In advance of every ITS Congress and other great event, there is a wealth of preparation that continues on behind the scenes to ensure the appropriate catering, room capacity within the venue, the exhibition stands and in this particular year, that the appropriate safety and health security measures are in place for the many thousands of participants that will attend. Despite all these necessary preparations, the programme for the ITS World Congress with its contributions submitted from all over the world remains its beating heart and the motor that drives attendance. This year, the Congress team has received a total of 950 contributions with over 600 originating in Europe. The Congress team is keen to thank the global ITS Community.

‘The initial slow pace of contributions can hardly be seen as a surprise given the current circumstances. However, the unprecedented tsunami of contributions in the last few weeks just shows how much the ITS Community wish to be together again face-to-face and their determination to do so. We intend to make that happen for all of us!’ says Lisa Boch-Andersen, ERTICO’s Director of Events and Communication and the leader of the Congress team.

This year’s programme of the ITS World Congress in Hamburg revolves around six themes: Automated, Cooperative and Connected mobility; Mobility on Demand, Mobility as a Service; Goods Journey from Ports to Customers; Intelligent Infrastructure; New Services from New Technologies and finally Solutions for Cities and Citizens. The programme comprises technical papers, business presentations and special interest sessions.  Contributions were received from the academic community, industry leaders, public authorities, government agencies from the US to Japan on topics ranging from Mobility as a Service, access to mobility, new connectivity technologies, autonomous public transport, cyber-security, resilience, smart infrastructure, safety gains, pilot trials, data sharing, urban air mobility and skills development, to name but a few.

Eric Sampson, ERTICO’s External Congress advisor who has been involved in all Congresses from the very first in Paris in 1994, says:  ‘It is astonishing to me how the programme has developed in its size, quality, range and depth. This year’s Congress in Hamburg is no exception. I am marvelling at the strength of the contributions. At Congresses, we usually see cycles, some years we are impressed at the latest innovations and then other years, we see innovations brought to deployment.  This year in Hamburg the contributions presented offer everything – a range of interesting technologies as well as remarkable deployment of these innovations. There is ferocious competition for the Congress sessions, which we are sure will deliver a more high-profile and better quality event.’

The ITS World Congress takes place in Hamburg from 11-15 October 2021.