Driving home the ITS message

The importance of public-private cooperation and facing up to the challenges of climate change and the financial crisis – were two clear messages transmitted during the opening of the ITS congress in Stockholm.

During the next four days, 2,500 transport executives – and close to 5,000 visitors - from over 60 countries are gathered in Stockholm at the Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS) 16th World Congress.

Congress Director Hans Rode says, “This event focuses on benefits for the individual and society. “Everything here this week can give results whether related to climate change or efficient transport. We want to give attendees something of value to take home with them.”

The importance of ITS
Global demand for transport is on the increase but there is also a wider understanding that this growth must include long-term responsibility for our environment and climate. The international financial crisis has provided an extra dimension and added pressure to find efficient forms. Using ITS solutions is one way to both increase efficiency and reduce the climate impact of emissions.

“This ITS World Congress is a milestone for pushing deployment of ITS forward, in line with the European Commission’s ITS Action Plan,” says Antonio Tajani, Vice President at the European Commission (Transport).

“An increased use of ITS will bring benefits in terms of safety, the environment, the economy and standard of living. The EU is committed to getting ITS deployed in Europe.”

Speaking at the Congress opening ceremony, Gunter Zimmermeyer, Chairman of ERTICO – ITS Europe, says that that “public-private cooperation is the key to the success of ITS in Europe.”

Truck manufacturers’ role in ITS
Our reporter asked Ingemar Skogö, former Director General at the Swedish Road Administration and Chairman of the Congress Board, what role the truck companies had in contributing to ITS and improving safety on our roads:

“I think the Swedish truck companies are very engaged in this congress. They’re both here and they’re very keen to work on safety and cleaner traffic.”

“We operate a project together with road, rail and truck companies to achieve CO2 neutrality in heavy transport by 2020. It’s a tough job but if we combine efforts from the road authorities, fuel companies and truck manufacturers, we can do it. It’s a step by step solution but with a long-term focus.”

The Volvo Group has a visible presence this year with a 100-square-metre booth and trucks installed in the outdoor “Cooperative Showcase” demonstration area and at the EU Commission booth. The exhibition area will open on Tuesday.

“The number of attendees is slightly lower this year than in previous years,” says Mats Rosenquist from the Volvo booth. “This is due to the downturn and the fact that some companies have probably reduced travelling costs but we have high expectations for the coming days.”

Visit http://www.volvo.com/group/global/en-gb/productsandservices/researchandtechnology/Research_and_technology.htm for daily updates from the congress and to learn more about  our work with ITS.

Watch / download a selection of images from the conference.