ERTICO Partner SWARCO participated in the High-Level Session ‘Disrupting towards the new normal in mobility’ ‘at the Virtual  ITS European Congress with Michael Schuch, the COO of SWARCO, presenting. New trends are coming up fast, and disruption is a challenge for SWARCO as a traditional player in the road infrastructure industry. Michael Schuch shares his opinion and expertise on why this is an opportunity rather than a challenge.

From traffic management to travel management

SWARCO is co-designing the paradigm shift from traffic to travel management by improving the intermodal travel experience and subsequently the quality of life. This plays an important role in successful MaaS deployments since SWARCO prepares the infrastructure to accommodate automated vehicles and ensure the orchestration of the traffic modes within the road network by balancing individual and collective needs through collaborative schemes.

How SWARCO sees the future of mobility

Individual companies alone cannot handle the complexity of modern mobility management anymore, and the traditional division of roles in the mobility sector is being challenged today and could change dramatically in the future. For me, the answer to this is “co-opetition”, in which competitors from industry are seeking to cooperate and enter strategic partnerships to ensure interoperability. Interoperability and collaboration – especially among the Traditional Players – are key in order to maintain the market position and tackle the increasing challenges, also from global service providers “born” in the age of digital transformation.”

A partnership approach is also required with the public authorities within the Business-to-Government (B2G) context. Cities often do not have a clear vision of their mobility system, which remains a basic need that must be organized. It is important to enter into an open dialogue with all the stakeholders, involving city authorities, traffic industry, start-ups, universities and the travellers, in order to develop the appropriate vision.

As funding of new digital mobility is always a critical issue, Public-Private-Partnership models could be a solution on the way to the new normal and faster deployment of technologies. Legislation should allow for disruption. However, public authorities should not lose control over their mobility system in cities. Testing of technology and new solutions in a confined area is key for the successful rollout on a larger scale. Today it is more about tackling specific problems in cities and find answers to very local needs. A pile of scooters building an obstacle for pedestrians on a sidewalk is just an example of missing or not properly defined frameworks.

Seamless mobility is still far away from becoming the new normal, as long as there is no holistic view. We have to look at the entire transport ecosystem in which cars are just one component. It should not be about making travelling by car less attractive but rather make the use of other transport modes more attractive.

SWARCO’s new mobility management software MyCity addresses many of the challenges cities face today in traffic. Flexible strategies to react on local incidents, to improve air quality and to foster inter-modality can be implemented with this novel platform. Traffic managers are invited to co-create the solution for their specific local needs to make their cities more livable.