ERTICO builds bridges between experts and stakeholders, connects best practices and concrete needs, facilitates knowledge sharing between public and private sectors. The City Moonshot Initiative and the TM2.0 Innovation Platform joint event “City Data in Traffic Management” was organised in this context.

This event was exclusively organised for and with a focus on local and regional public authorities. Following ERTICO’s user-centric and collaborative approach, representatives from cities and public authorities, as well as private partners like PTV Group (represented by Chiara Cianella, who focused on the Optima system), were invited to share their learning experiences on city data in traffic management. With public representatives from all around the world, the event featured a plurality of perspectives and point of views. From Timisoara’s newest integration platform described by Mihai Niculescu (ITS Romania), or the efforts in transforming a car-centered city like Nicosia through innovative and integrated data management and dynamic modelling (presented by Nassos Kolyvas from Nicosia Municipality – Cyprus), to the optimised in-house data analysis showcased by Danielle Elkins (City of Minneapolis – USA), the event highlighted various challenges that cities have faced and the solutions they came up with. Notably, the latest results from ERTICO’s own TM2.0 Innovation Platform and CITY Moonshot initiative provided the framework for the discussion.

The event was opened by Dr. Angelos Amditis, ERTICO – ITS Europe Chairman, who reminded the audience about the importance of developing the right infrastructure and transport management systems to support cities’ digital evolution, overcoming challenges such as the lack of information and data access. The importance of smart transport applications, interconnectivity, interoperability, multimodality and low (or zero) environmental impact in (urban) mobility planning, together with an enabling legal framework and comprehensive data collection and data sharing efforts, was also underlined by Mr. Yiannis Xifaras, Secretary-General of Transport of the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, in his keynote speech.

“The backbone of the new integrated, secure, efficient, smart and sustainable mobility of the future is data. Enabling secured data accessibility, sharing and management, ensuring quality and availability, will be the key towards cities’ evolution as part of the future smart societies.”

Dr. Angelos Amditis, ERTICO – ITS Europe Chairman

After those initial remarks, the event moved into a more technical discussion. Starting with an overview on the importance of Smart and Interactive Traffic Management (TM), Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki – TM 2.0 co-Chair, and Director Innovation and Deployment at ERTICO, highlighted how information sharing and dialogue among all the actors involved in mobility, from the city/traffic managers to the service providers and the final users, is a win-win for every stakeholder. Trust and understanding of each other’s needs are the key pillars of the collaboration that will lead to long-lasting innovative solutions, allowing to leverage constructively the data loop between public authorities and service providers for the optimisation of traffic flows.

And it is indeed in the collection and sharing of data that ERTICO’s City Moonshot Initiative has produced some interesting results. The Initiative was launched in mid-2020 with the aim to interview 300 cities worldwide to understand their needs and requirements in relation to mobility and transport. As preliminary results show, cities around the world are not only already collecting data from sources such as traffic management, average speed on roads, parking space occupancy and number of bicycle rides, but they are also often sharing those data with several stakeholders, or even have them publicly accessible. However, cities have indicated to ERTICO that data collection is not always easy; many cities have a clear interest in obtaining any kind of data collected by mobility service providers in order to optimise transport and mobility as much as possible. With a key interest in origin and destination data, demand, services and occupancy data, as well as information on travel pattern, cities are very interested in traffic stakeholders from the public and the private sectors cooperating for the benefit of all.

The city representatives heard and discussed the challenges they face in the concept of co-opetition, the principle upon which the TM 2.0 concept is built on. Under co-opetition, competitor stakeholders in the traffic management market continue to compete but they also cooperate on commonly agreed goals that are set by the public authority. That brings the private stakeholders in alignment with the targets set by the city, whether these relate to geofencing or environmental traffic management or others. What is important in this cooperation is the mutual understanding of interests and business models of all stakeholders, Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki, the moderator of this event, stated.

The City Moonshot initiative is working to create a unique knowledge database, where interviewed cities will be able to directly express their needs and interests in how they wish to form their mobility systems. Moreover, the report with the results of the initiative will soon be disclosed during the ITS World Congress in October 2021, where ERTICO will also organise a not-to-be-missed special networking session for cities.
With an ever-growing role of data and data use in improving societies and quality of life in cities all around the world, together with an increasing interest in how Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and Smart and Interactive Traffic Management can support reaching environmental targets, global-reaching discussions focused on data sharing such as ERTICO’s “City Data in Traffic Management” are crucial.

You can learn more about ERTICO TM2.0 Innovation Platform here.

To discover more about ERTICO City Moonshot initiative, click here.