Vehicle-manufacturing giant Ford says new technologies such as blockchain and geofencing can be paired with plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) to improve air quality in cities.

  • The company conducted a three-year study in the European cities of London, Cologne and Valencia on the ability of commercial PHEVs to help cities address air-quality challenges.
  • The dynamic geofencing feature used in the research activated zero-emission activity in the vehicles whenever they entered a low‑emissions zone, without intervention from the driver.
  • Ford also used blockchain technology to monitor the times a vehicle entered or left a geofenced zone, finding the paired technologies work well to improve urban air quality.
  • “As Ford’s connected PHEVs entered these constantly fluctuating zones, they automatically switched to low-emission mode – taking the decision making out of drivers’ hands, improving air quality for citizens and helping vehicles maintain compliance with local restrictions,” said Ford in a news release.
  • In parts of Europe, some cities have introduced low-emission zones where high-polluting vehicles are restricted from access. Hybrid vehicles are able to switch between electric and combustion motors, varying emissions outputs.

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