Plenary session 1 – smarter on the way: today’s achievements tomorrow’ ambitions

The first plenary session of the 19th ITS World Congress took place just after the opening ceremony and the ITS Hall of Fame awards. Focussing on the Congress theme – “smarter on the way” – and examining “today’s achievements tomorrow’s ambitions”. Hosted by Melinda Crane a journalist at DWTV and moderator at the Stockholm ITS World Congress and the Lyon European ITS Congress the plenary examined the goal of citizens having at all times access to and benefiting from the most reliable efficient and widespread intelligent mobility solutions.

Joining Mrs Crane were:

  • Siim Kallas Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for Transport European Commission
  • Georg Kapsch CEO Kapsch TrafficCom AG Austria
  • Scott Belcher President and CEO ITS America
  • Greg Winfree Deputy Administrator Research and Innovative Technology Administration U.S. Department of Transportation USA
  • Zhongze Wu Chairman ITS China
  • Bambang Susantono Vice Minister Ministry of Transportation/President ITS Indonesia Indonesia

The first question put to the panel was to describe how ITS solutions are already shaping transport solutions.

Vice-President Kallas answered first “I could list many large (EU co-funded) projects having an impact on transport solutions but I would like to underline one – SafeSeaNet”. Vice-President Kallas explained how SafeSeaNet helps meet maritime trade and environmental challenges as well as contributing to the fight against piracy.

Mr Kapsch noted that he could list many solutions given that ITS is now truly being deployed but underlined the proven power of electronic toll collection (ETC) systems now deployed all around the world in raising revenue and easing traffic flow.

Mr Belcher for his part pointed to the huge progress in the “global movement to connected vehicle systems”.

Mr Winfree stressed that for RITA safety remained the number one priority. According to Mr Winfree ITS has helped move from a fatal accidents to “accidents where you can walk away” and now the challenge was to deploy accident avoidance technologies. In this regard he underlined the potential of V2V technologies.

Mr Wu gave an overview of China’s progress in the last ten years and stressed the importance of ITS in the Beijing Olympic Games and Shanghai World Expo in managing crowds and traffic.

Mr Susantono noted that ITS was already a successful industry in Indonesia agreed with Mr Kapsch about the importance of ETC and also stressed integrated multi-modal public transport ticketing systems already deployed in even medium sized Indonesian cities.

Mrs Crane then asked Vice-President Kallas about the political will organisation and resources needed to deploy ITS – in the panel’s opinion what could realistically be achieved?

Vice-President Kallas light-heartedly noted that he had only two and a half years left in his term but that he saw three challenges – “Deployment deployment deployment

Mr Kapsch was asked what the public sector wanted. Agreeing with Vice-President Kallas insofar as deployment had to have a purpose Mr Kapsch said “ETC will foster the implementation of ITS” and will help roll-out and encourage investment and volume.

Mr Belcher noted the importance of partnership especially in a time of economic constraint which also gives rise to opportunity. In this regard he noted that all stakeholders needed each other and that ITS deployment could not happen off the back of taxation it needs new models such as ETC.

Mr Winfree was asked what the safe vehicle of the future would be like. He noted that in the past 50 years huge progress had been made… for vehicle occupants. ITS and connected vehicles went beyond protecting vehicle occupants aiming to prevent accidents in the first place. Mr Winfree also noted that “without rapid deployment we cannot achieve our goals”.

Mrs Crane asked Mr Wu how ITS could help megacities mobile. Mr Wu highlighted the importance of increased infrastructure spending encluding ITS new transport technologies including passenger management and finally the coordination of different modes.

Asked about the main priorities of ITS deployment Mr Susantono stressed not only the importance of choosing teh correct technology but also that care had to be taken to avoid being locked in with one system. Finally he underlined that any ITS implementation and to be in line with overall technology. “ITS must be affordable an open platform system based yet human – easy to use fix and develop

Left to right: Bambang SusantonoZhongze Wu Greg Winfree Scott Belcher Georg Kapsch Siim Kallas

Scott Belcher replies

Greg Winfree takes the stage

Bambang Susantono responds

Link to original Article

Original Publication Date: Tue 30 Oct 2012