ERTICO welcomes Volkswagen Group as a new Partner, joining the other 12 companies of the vehicle manufactures sector. A delegation of high level executives from Volkswagen Group, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, ITS Deutschland and Hermes GmbH visited the ERTICO premises on 15 March to show support to the City of Hamburg and officially hand over the bid to host the 28th ITS World Congress in 2021.

Jacob Bangsgaard, ERTICO’s CEO, said: “We are pleased to welcome the Volkswagen Group in the ERTICO Partnership. This group of companies is a very strong partner in the ITS sector and has shown how important cooperation is for them on regional, national, and international level. They joined the City of Hamburg in submitting their bid for hosting the ITS World Congress in 2021. ERTICO’s bet is on the deployment of ITS in Europe through the creation of partnerships and bridges between the different sectors. The partnership between the City of Hamburg, already an ERTICO Partner, and the Volkswagen Group highlights the importance of having public authorities and the industry working closely together on the development and deployment of innovative ITS solutions for making urban mobility smarter, safer, and more efficient”.

In motivating the joining of ERTICO’s partnership, Dr Thomas Sedran¸ Senior Vice President Group Strategy at Volkswagen Group, explained that it would be a great honour to be sitting at the table and to be part of the discussion on how to deploy intelligent and sustainable mobility in Europe with other strong partners.

“A core pillar of our new Group strategy is partnerships. “Together” is about relying on trustful collaborations with strong partners. Only strong partnerships will enable us to fully answer our customers’ needs and demands. Especially within the ITS industry, it is key to team up with cities, with associations as well as with industry partners to ensure the implementation of sustainable and integrated mobility solutions. Being an ERTICO member is crucial for that”, explained Dr Thomas Sedran.

Nikolas Hill, from City of Hamburg and Harry Evers, CEO of ITS Deutschland, both responsible for the ITS World Congress 2021 bid, presented the proposal which received already the support of over 100 partners in Europe, including the national government but also the local authorities and the ITS National Associations. According to Dr Hill, the livability of the city of Hamburg is linked to finding good and smart mobility solutions; Hamburg has already an ITS strategic plan in place which it will implement despite the ITS Congress.

Dr Thomas Sedran, then highlighted their role in the bid and the ongoing cooperation activities between them and the City of Hamburg. The two entities have signed a strategic mobility partnership in August 2016 as a step forward to Volkswagen Group’s  “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025 ”, which lays the foundations for the Group’s lasting success in tomorrow’s world of mobility and for its evolution into a globally leading provider of sustainable mobility. One key building block of the strategy is the transformation of the Group’s core business to face the new era of mobility. The focus is very much related to the use of electric, connected and autonomous vehicles. The ITS World Congress would help to further accelerate the development and deployment of mobility solutions for both people and goods. As Ludger Fretzen, Volkswagen AG, Executive Director Head of Group-Strategy New Business, explained, one of the key customers for mobility in the future will be the cities; Hamburg is Volkswagen Group’s living lab, proof point and test field for urban mobility solutions. He, of course, underlined his optimism for the ITS World Congress; according to him, 2021 would be a perfect timing to showcase ITS developments as a lot of intelligent solutions will be tested, piloted and deployed by then.

The winner of the bid for the ITS World Congress 2021 should be announced in Montreal at the ITS World Congress 2017. “We are pleased to hear from our German colleagues that they are looking at the ITS deployment beyond the ITS World Congress bid, which would represent a milestone for their national mobility strategy implementation”, Didier Gorteman, Director of Congress at ERTICO concluded.