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Sustainable Urban Mobility with Uncompromised Rural Reach

By Rebecca Martin, Eshanthi Ranasinghe, Maureen Bossi and Ira Shaughnessy


SUMURR (Sustainable Urban Mobility with Uncompromised Rural Reach) is a private-public partnership (PPP) between the Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Department of State, the University of Michigan, George Washington University, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), and the Indian healthcare NGO Hand in Hand. The partnership objective is to launch a pilot that leverages OpenXC, a recently introduced Ford technology, to improve maternal mortality rates in rural areas outside of Chennai, India. The School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) team engaged in secondary research and visited Chennai twice to carry out primary research. By the end of the second trip to Chennai, the PPP had determined that the goal of the pilot was to use the SUMURR vehicle and technology to increase the mobility of the government healthcare worker, called a Village Health Nurse (VHN), and improve her ability to enter patient information accurately into PICME, the government database that registers and tracks health data of pregnant mothers. Hand in Hand will be the local partner that works with high-risk pregnant mothers in rural villages and Ford will develop applications for maternal health in partnership with IIT Madras. The pilot’s success depends on whether Ford hires a Project Manager to ensure that the partners communicate and each partner’s milestones are achieved. It also depends on whether the rural communities and the Tamil iii Nadu State Government respond positively to the pilot. If the pilot is successful, its long-term scalability depends on whether Ford can find a way to monetize the product and sell it at a price point that is affordable

Topics: Sustainble Urban Mobility, Ford, India, Maternal Health
Year: 2012
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