Plenary session 2 – converging technologies converging mobility

“the internet of things and how ITS will take advantage” Melinda Crane Congress moderator introduced the topic “Converging technologies converging mobility” giving examples of common transport frustrations – missing trains due to a late connection and having to take an expensive taxi ride for instance. Underlining the potential of ITS to meet these challenges Mrs Crane introduced the panel:


  • Alice Tornquist Vice President Government Affairs Qualcomm USA
  • Andreas J.M. Ostendorf Global Director Vehicle Homologation & Compliance / Vice PresidentSustainability Environment and Safety Engineering Ford Germany
  • Nathalie Leboucher Smart Cities Programme Director Orange Business Services France
  • Per-Henrik Nielsen Vice President & Global Head of Industry Specific Solutions Ericsson AB Denmark
  • Young-Soo Park Director ITS &Road Environment Division Ministry of Land Transport and Maritime Affairs Korea
  • Adam Game CEO Intelematics Australia

Mrs Crane started the ball rolling by asking Mrs Tornquist how smart phones would affect transport and ITS in particular. Mrs Tornquist said “the smart phone is an iconic technology which has come to define our times” pointing out that now over 1 billion are in use and that this would increase rapidly. Mrs Tornquist stressed how ubiquitous smart phones will become and that they would affect every aspect of live not just transport.

Mrs Crane then asked Mrs Tornquist where the potential obstacles to ITS deployment were. Mrs Tornquist emphasised the high potential of ITS. She stressed that it is important to focus on investments which have public utility but also a return on investment for all concerned. Barriers to the penetration of ITS is regulatory clarity funding and spectrum availability. Mr Ostendorf gave a brief introduction ahead of a video message from the Ford CEO Alan Roger Mulally. Mr Mulally gave an overview of the infrastructure changes needed to fully implement ITS.

Mr Mulally stated that the mountains of data that cars provide will no longer be contained but shared enabling denser driving and semi-autonomous driving such as platooning. Furthermore cars will be plugged into databases allowing multimodal options when congestion is high leading to less accidents. Mr Mulally believes that by 2025 this vision will be a reality as “already they are being designed and tested”

“Pedestrians bikes cars as well as commercial vehicles will all be woven together”

“If we work together I’m confident that we can provide a brighter future for all”

Mrs Crane also asked Mr Ostendorf about  the Ford SYNC. As Mr Ostendorf put it the SYNC was invented to enable voice activated systems. He highlighted a number of idiosyncrasies in different countries illustrating the utility of these systems for example the fact that in Europe it is generally illegal to use your mobile while driving whereas you are allowed to type into your navigation device – and that in the US it was the other way around.

A voice activated system bypasses these dangers although the number of European languages posed a challenge. Mr Ostendorf pointed out that 50% of people admitted that they type text messages while driving and that 90% of those admitted it was dangerous. The next step for SYNC will be to read text messages out loud for the driver… then understand and transcribe a reply. Where this would leave text speak is unknown. Mrs Leboucher said that ITS is a building block and highlighted the Smart City initiative in this regard.

Mrs Leboucher also noted that more devices will soon be connected than people – “and our cellular networks are ready”. Usage has already moved from voice to data and orange has witnessed user demand for real time connectivity. Mrs Leboucher went on to underline some important changes in consumer behaviour including: the rise of social networks and crowd sourcing a vital consideration for new systems from ownership to use – it is no longer necessary to own a car to have use of a car Mrs Leboucher also underlined that “a connected car will stay a car not a smart phone on wheels”.

ICT technology is an enabler but the car makers are key they will still make the car… In the longer term Mrs Leboucher endorsed V2X but recognised the challenges. Standards open data systems and availability and most of all business models need to progress – who will pay for these services? Orange according to Mrs Leboucher believes in cross industry partnership and collaboration. Mr Nielsen noted that Erikson has a vision of “Networked Society” – everything will be connected empowering the consumer bringing sustainability. He also explained how the data industry is converging with the car industry but cars last a decade whereas apps last months.

In practical terms if an OS needs upgrading every year the car will need to handle this. Likewise regarding electric cars if you go to a friend’s house plug in the car to recharge the bill should be sent to you automatically.

“It is not the technology that is the challenge but to create the right ecosystem”

Mrs Crane then asked Mr Nielsen about people’s willingness to put data in the cloud citing possible privacy concerns for example. Mr Nielsen answered that the ease of use – when the software is remote it is also transferable to new devices there are no viruses easy upgrades – would be the deciding factor. he also forcefully reminded delegates of the example of the music industry and how it almost was destroyed by changing technology and consumer patterns.

iTunes created a new business model the traditional music industry turned its back – and took a decade to recover. Transport must be flexible to new business models.   Mr Park in his case noted that “convergence is a key word in modern society applied in every industry”. Mr Park gave an overview of ITS situation in Korea examples of popular apps such as Soeul bus (giving real time bus info including Twitter share function) etc. Mr Park underlined that ITS supports government policy not the other way around. Mr Game examined the root causes of convergence. He explained that “the smart phone is the catalyst for consumer adoption of ITS”.

The smart phone creates the ecosystem – the content the communication technologies the business models and most importantly the consumer acceptance of their location being known of always being connected. Mr Game claimed that this will create organically funded infrastructure meeting policy objectives traditionally and erroneously seen as only feasible through legislative push.

This means policy makers will lose control. Mr Game gave an interesting example from Australia where motoring clubs are deploying an app giving driving behaviour feedback and coaching so you can measure safe and green driving outcomes. This accelerates traditional policy goals – quite independently. Mrs Crane then asked Mr Game about the ITS World Congress in 2016 to be held in Melbourne and the prospects for the next four years.

Mr Game noted that four years ago mobile technology hardly existed in today’s sense (the iPhone was launched in June 2007!) so he couldn’t make a prediction over the next four year cycle! Mr Game did however extol the virtues of Australia as an ITS test bed with very advanced ITS tech being deployed on a commercial level. He encouraged companies to join in and invited all to Melbourne in 2016.

Melinda Crane intoduces the day’s topic of discussiojn
The audience
Left to right:Adam Game Young-Soo Park Per-Henrik Nielsen Nathalie Leboucher Andreas J.M. Ostendor Alice Tornquist
The panel

Link to original Article

Original Publication Date: Tue 30 Oct 2012