Ford’s new “hub” beneath the World Trade Center highlights a transportation future beyond cars

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Ford opened a location that it’s calling the FordHub in the Westfield World Trade Center mall this week — but you won’t be able to buy any cars there.

Instead, the location includes a large screen highlighting different ways (bike, subway and otherwise) to reach New York City landmarks, a ramp-and-marble model that illustrates the idea of traffic congestion and another display that lays out a number of future-of-transporation concepts, like self-repairing roads.

As pointed out by Ford’s Andrew Birkic, the company’s “core business” is represented in the hub by a wall covered in 5,000 miniature models of Ford vehicles — but that’s about it. Birkic described this as “an opportunity to connect with consumers” and highlight Ford’s transformation “from an automotive to an automotive and mobility company.”

After all, people don’t just get around in cars, especially in big cities in New York, and Ford wants to play a role in those other modes of transportation. For example, Ford Smart Mobility acquired shuttle and ride-sharing startup Chariot last fall.

Birkic said the company is looking to FordHubs in other cities, probably starting with San Francisco. In the meantime, You can watch our tour in the video above.