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Ford employee designs Carr-E to solve 'last mile' commute

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Ford has unveiled a possible solution to the last mile commute in busy city centres, with its Carr-E personal transportation system.

The concept was designed by Kilian Vas, a Ford systems engineer from Cologne, Germany. It was among 633 proposals dreamt up by Ford employees from around the world as part of a challenge to create future mobility solutions for urban areas.

The Carr-E can transport people, or objects up to 120kg, has a range of 14 miles and a top speed of 11mph. It is designed to fit neatly into the boot space usually occupied by a car’s spare wheel.

“We really need to reinvent the wheel to find new approaches to mobility. When developing the Carr-E, I was inspired by Ford’s expansion into both an auto and a mobility company, but I’m also aware of how rapidly cities are growing and how getting around urban areas will become progressively more complicated. I really wanted to create a device that makes commuting easier and more fun,” Vas said.

The solution is shortlisted for the innovation challenge finals alongside the TriCiti – a folding electric tricycle that can easily be adapted into a shopping cart, stack trolley or golf buggy; and the eChair concept – an electric wheelchair that can be autonomously loaded into a vehicle.

Ford’s Last Mile Mobility Challenge was set up to develop electric personal assistant devices that will help to make transportation better in areas where vehicles are not permitted or practical, and which help people to get to their final destination from their car.

Walter Pijls, supervisor, Innovation Management for Mobility, Ford of Europe: “Innovation and disruption is as much at the heart of how our engineers think now, as it was when Henry Ford first set about transforming the way we move, personal assistant devices can help people to cover the final kilometres of their journey quickly and easily, and to transport heavy objects they might not be able to carry.”

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