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Ford Vignale Lifestyle the view of a city at day

TIME IS THE JEWEL

MAKING TIME COUNT IN TODAY'S HIGHLY URBANISED WORLD

Find out how innovators are finding ways to give you more of life’s most precious commodity. In today’s high-octane, global companies and other organisations know that if they can only find ways to free up your time and enhance the quality of that time by making life more convenient and pleasurable, they’ll be providing a service that every consumer will value. Here are just a few of the smarter time-saving and time-enhancing initiatives appearing on the horizon.

Virtual shopping

In Seoul, South Korea, supermarket giant Tesco has introduced virtual grocery stores. Posters in metro stations display rows of everyday supermarket products, each with its own QR code. On their way to work, commuters simply scan the codes of the products they want using their smartphone and their groceries are delivered to their home so they are waiting for them when they get back from work. The trial boosted Tesco’s online sales by 130% and research suggests that people prefer this ‘virtual’ shopping to online shopping because it retains something of the human element of ‘real’ shopping.

If it doesn't make sense, don't do it

Brazilian Richard Semler, CEO of Semco, stands out for his radical thinking. Semco will do anything to hack back the bureaucratic jungle that stops its people being able to just get on with their work – and lives. This includes many timesaving elements, including commuting. Semco has several offices across Sao Paolo, but instead of going where you’re told, employees can check which building is easiest for them to reach and work there. If the traffic is terrible that day, just work from home. Then there’s the Rush Hour MBA. Instead of employees sitting in rush-hour traffic, Semco has introduced two-hour lectures on everything from business practices to astronomy to Spanish history.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle traffic jam at night and day

The modern way to hail a cab

With new to the market cab services like Uber subject to media attention and interest, it’s good to know that traditional taxi services are also moving with the times. Hailo, for example, is an app available in cities such as Barcelona, London and Tokyo. No longer do you have to stand on the curbside in wind and rain, waving your arm in vain as passing cars splash puddles over your best suit. Hailo lets you call a cab to where you’re waiting by hooking into the official local cab scheme, so there’s no chance of hailing a dodgy driver again.

Thinking outside the metal box

Ford is also doing its bit. For some time now, the smarter car manufacturer has realised that when people have fast-paced, complex modern lives, they increasingly need mobility solutions that can meet their many varied needs. With this in mind, Ford earlier this year launched Ford Smart Mobility, a series of experiments (initially 25) designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation eco-system. Experiments now running in cities across five continents include:

  • Prototype ebikes that can go up to 15 mph. It’s the ideal way as a commuter to keep yourself moving through even the worst rush-hour gridlocks.
  • On-demand car sharing, a service initially in London where you can, for example, hire cars on a pay-per-minute basis and make one-way trips across the city.
  • Parking spotter, puts driver-assist sensors that most Ford vehicles already have to work for everyone. As you look for a parking spot around the city, the sensors search for open parking spaces and share that information via a cloud database that other drivers can access.
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