Smarter mobility is set as a target for the global community and the top priority for ERTICO is to ensure that our public and private Partners take full advantage of cooperation and scalability of their services and products on the global stage. ERTICO consistently engages with the international community and has established privileged relationships with the USA, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Russia, China and Brazil. Via the exchange of best practices and methodologies, ERTICO promotes global and harmonised mobility concepts and standards across continents, whilst also actively contributing to the European Commission’s goal of making Europe a leader in the field.

It is in this spirit of international cooperation, that ERTICO participated in the global series of webinars “Mobility Management Meeting (MMM)”. The 2020 Mobility Management Meeting  was originally envisioned as an in-person event to be jointly organised by the China Highway Transportation Society (CHTS) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) at CHTS’ annual conference, the World Transport Convention (WTC).

When the WTC 2020 shifted to an online virtual event rather than an in-person conference, CHTS made the decision to convert the MMM into a series of webinars focusing on Mobility Management that allowed CHTS to work not only with TRB, which co-sponsored the series of webinars, and TRB’s International Coordinating Council, but also with other international partner organisations to advance international collaboration in this area.

The MMM webinars, thus evolved into a multi-theme series of international webinars that brought together academics, researchers, and transportation professionals from CHTS, COTA, ECTRI, ERTICO, IRF (Geneva), PIARC, TRB, a number of different academic institutions from China (Southeast University, Beihang University, Tongji University, Beijing University of Technology), and industry leaders to discuss emerging and on-going issues on mobility management and beyond. All the participating organisations in this series of global webinars share a common vision for international collaboration that has allowed transportation professionals to work together to reach solutions that benefit all.

Christos Xenophontos, co-chair of TRB’s International Coordinating Council that helped co-organise the MMMs stated that the ‘ΜΜΜ series of webinars allowed experts from across the world to share their ideas with each other and provided an avenue for collaboration amongst professionals and researchers so that working together we could advance equitable and sustainable solutions to the mobility needs of our respective societies. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have these opportunities for international collaboration across borders.’

During the first five webinars, the MMM series reached more than 1,800 attendees on Zoom and more than 3,000 on Bilibili. Webinar attendees came from more than 60 countries or territories.

The MMM series kicked off in August of 2020 with a webinar on a timely topic, ‘Transit Linkages with New Mobility and Micro-Mobility, And the Survival of Both Post COVID-19’ (MMM1). It brought together experts from China and the United States to discuss how a number of critical issues that were faced by both public transit and shared mobility as a result of COVID-19, how these industries can survive the ridership decline caused by COVID-19, whether there is a policy or technology solution that responds to all three industries and if partnerships might be the solution. Mr Liu Wenjie, Vice President and Secretary of General of CHTS and Vice President of IRF and Ms Nina Guan, Director of International Collaboration for CHTS, kicked off MMM1 on behalf of CHTS while Mr Neil Pedersen, Executive Director of TRB and Mr Christos Xenophontos, co-chair of TRB’s International Coordinating Council provided opening remarks on behalf of TRB.

The second webinar of the series (MMM2), brought together experts from China and Europe to look into the topic of ‘Smart Cities and Green Mobility’ and to share the challenges in China and Europe brought on by the rapid development of motorization which has been accompanied by traffic congestion and air pollution. ERTICO, represented Europe in this webinar with guests from the EC (Ms Claire Depre, Head of ITS Unit, DG MOVE), the ERTICO Chairman, Dr Angelos Amditis, SWARCO –MIZAR Dr Laura Coconea and the ERTICO I&D Director, Dr Johanna Tzanidaki. ERTICO also invited Dr Biagio Ciuffo representing the JRC as guest. The presenters from China also shared the successful experiences and approaches taken to overcome these challenges, and best practices in the development of greener transportation systems.

While MMM1 was dedicated to the collaboration between transportation professionals in China and the US, and MMM2 to transportation professionals in China and Europe, the success of the first two webinars and the global interest generated around the topics of the series, encouraged CHTS and the partner organizations to take a more global approach for the remaining events of the series.

The third webinar of the series on ‘Data Management and Efficient Mobility’ (MMM3), explored ways to effectively use and manage big data, road dynamic simulations and discussed how road service agencies can use these and other new technologies to increase the performance and efficiency of their network, and ensure operational reliability in a dynamically connected environment. It brought together young professionals and researchers from a number of partner organizations and institutions to share their work and ideas on the topic.

MMM4 focused on ‘Road Safety and Mobility Security – Planning for the Future” and brought together experts from China, Europe and the US to discuss how with the development of modern technology, new solutions are provided, such as video analysis, intelligent data management systems and decision support systems that help improve safety and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. The webinar presented case studies of various solutions around the world and shared ideas on improving traffic safety from safety planning, management to techniques.

ERTICO co-organised and participated again at the latest webinar in the series, ‘Re-imagining Integrated Mobility Management Systems’ (MMM5). Experts from ERTICO (ERTICO Chairman Dr Angelos Amditis and Director of Innovation & Deployment Dr Johanna Tzanidaki) and ECTRI shared their knowledge and experience on new mobility, how new mobility schemes and concepts can better address the needs and demands of today’s European societies. Both the US (TRB) and China (CHTS) were represented at the webinar that touched upon the interaction between Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Mobility on Demand (MoD) with interactive traffic management (TM 2.0) and how the combination of the two concepts is bringing forward schemes on Mobility Network Management. Interesting developments in the field and information on possible business models as they are operational in the three continents were shared among the presenters in their attempt to shed light on these questions.

Dr Angelos Amditis, ERTICO Chairman commented: ‘ERTICO is covering, in terms of scope and partners, the region of EMEA. The exchange of ideas and best practices with our partners across the globe as well as the alignment among us that these on-line meetings bring is really the essence on International Cooperation. We do not live, and most important, move in isolation. The movement towards safe, seamless and efficient mobility for all is global and applies to all regions. Lessons learned and developments in technology and mobility concepts are, and should, take place in the global level if we wish digitalisation and decarbonisation of transport to work. What I have seen during the MMM global cooperation webinar series is the convergence of the parallel discussions, debates and exchange in the different regions and how important it is to bring stakeholder associations such as ERTICO, CHTS, TRB, ECTRI and others around the table and visualise the future of mobility together.’

The next webinar in the series, will be taking place during the 2021 World Transport Convention (WTC 2021), scheduled to be held in Xi’an on June 15-19, 2021. CHTS and TRB, with participation from many other international organizations and experts from across the world, have agreed to co-host the Urban Intelligent Transport Forum & International Mobility Management Meeting (MMM6), as a whole day event on June 17, 2021 (Beijing time). MMM6 will be on live through zoom webinar with simultaneous interpretation. This is the registration link.

ERTICO is currently developing a proposal, which is to be further discussed with CHTS and TRB, on the organisation of a follow-up MMM as a session at the ITS World Congress to be held in Hamburg between 11-15 October.  This is going to be the first MMM in this very successful series of Mobility Management webinars that will be held in a physical form in Europe. The topic to be discussed among international stakeholders at this MMM will be the utilization of Federated Data Platforms in mobility applications. ERTICO is looking forward to sharing important learnings form its work on logistics data platforms such as AEOLIX and FENIX while at the same time discussing about similar work in the US and China. If we wish to have accessible transport and mobility systems, data availability and accessibility schemes should be the first point of any discussion.

As CHTS is preparing for WTC2021, Nina Guan, Director of International Collaboration for CHTS reflected at the success of the series, ‘Even though COVID-19 has stopped us from meeting in person, I was glad to see how MMM successfully connected all of the transportation and mobility professionals together. It provided a regular exchange and communication platform to the members of TRB, ERTICO, ECTRI, IRF, PIARC, COTA and CHTS, and we are expecting to see more researchers and practitioners join us for further discussion and cooperation in future events. We have much to think about and a lot of research to do regarding future mobility and service, and what actions we should be collectively taking from a policy, service, and technology perspective. CHTS is thankful to the partner organizations and their teams for their tireless efforts to partner with CHTS to co-sponsor this informative and thought-provoking series of webinars.’