A message from the hosts of the 2019 ITS European Congress

We firmly believe in the potential of intelligent transport systems (ITS) and smart mobility solutions. With millions of bikes, cars and trucks on our roads and some 4,500 daily train runs on a surface of only 41,000 square kilometres, we choose to act. The challenges we face in terms of accessibility, road safety and liveability demand innovative and realistic solutions. Solutions that are both smart and green and immediately applicable. No road to the universe, but concrete and above all realistic solutions to tackle these challenges effectively. Smart Mobility is our Dutch Reality.

We look forward to welcoming you to Brainport Eindhoven coming June and showing you our version of the Dutch reality. An innovative top technology region with a strong focus on inventing, developing and integrating world’s most complex high tech machines, systems, parts and products. Brainport Eindhoven is the fastest-growing region in the Netherlands, with an economic growth of 4.9% in 2017, compared to an average national growth of 3.2%. Nowhere else in the world, a technology region is found where government, industry and knowledge institutions collaborate as closely as they do here. By joining forces, they have been able to successfully link entrepreneurship to innovation and make solutions for societal challenges.

The world’s first solar-powered car in the world, the Lightyear, is to be completed this year, in Helmond. At knowledge institutes like TU/e, TNO and Fontys in Eindhoven, the latest insights into smart mobility are developed by partners from the world of science and industry. The TU/e was responsible for the launch of the first separate electric car sharing company, Amber, on the market.

During ITS Europe 2019 we would like to show you our Dutch reality in other regions as well. In the Netherlands, we are committed to taking things forward and moving from start-up to scale-up, to achieve impact on a national and international level. That means ensuring that our infrastructure is ready for the future, for connected and automated driving. It also means investing in digital connectivity to enable vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. On a European level, we are participating in the Data Task Force to improve access to data. At the same time, we are aware of the potential drawbacks. That is why we are also investing heavily in data protection and cyber security. Our ultimate aim is that everyone ­– and road users in particular – will benefit from the new connectivity developments. We also believe in the potential of Mobility as a Service: shifting away from personally-owned modes of transportation towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service – based on personal travel needs. It also means co-modal transport – shifting from one to the other means of transport. All with a focus on an optimal travel experience, based on safety, comfort and efficiency.

All these issues cannot be dealt with separately. In the Netherlands, we strongly believe in the power of connectivity. Many of the new technologies are interlinked and have potential to reinforce each other. This, as well as the multifarious nature of ITS and smart mobility, will feature prominently in the 2019 Congress programme. We are more than proud to be hosting Europe’s largest event, which is entirely dedicated to smart mobility and digitalisation of transport.

We are already sharing knowledge in an increasingly wide range of fields, with an increasingly wide range of target groups. After all, no one can move mountains alone. Only through joining forces and working together can we realize our ambitions. We hope the congress will accelerate existing developments – both in the Netherlands and in Europe – and give stakeholders the tools they need in order to fulfil our ITS promises together.