Bill Ford, the chairman of Ford Motors, has said advanced in-car IT is needed to prevent the chaotic traffic jams that are worsening as car numbers grow.
"Now is the time for all of us to be looking at vehicles on the road the same way we look at smart phones, laptops and tablets: as pieces of a much bigger, richer network," Ford told the Financial Times today.
Ford was speaking ahead of a presentation today at the Mobile World Congress Event in Barcelona, where the company will launch a highly connected car, known as B-Max – with voice activated features, and automatic emergency services dialling in the event of an accident.
The company will call for better cooperation between car manufacturers, governments and mobile phone firms. IT envisions a transport network full of information that will help cut traffic jams and allow drivers to take better routes.
Car makers are concerned that worsening congestion is hurting their sales growth, the FT noted.
"There is a new worry, and that is we could go to global gridlock as cars rise to four billion by mid-century," Ford told the newspaper. "If we do nothing, the sheer number of people and cars in urban areas will mean global gridlock."