2020 was a challenging year and an important turning point for global society: we had to learn to live differently and that applied to how we work, live and move around. Forced to stay at home, our personal mobility patterns were drastically disrupted. Whilst the pandemic had a major impact on our lives, it also offered a unique opportunity to rethink the future. To re-evaluate and re-organise a new way of living as people, and as communities, to reshape a greener, safer and more efficient way of life. Jacob Bangsgaard, ERTICO CEO, reflects.

Digitalisation and smart mobility solutions are important elements in answering several issues that were revealed by the pandemic. The consequent economic crisis has, however, taken a toll on the investments and priorities of research and innovation, especially where technical infrastructure development and deployment are concerned. The steps we take going forward should not lead us to abandon our vision for the future and the progress we have made so far. The goals we have set for the environment via the transformation of European and global mobility to a green, secure and connected ecosystem should now be reinforced more than ever, finding a new balance without shifting focus. This is why for ERTICO, throughout 2020 and 2021, despite the pandemic, the words Sustainability, Digitalisation and Efficiency have been key drivers within our focus areas of Connected and Automated Driving, Transport and Logistics, Urban Mobility, and Clean Mobility.

Take a look at the ERTICO Partnership achievements in the past year.

Together with our Partners, we are working hard towards our shared ambitions on sustainable mobility and decarbonisation, working closely and in parallel to achieve the goals set out by the European Commission’s Green Deal and ERTICO’s vision for 2030. Supported by increasing digitalisation in transport and logistics, and innovations in automation and the improved exchange of transport data, as well as pre-market trials in projects such as high-density truck platooning, will set us full-speed on the road to creating safer, cleaner and more efficient transport solutions for the freight and transport industry.

Our brand new Annual Report, released at the ERTICO annual General Assembly, highlights not only the progresses but also our vision for the future.

2021 is a special year for ERTICO as we turn 30. As Eric Sampson, ITS authority and our first Chairman points out, over the last three decades, “Technologies have become more powerful, affordable and complex. Today the innovation process continues even faster than before with the need to encourage and engage with start-ups as these are often the cradle for exciting new solutions and services but they frequently need support and guidance.” This anniversary comes at a historic moment, when our vision for safer, smarter and cleaner mobility has become more imperative and relevant than ever before.

We must be ready to face current and upcoming challenges, with the original pillars of activity for ERTICO essentially the same today as 30 years ago:

  • Bringing different stakeholders to the same table.
  • Helping to design pathways for research to be commercialised.
  • Generating provocative scenarios in technology development.
  • Building links to similar communities across Europe and overseas.
  • Watching the horizon, especially globally, to help Partner business planning.
  • Catalysing pilot projects to help bring R&D owners to the marketplace.
  • Assisting in the sharing of knowledge.

While the technology to support these pillars has changed, our core mission is the same. We believe that ERTICO and its Partners are more relevant than ever. In the current business environment, the platform we offer to companies whether large, medium or small is more important than ever. We can support the mobility sector in bringing new technologies to market and offer an ecosystem to test, develop and share information as the latest mobility solutions and services develop. Together, we can create standards that shape the future. The mantra of the ERTICO Partnership remains as always: we are better together. After having been apart for over a year, I look forward to seeing you in person later this year, starting with the ITS World Congress in Hamburg in October.