Following a fruitful meeting with the EU Delegation to Turkey and ITS stakeholders in Turkey held in Brussels last November, ERTICO had the pleasure to be invited by ITS Turkey to the very first ITS Turkey Summit held in Ankara, Turkey on 6 March. ERTICO’s Innovation and Deployment Director Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki was there to introduce ITS Europe’s flagship projects and activities and share ERTICO’s experience as a thought leader in smart mobility.

From air transport to freight and logistics, the Turkish transport sector is rapidly expanding and becoming an important player in the European and global arena, with the Turkish Government, and in particular the Ministry of Transport, working to build solid relationships with European organisations and institutions, with the Commission’s DG MOVE and ERTICO being among key supporters.

“It was an honour to be invited to the first ITS summit in Turkey”, said Dr. Tzanidaki. “ERTICO highlighted the latest ITS hot topics in Europe and presented some of our flagship projects, including MaaS, ARCADE and AEOLIX.. What was interesting to me was the public’s enthusiastic reaction to MaaS, drones and AEOLIX. The logistics sector is clearly very important in Turkey”, continued Dr. Tzanidaki.

The first summit of ITS Turkey was, opened by the Minister of Transport, Mehmet Cahit Turhan, and attended by politicians, civil servants, ERTICO Partners, ITS stakeholders, and the World Bank.  Representatives from ITS Korea even attended having travelled all the way from their home country to support Turkey. They also signed a MoU with the country.

Dr. Tzanidaki, together with the European Commission’s DG MOVE, ITS Finland and ITS Korea opened the first panel discussing ITS in the world and presented the European perspective in terms of projects and the deployment of ITS, focusing on how ERTICO supports EU policies, through the deployment of smart mobility activities in Member States.

Focused attention was given to automation and connectivity, a hot topic in the sector. In this regard, Dr. Tzanidaki introduced another ERTICO project, SafeStrip, adding that “We should be working not only in automation, but also in making sure that we prepare the infrastructure to host it. SafesStrip is a project that does just that”.

Infrastructure is indeed an important aspect related to automation, which is of high importance for Turkey. The country, in fact, will be closely working with global partners (that include ERTICO) to build a national sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP), to create a framework and a set of standards that ensure that ITS solutions in Turkey are based on interoperability and data, with the Turkish Deputy Minister stating that “data is the new oil in mobility and transport”.

ERTICO’s support and participation in the first Turkish ITS Summit, not only strengthens collaboration with ITS Turkey, but also assists Turkey on the path to becoming a global leader in smart mobility, and confirms the importance of ERTICO as a thought leader in the sector.