Transport authorities, traffic managers and academics gathered at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, the Netherlands on 5 June for a day of training, on-road demonstrations and exchange on Cooperative ITS services.

This event dedicated to training and experience-sharing on C-ITS deployment delivered the perfect opportunity for public authorities to get access to practical knowledge, concrete demonstrations, and the latest innovative C-ITS trends.

The C-ITS City Pool is the central meeting point for public authorities involved in the deployment of C-ITS services at local, regional or national level, allowing participants to share their knowledge and experience with each other, helping foster the uptake and market rollout of ITS and C-ITS services. This horizontal cooperation is achieved through matchmaking pledges between cities committed to mutual support in the deployment of C-ITS solutions and investment in digital infrastructure.

The C-MobILE project focuses on the expertise necessary for a successful deployment of C-ITS services, and with this objective in mind, the C-ITS City Pool aims to bring together in one place best practices as well as hurdles on the way to on-road deployment in cities. With widespread implementation as the main goal, the C-ITS City Pool serves as a one-stop-shop for cities and authorities to identify requirements for deployment.

Following up on the previous C-ITS City Pool Workshop held in September 2018 in Copenhagen, this session took place on June 5th at the Automotive Campus in Helmond, alongside the ITS European Congress 2019.

Paired together with a C-ITS morning training workshop offered in the framework of the CAPITAL project, the event provided a day full of exchange on C-ITS to around 60 participants. Through the format of a matchmaking program, the afternoon was spent on the topics of Sharing experiences from cities in deploying C-ITS, Community-building for an integral approach, Business models for C-ITS and cost & benefit analysis, The European [C-ITS] Delegated Act as a legal framework for deployment, and Dissemination possibilities.

Six keynote speakers were invited to share their ideas on these topics. Next, the audience was invited in turn to hold in-depth discussions during a series of roundtable debates. In order to define concrete action plans deriving from the discussions, attendees were also asked to fill in matchmaking forms and think about possible arrangements to be made or opportunities to be spotted.

The first three matchmaking sessions addressed the topics of Business models and cost & benefit analysis, Community building and A city perspective from Lisbon:

  • Led by Areti Kotsi (CERTH) and Oktay Türetken (TU/e), the discussion on Business modeling for C-ITS centered around the importance of knowing the ‘customer’, or end-user of C-ITS. Mention was also made that the use of models is generalized but room for tailor-made solutions must be created. A condition for valid models, and thus deployment, is an exhaustive ecosystem in which all stakeholders are involved and represented.
  • Gert-Jan Koolen then pitched the Smarwayz.NL approach for Constructive community-building. Next steps were formulated in the form of a collective wish to keep sharing knowledge between regions, and the creation of a form of ambassadorship for C-ITS in cities. Participants also expressed a specific desire to focus on societal needs, and not on a technological push. On this occasion, the Transport Technology Forum and Smartwayz.NL made additional contacts as part of the matchmaking session.
  • Vasco Mora from the City of Lisbon addressed C-ITS in public procurement and the shift of legal frameworks, concluding the first round of matchmaking.

The second round of matchmaking revolved around Engagement with non-C-ITS cities, and The City of Hamburg’s experience with C-ITS. Both topics roused lively discussions with the audience:

  • Jos van Vlerken from the City of Copenhagen laid down some ideas for a step towards widespread C-ITS deployment through active engagement with suburban areas. One of the action plans is to share with the participants the interviews Jos used for dissemination, and create more insights into the needs of small and medium-sized cities and suburban areas.
  • Steve Schneider shared Hamburg’s experience with C-ITS deployment in a topical presentation on hands-on experience. In concluding, he invited all participants who show interest in learning more to a working visit to Hamburg. The existing matchmaking agreement established between the hanseatic metropolis and the City of Lisbon was also deepened on this occasion with follow-up centered around the sharing of best practices and failures, updated every three months.
  • Pedro Barradas (European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport) took the stage for a closing speech where he laid out the European Commission’s vision on C-ITS. He underlined that the C-MobILE project, and more specifically the City Pool, is on the right track in prioritizing C-ITS widespread deployment.

“In representing Helmond, ‘City of Smart Mobility’ at the matchmaking workshop, it was exciting to see how cities can gain knowledge, inspiration, and perspective by joining the C-MobILE City Pool” says Sophie van Velzen, Project Manager for Smart & Green Mobility at the City of Helmond. “As one of the hosts of the European ITS Congress, the City of Helmond is very proud to be an example for C-ITS deployment. The City Pool demonstrates that it’s  not the size of a city but the splice of innovation, volition and European collaboration that creates magnitude for integral Smart Mobility purposes.”

The event was wrapped up jointly by Tamara Goldsteen (City of Helmond) and Giacomo Somma (ERTICO – ITS Europe), who announced that the next Citypool will be organised in parallel to the Smart City Congress in Barcelona (9-21 november 2019). The results and topics mentioned in this article will be actively followed through by the participating cities and regions, and are expected to feature at the forefront of the next session’s agenda.