Ford is inviting the gaming community during Gamescom to create online games that “could inspire real-life solutions to global mobility issues”.

The Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge, produced with Cologne Game Lab, challenges developers to “gamify urban commutes and integrate transport modes for smoother, less-stressful journeys”.

Ford says the challenge for developers is to integrate different transport modes within a city into fun and engaging online games. Gamescom 2015 – the largest interactive games trade fair in Europe – is taking place this week in Cologne. Ford says the learnings from the Ford Smart Mobility Game Challenge could lead to innovative solutions and new approaches to integrating urban transport, with joined-up door-to-door journeys. For example, the games developed could reward participating commuters for successful journeys, based on criteria such as time taken, cost, comfort and convenience. They also could utilise personal data and technology including smart phones and watches.

Ford says a panel of experts will choose five finalists with the winning developer team receiving EUR10,000 as well as having their work presented at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona.

“The Smart Mobility Game Challenge is designed to harness the creativity of the gaming community and empower gamers to take a fresh approach to tackling today’s global mobility issues,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Applying the fun, engaging and rewarding aspects of games to journey planning can allow people to improve their commutes, track their success and become aware of how their behaviour impacts the transport infrastructure as a whole.”

Games could reward commuters for walking or cycling in good weather, and connect them to services beyond public transport, such as Ford’s GoDrive car-sharing service. By encouraging commuters to take under-utilised routes, games also could help ease congestion, Ford says.