Digitally in Motion - ITS Austria Conference 2015


„In the past years we saw all across the globe, and especially in Europe, a lot of movement towards a new understanding of mobility”, stressed Josef Fiala, Chairman of the ITS Austria Platform. „We see an enlarged cooperation of private and public stakeholders in several areas like C-ITS or automation.” From 23rd to 24th November 2015, international experts discussed at this year´s ITS Austria Conference about the current trends in mobility: Mobility as a Service, Sharing, Digita Infrastructure and Automatisation.

Such a crucial topic as digitalisation needs a transformation agenda. It cannot be handled alone by one single party. New mobility concepts like the sharing of mobility or “Mobility as a Service”, as well as automatisation and a digital infrastructure connect new partners in the mobility business and pose big challenges to present stakeholders.

Therefore key speakers from all over Europe gave an insight into the challenges and chances of such new mobility technologies and services and compared them with national views on the single topics.

Reformative cooperations

In a city and its development, mobility is part of everything. And everything is part of mobility. So it is no surprise that one of the big goals is to enable seamless door-to-door mobility. With digitalisation being a key element we see that all over Europe, there is no national or European scale and no interoperability. The problem is that synchronising timetables is not enough for such multimodal door-to-door solutions. “You can only guarantee and develop a successful business case together with policy and all stakeholders” said Roman Srp, Chair of the Czech and Slovak ITS&S. Additionally we need to mind the gap between policy and consumer visions. New, disruptive technologies will lead to an evolutionary development of our cities and transport system. This will lead to new business models based on data and new roles like sharing systems. The trend of using instead of owning is seen all over Europe. Today economic aspects play a bigger role in the decisions making process of users. Sharing means caring and this attitude is not only seen by users. This idea is also the core of Mobility as a Service. First developed in Finland, the service character in mobility spreads out all over Europe. Being aware that mobility is a common good, how can we provide individualised packages for the end users? Above all, how can those services allow them to adapt their mobility behaviour for a common welfare? As those developments are people and citizens driven, it is even more important to involve the end users in an early stage into the development of such new services.

Changing responsibilities

With digitalisation a new kind of infrastructure is created, which needs to be built up and looked after. This is a new form of public responsibility. Gerhard Menzel, European Commission, highlighted the national activities of the last years: “Projects like Verkehrsauskunft Österreich (VAO) are also a great example on European level and a promising approach” Austria has a good tradition in dealing with new challenges. The ITS Action Plan of 2011 and its updated catalogue of measures of 2014 are excellent examples. The ITS Austria Platform supports those efforts by establishing several working groups focusing on future needs: the latest ones are a working group on the development of a Roadmap on Research, Development and Innovation and a group discussion over the issue of car interaction safety.

New chances and challenges

When speaking about data, other issues are automatisation and cooperative systems (C-ITS). The deployment of such technologies will usher in a new era in the context of mobility. Before that, extensive discussions have to be held. The question about a differentiation between private and social data has to be considered. Security is another crucial issue, so how can we guarantee a secure way to update a car? “Connectivity is the key and will also have an impact on current services” suggested Bernd Datler, Asfinag. Again, the first step towards a solution is a closer cooperation between all stakeholders. Here Austria already started an initiative to join forces. At the moment various roadmaps exist. One current Austrian project is to discuss and develop measures for a national Action Plan for Automatisation. The Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology started this process with all national stakeholders and planned to present the first outputs and next steps within the next six months. Technical as well as cooperation issues have to be discussed. A common regulation on European or global scale would be a promising chance to put this challenges one big step forward. Johanna Tzanidaki, Ertico, summed up: “In the end, an automated and connected mobility system should make people happy!”