One thing is for certain, 2020 has not been a straightforward year. Each of us has had to learn to live differently and that applies to the way we work, live and move. Yet despite these challenges, I am very proud of what the ERTICO Partnership has managed to achieve.

Like most organisations, with the start of the global pandemic ERTICO’s activities went on-line under a new mantra: ‘the ITS Conversation continues’. We were proud to host ERTICO’s very first Virtual Conference ‘Empowering mobility with secure and accessible data’ in collaboration with Partner BlackBerry at the beginning of June and the very first Virtual ITS European Congress ‘The Mobility R-evolution’ in early November. We were also glad to support the city of Kazan in Tatarstan with their Digital Week in September.

Under the umbrella of ERTICO’s Academy, we organised a total of 25 webinars, providing training, discussion and information on a wide range of topics. The ERTICO Academy also delivered face-to-face training in Ankara in March 2020 with six further trainings given to four cities in Turkey (Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Gazi Antep).

With the ultimate goal of bringing more innovation and wide scale implementation across Europe and beyond, the ERTICO Partnership this year launched its City Moonshot initiative. Three areas of interest were identified: Sustainability (air pollution and climate crisis), data sharing and Mobility-as-a-Service. The ultimate goal is to interview 300 cities worldwide in order to understand their daily challenges, needs and aspirations so that the work of ERTICO Partnership can deliver even more impact.

Before travel was effectively halted, ERTICO began the year with a Partner delegation to the US, visiting Silicon Valley and CES in Las Vegas. During the visit 15 ERTICO Partners had the possibility to learn from and create new business connections with thought leaders including, Waymo, Lyft, BlackBerry, Volvo, San Francisco Transport Authority.

Where possible during the health crisis, we have tried to continue fruitful discussion and the exchange of views further afield. ERTICO enhanced its relations with the academic community and industry in China by co-organising with the China Highway and Transport Society (CHTS) the Smart Cities and Green Mobility EU-China webinar in mid-October.  With the Municipality of Central Macedonia, ERTICO co-organised a Ministerial-Mayors panel discussion on mobility and innovation, where ERTICO, local partners and Ministers had the opportunity to discuss needs and priorities for the region.

The ERTICO team and the Partnership have shown great perseverance in pushing forward innovation and delivering on expectations with EC projects. These are just a few of the Partnership’s success stories:

The highways chauffeur and high-density truck platooning use cases and technologies implemented through CONCORDA and successfully demonstrated during the final tests on the German A9, in Helmond, Amsterdam and North Brabant (NL), Spain, Belgium, France continue to contribute to the preparation of European motorways for automated driving and high-density truck platooning.

The ARCADE project has developed a knowledge base on CCAM that has become a reference for information about CCAM activities in Europe. At the last High-Level Meeting on Connected Automated Driving organised by the Finnish Ministry of Transport in October, the importance of ARCADE was officially recognized by Member States. Gathering information about R&I and pilot initiatives, evaluation methodologies, data sharing frameworks, regulations, standards, ARCADE constitutes an essential tool for supporting cooperation and the exchange of best practice in the CCAM community.

SAFE STRIP project has achieved exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact, developing functions that reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption thanks to improved traffic efficiency. Additionally, traffic safety is improved – in specific traffic scenarios the reduction of fatal injuries may exceed 55%. The project has developed a novel micro sensorial system – called SAFE STRIP – that can be integrated or installed on top of the road pavement that provides safety functions to all road users in the C-ITS ecosystem.

ELVITEN completed a year-long demonstration of light electric vehicle usage schemes in six European cities. In total there were 225 e-bikes and light EVs, producing data from nearly 40,000 trips, proving that such vehicles provide a sustainable and user-friendly alternative for city trips, work commute and commercial delivery. The project has generated guidelines for vehicle manufacturers and planning authorities, to support the integration of these types of vehicles in mobility planning.

The TM 2.0 platform held a joint workshop with the MaaS Alliance and published a Task Force Report on the Mobility Network Management, further promoting the concept of managing the mobility system based on the principles of trust and co-opetition amongst mobility stakeholders.  Cooperation and dialogue, the two principles of TM 2.0, are at the core of pilots in European cities and is currently being discussed by public authorities in Turkey.

As you would have expected, ERTICO has been actively engaging with decision makers on the future of transport in Europe. We are part of the DTLF Steering Committee and have provided input for the future pan-European network architecture and the reference architecture data sharing concept. ERTICO plays an active role in ALICE as Vice-Chair of the Board and has contributed to the systems and technologies for interconnected logistics solutions.

ERTICO has been contributing to the CCAM Single Platform Working Groups and is one of the few European organisations that the EC has entrusted with drafting the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and eventually setting up the Co-Programmed Partnership on CCAM.

At the end of this year, we are also delighted that nine new Partners have joined us on our quest: RTA Dubai, Re:Lab, City of Thessaloniki, Pionira, PARIFEX, Alpega, University of Calabria, ITMO University and IRT SystemX.

In these challenging times, ERTICO’s vision for safer, smarter and cleaner mobility has definitely become more imperative and relevant than ever. The focus on building an integrated ecosystem of smart mobility, for people and goods, transforming the European mobility scene, is being reinforced against current needs, as it clearly contributes to the solutions for overcoming critical situations.

Let me finally express my gratitude to all the ERTICO Partners, for their continuous support and faith to our vision, their active collaboration and engagement not only to our activities as described above, but also to the changes that were brought in administrative issues.

Your health is the most important toast I can wish you this year. I hope you manage to spend some time with your families at least virtually, if not face-to-face. Let’s get ready to embrace 2021 with renewed vigour and dynamism.

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season, and for health and happiness throughout the coming year!

May we soon meet in person again!

Dr. Angelos Amditis, ERTICO Chairman