As we adapt our cities for the next 100 years, it’s important and thrilling to remind ourselves that this is a rare moment in technology where an innovation can be designed to build community.

If we play our cards right, we can help allow for millions of people to move into cities and keep streets less congested, not more. We can connect people living in transit deserts to the city center for better jobs. We can manage our curbs better, remove parked and idling cars, and instead plant more trees and share fresh air with more in our community.

Building an ecosystem such as this requires the large-scale connection of bits of distinct data that flow from a variety of sources. And those sources — public transportation services, self-driving cars, cyclists and even infrastructure — will need to speak the same language and communicate with each other if we’re to realize the true potential of this type of ecosystem.

The first step along that path is to establish a platform that enables that kind of communication. That’s why Ford is working with Autonomic, a Silicon Valley-based company made up of a team of passionate technologists with broad experience in cloud and distributed systems, as well as mobile and machine learning, to build an open cloud-based platform — the Transportation Mobility Cloud. This platform can manage information flow and basic transactions between a variety of components in the transportation ecosystem — service providers, personal vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, mass transit systems and city infrastructure, including traffic lights and parking locations.

The original article was written by Rich Strader, Ford Vice President, Mobility Product Solutions, and Sunny Madra, Autonomic CEO and can be found here: