Whether you take a car, a bus, a cab, a train or even a GrabBike to wherever you’re going, one thing is perfectly clear: commuting in this country is an exhausting, time-consuming and wallet-draining nightmare.
Not even Sunday – once considered a day when you could go out for fun – is safe nowadays from the unparalleled misery of traffic jams, crazy drivers and hassle-free journeys. Indeed, over two in five Filipinos said their commute this year was worse than a year ago, which was the highest number among 12 countries surveyed in a study that Ford Motor Company conducted on the state of commuting in the Asia-Pacific region.
On the other hand, Vietnam, India and Indonesia were the top three countries where respondents said their commutes improved from last year, as well as the top three countries for the most people who said they enjoyed their commute. Meanwhile, more than half of commuters in Taiwan and South Korea reported no change in the quality of their commute.
“Everywhere in the world, people face unique transportation issues that are local in nature, and the results of this survey echoed that reality,” said Ford Asia Pacific Smart Mobility Director John Larsen. “These challenges are what motivates Ford Smart Mobility, which aims to tackle global issues and provide local solutions that make a daily difference to people all over the world.”
Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. This includes everything from Ford’s in-car connectivity solution, SYNC, to the 30 global mobility experiments that have already been undertaken to gain insight into changing consumer transportation habits and preferences.
Greater road congestion and higher commuting costs
The company said the survey also showed that among those who were more dissatisfied with their commutes this year, seven out of 10 reported spending more time in traffic. The respondents also cited the following reasons for their added dissatisfaction with commuting:
• More traffic congestion – 36 percent;
• Public transportation is more crowded, uncomfortable and inconvenient – 23 percent
• More expensive – 12 percent;
• More difficult to find a parking spot – 9 percent.
In addition, the company said price increases for public transportation and toll roads came out on top for the most commonly cited reason for the increased cost of commuting at 42 percent. Meanwhile, fuel prices came second at 28 percent, while the remaining percentage was attributed to commuters choosing more expensive transportation options with taxis, taxi-hailing apps and car-sharing services garnering 12 percent, 9 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
“As the Philippine economy continues to thrive and the people remain to be one of the world’s most confident consumers, challenges like these are bound to happen,” said Ford Philippines Assistant Vice-President for Communications Joseph Ayllon. “Ford recognizes these issues and we are doing what we can to address them through ways that are not only convenient, but also smart.”
Tripled investment in driver technologies
The company said the driving forces behind Ford Smart Mobility are four global megatrends that are reshaping the world: explosive population growth; an expanding middle class; air quality and public health concerns; and changing customer attitudes and priorities. It also said will also triple its engineering investment in its driver assist and semi-autonomous technologies over the next five years. Many of these technologies are already available in Ford vehicles, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Park Assist, Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keeping Aid, and Blind Spot Information System.
“Ford Smart Mobility is about ensuring the freedom of mobility for people all over the world,” said Larsen. “That means thinking about the needs of tomorrow, and working to make a smarter, more efficient future a reality for everyone.”