Ford has joined forces with smart city start-up Strawberry Energy to install new high-tech smart benches in various locations around London.
The benches make use of solar panels to provide charging points for pedestrians to power up their devices on the go. They also provide a free-to-use wifi connection. For using the wifi, customers are invited to make an optional donation to one of various designated charities, which will be matched by Ford.
As well as providing a hub for pedestrians on the go, the smart benches also monitor and compile data on various environmental indicators, including temperature, CO2 levels and background noise. This information can be accessed by the public using a specially designed app.
The benches are made by Strawberry Energy, a small company specialising in smart technology and in particular public charging stations. This latest drive to install the smart benches all over London was sponsored by Ford and has now seen 20 installed across the capital.
The director of Ford Smart Mobility Europe, Sarah-Jayne Williams, said: “At Ford, we believe the city of tomorrow should make people feel happy, safe and connected, so we’re looking at how streets could be designed to serve a full range of activities: walking, biking, driving, connecting with others, and of course, business and services that support our economies,
“Walking, along with driving and riding public transport, is part of how people get around in a city like London and Ford Smart Benches complement perfectly the increasingly connected lives we now lead.”