The 13th ITS European Congress
The theme of this years 13th ITS European Congress was “Fulfilling ITS Promises”. The week long congress organised by ERTICO took place in Brainport, the Netherlands from 2 to 6 of June and included hundreds of workshops, sessions and demonstrations and exhibitions allowing attendees to reflect on smart mobility and the digitalisation of transport.
In her opening speech, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, highlighted the importance of cooperation between public and private stakeholders. She welcomed that competing companies are increasingly sharing data in their research and development efforts. She also insisted on taking consumer protection into account when developing and deploying new technology. Frans Timmermans, First Vice Chairman of the European Commission, referred to the triple helix model of innovation in the Brainport region. This refers to a set of interactions between academia, industry and governments, to foster economic and social development. In this, he set an emphasis on the need for opening up and sharing knowledge, also to adapt the education systems to new needs. He also underlined the need of support from citizens, who need to see that sustainability is in their interest and a contribution to everyday life, not only for those who can afford a high end car. Referring to the Brainport initiative, Frans Timmermans said that Europe is the best place to lead innovation in the world, but he warned that Europe should not be complacent. He added that 5G telecommunication technology is the technology to enable this innovation. Regarding making mobility more sustainable, he explained that the focus should not only be on solar and wind sources. Another option is making use of hydrogen as energy carried, which can be carried through the existing gas pipes. He underlined that the energy issue is a major element of future sustainable transport policy.
During a plenary assembly, the need for a reality check regarding user’s expectations was highlighter. Recent research published by the ADAC showed that the benefits of automated driving in increasing road safety will still take decades to become reality. On one side, determining factors will be the need for full automation to realise the potential of the technology, and on the other side the speed of vehicle fleet renewal as well as a likely long coexistence of partly and fully automated vehicles. There was also an emphasis on the challenge for the successful development and deployment of connected automated vehicles: data privacy and fair access to mobility and in-vehicle data. Data is the core of the new connected automated mobility. Users are concerned with the role of data in connected automated driving as well as data privacy. Access to in-vehicle data and hardware is crucial for open competition, because it allows for more diverse applications, increases inclusive mobility and speeds up automated driving development.
For more highlights and recaps regarding the ITS Congress, click here.