When we talk about smart mobility, we often also mention disruption. Changes to the course of the way we normally do things and innovations that act as a catalyst to move us into a new direction. The COVID-19 pandemic has in the past year been a disrupter. Forced to stay at home, we re-thought the way we managed our day and changed the way we worked. We also changed our shopping habits and received more deliveries at home than ever before. Our personal mobility patterns were drastically disrupted and ‘virtual’, ‘on-line’, and ‘un-mute’ became an essential part of our vocabulary.

All of this has had a huge impact on the mobility sector. It has been even more necessary to provide safe and secure transport for essential workers, to offer new alternatives in micro-mobility and to provide efficient logistic solutions for shops and home deliveries. 2020 has shown that we can reduce our personal mobility, but one day we will want to restore our past habits when we begin to define the ‘new normal’. We have been offered a unique opportunity to use the re-set button and rethink what we want to change in the future and what we want to leave behind. To re-evaluate and reorganise a new way of living as people, but also as communities, to reshape a cleaner, safer and more efficient way of life in the future.

For ERTICO this year, the words Sustainability, Digitalisation and Efficiency will be key drivers for our work within our four focus areas of Connected and Automated Driving, Transport and Logistics, Urban Mobility and Clean Mobility. Together with our 120 Partners covering eight sectors of the mobility industry, we intend to work hard towards reaching our shared ambitions on sustainable mobility and decarbonisation, working closely and in parallel to achieve the goals set out by the European Commission’s Green Deal and ERTICO’s vision for 2030. Supported by increasing digitalisation in transport and logistics and innovations in automation and the improved exchange of transport data as well as pre-market trials in projects such as high-density truck platooning  will set us full-speed on the road to create safer, cleaner and more efficient transport solutions for the freight and transport industry.

ERTICO has long recognised European cities as fundamental in the quest for reaching sustainable mobility goals. The ERTICO City Moonshot has been an amazing experience of learning for both ERTICO and the 300 cities that are part of this global quest. We can’t wait to present the results at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg later this year. More and more cities are joining our Partnership for policy knowledge, for access to Partner innovations and because of ERTICO’s tenacity in managing networks for knowledge exchange.

In the current challenging business environment, the platform that ERTICO offers to companies, big, medium or small, right now is more important than ever. Through our projects, we can support the mobility sector in bringing new technologies to market and offer an eco-system to test, develop, share information, as the latest mobility solutions and services develop. Together we can create standards that shape the path for the future. The mantra of the ERTICO Partnership remains as always – we are better together.

The hardest thing this last year for me has been the lack of onsite togetherness. I think we all miss the team interaction, the brainstorming and the networking that is so important in the way we innovate and develop. I am very much looking forward to being together with the ERTICO team and meeting face-to-face with our partners again hopefully soon. Together with the city of Hamburg we are working full speed on making the ITS World Congress in Hamburg 11-15 October 2021 a spectacular, COVID-19  safe event where we will provide you with the ideal opportunity to showcase, network and learn from 15.000 mobility experts all looking forward to a moment of togetherness.

I hope to see you soon again and look forward to spending some long awaited time with you in Hamburg in October.

All the best wishes for your 2021!