September 2018 is an important month for the ITS community. With the ITS World Congress approaching, it is the perfect moment to  discuss how Smart Mobility can improve the quality of life with Jacob Bangsgaard, CEO of  ERTICO-ITS Europe.

“Our final goal is to create safer, smarter and cleaner transport services and networks for the benefit of all, both consumers and industry. We facilitate the deployment of smart mobility in Europe by using our role as a thought leader, bringing together mutual interests in the public and private sector to advance the smart mobility agenda. We can then promote and facilitate this deployment through a variety of European co-funded projects, innovation platforms, international cooperation, advocacy and events”, explained Mr. Bangsgaard.

Smart Mobility, often called ITS – Intelligent Transport Systems and Services – includes the integration of smarter information and communications technology with transport infrastructure, vehicles and users. By enabling the sharing of vital information on roads, our supply chains and in our transport services, Smart Mobility allows people to get more from their transport networks, in greater safety and with less impact on the environment. For instance, having a navigation system in our cars, instead of a paper map, allows our vehicle to detect hazards on the road ahead, communicate directly with the surrounding infrastructure, make more informed traffic decisions and even tell us when we are tired, or call an ambulance in case we are involved in an accident: with no doubt, smart mobility stretches across our cities and urban environments, enhancing our driving experience.

How can ITS reduce the impact of transport on the environment?

“ERTICO supports a number of eco-driving initiatives and works with service providers to ensure the interoperability of ITS systems for the continuity of services. This makes driving between cities and across European borders seamless, with no stoppages, no unnecessary delays and, eventually, no carbon emissions. Smart Mobility also enables freight operators and customs authorities to share information about consignments and keep track of their position and status, to provide information on the most efficient, economical and secure routes, consequently reducing their impact on the environment” said Mr. Bangsgaard.

Furthermore, it is true that congestion, high running costs and environmental concerns make personal car ownership less desirable, and as technology begins to offer more attractive alternatives, consumers are increasingly moving away from individual modes of transport.  This leaves space for new mobility service providers to enter the market with ride-sharing and e-hailing services, bike- and car-sharing programmes and on-demand bus services, offering a wider range of choices for the consumer.

People are becoming familiar with concepts such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which combines public, private and shared transportation modes providing multimodal, integrated and digital mobility solutions for people and goods based on their travel needs. Such service can limit the number of vehicles on the roads, reducing congestion and pollution in our cities.

How will driverless technologies change big cities in the future?

”We at ERTICO firmly believe in the important role of driverless technologies – or Cooperative Automated Mobility (CCAM), which are evolving quickly thanks to innovations such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence. By 2020 an IoT network of around 50 billion objects is expected to exist worldwide, which will have a huge impact on connected mobility. This is expected to increase safety, maximise comfort, stimulate business opportunities for a range of mobility services in the coming years, and reach 50% market penetration by 2035”, continued ERTICO’s CEO. “Highly automated vehicles are already operating on European roads and collecting a large amount of real life data that can be used to train deeper their machine learning algorithms and this development will influence mobility and urban living over the coming decade. Building an infrastructure that will allow the handling of this data is a challenging, but strategic step, this is why it is important to maintain dialogue and cooperation between the private and public sector, to ensure that this development improves people’s quality of life and continues the trend towards healthy, liveable and greener cities”.

He then added “The ERTICO Partnership is the ideal eco-system to make a real contribution to the research, development and deployment of connected and automated driving. We believe full benefits will only be unlocked by involving all relevant transport stakeholder sectors”.

What technologies within ITS do you believe will be the most eye catching at the ITS World Congress 2018 in Copenhagen?

“The ITS Congresses represent the ultimate showcase of mobility services deployment. Such events raise awareness of smart mobility solutions amongst policy makers, experts and the general public. We look forward seeing all the new mobility solutions in September with a wide range of demonstrations, starting with the new MaaS app “MinRejseplan”, which allows travellers to plan their journey by using a range of transport and mobility modes, from trains, buses and the Metro, to city bikes, taxis, carpooling and car sharing. Other demos will deal with the first autonomous cab, the latest 4 seater self-driving pods and the on demand driverless shuttle service.

We will see 400 organisations displaying the latest services and technologies, amongst them our Partner Toyota Motor Company, who has been an active participant of the ITS World Congress since the very first one held in 1994. Toyota will showcase “Cooperative ITS,” safety technology with the aim of achieving zero traffic fatalities. Other exciting features of the Congress will include our Partner Dynniq’s intelligent infrastructure and traffic systems WPS’s Parking as a Service and our Partner Cisco, who will be participating in this event for the first time and is showcasing  their ideas on how ‘Together, we change the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns’.

The 2018 Congress will also launch the first-ever exhibition space dedicated to young ventures in smart mobility at an ITS World Congress. The Startup Connector is an exclusive space for start-ups, giving them the opportunity to present their latest innovations and meet with potential business partners”.

With this exciting news, the future of Smart Mobility is bright and on track to create a greener, healthier and more livable society.

Don’t miss the chance to learn more about these latest developments in Smart Mobility at the upcoming ITS World Congress this September in Copenhagen.