposium in L.A.'s art district.
"As people move into cities they don't necessarily want to drive around in a car, they want to have options. So, what we've been doing is really investing in partnering with cities all over the country, the world and now in L.A. to explore how do we work together to envision what that future looks like and what Ford's role is within it," said Aniela Kuzon, the founder and global lead of Ford's City:One Innovation.
"Ford really needs to be thinking about the future, I think any company does, but especially a company that is so responsible for the way that we move. The way the country runs, and has been a big part of the past and wants to be a part of the future," said Austin Stanion, a UCLA PhD student in urban planning and transportation.
At Ford's City of Tomorrow, Stanion and other SoCal grad students met with industry leaders to discuss autonomous vehicles, clean energy solutions and solving the first mile last mile conundrum. The e-scooter company Spin, which Ford owns, is working with cities first before popping up on the streets. They've partnered with Swiftmile's charging docking station.
"We're not saying you need to go to a dock based system, but in highly trafficked areas, and this is where cities are really cracking down, there need to be some order to the chaos," said Colin Roche, the founder and CEO of Swiftmile.
Ford is investing heavily in autonomous vehicles and if you were to use one as a delivery truck, the digit robot is docked in the back of the vehicle and it would deliver a package to a person doorstep.
"It's certainly not in any immediate time frame going to be replacing people. It will be a supplement. Right now other than pulling a cart behind you or using a dolly, there are not many agile things that can follow you up flights of steps or assist with tasks like that," said Damion Shelton, the CEO and co-founder of Agility Robotics.
This is proof that the future is already here.
L.A. traffic: From Robots to e-scooters, could new technology solve L.A.'s traffic problem?