Having recently topped the world’s first Smart City Index, Singapore was the ideal host city for this year’s ITS World Congress and provided a fantastic opportunity to bring the International ITS community to the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Themed ‘smart mobility, empowering cities,’ it was an enjoyable week full of networking and learning with some incredibly interesting sessions to attend and daring new ideas being shared.
Here are my top takeaways from this year’s ITS World Congress.
1. The future of transport is here
This year’s ITS World Congress showcased the progression of the industry and how the application of smart technology will help solve future transport challenges.
The topics covered in the sessions were extensive and the solutions exhibited were of high quality. The common thread was that the future of transport is here now, and what were once ideas and trials are now in full production and in the market, with expansion and scaling on the horizon.
Major topics throughout the event included improving safety and reducing carbon emissions, along with the introduction of new and more personal forms of on-demand transport options which require new infrastructure and policy outcomes to ensure successful scaling.
2. The role of vehicle manufacturers is evolving
Unlike past ITS World Congresses, the exhibition hall was almost devoid of cars. Vehicle manufacturers still had a strong presence at the exhibition, but greater focus was placed on vehicle-to-everything systems, connected services and cars joining the Internet of Things.
There was also greater focus on alternative modes of personal and mass transport including autonomous vehicles, micro-mobility and zero-emission transport.
3. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) applications are in use now
Discussions and whitepapers around MaaS were prevalent throughout the Congress. As a result, there were varied perspectives on what encompasses MaaS and differing views on how it can benefit the travelling public.
With real examples of MaaS applications now live, particularly across Europe, we can now start drawing more effective conclusions about MaaS and as an industry, start building on what we’ve learned.
With a focus on solving the interoperability of disparate systems and datasets we can start to open up this information for the greater benefit and the importance of strong public-private cooperation.
4. APAC has a lot to offer
With this year’s ITS World Congress being held in Singapore, it encouraged active participation from across the APAC region. Singapore is a hub of innovation, and its leading ITS applications inspire new thinking. There was strong APAC representation in the sessions and within the exhibition, showcasing our ingenuity as a collective and the value we bring to the international ITS community.
There were plenty of great conversations around new partnerships and sharing learnings from key projects. This set the scene for what is sure to be an exciting 2020 edition of the ITS Asia Pacific Conference, which will be held in Brisbane, Australia next May.
5. Harmonise the data to realise its true value
Through developing and providing ITS solutions over many years, many organisations from all corners of the globe have captured and collected a huge amount of data.
To unlock the true value of this data, many organisations are applying analytics and processing to the data they have with varying degrees of success. This phenomenon highlights issues of scale, geographic scope and quality, as well as difficulties with many attempting to aggregate the data in proprietary platforms which restricts its use and interoperability.
This is creating new opportunities for organisations who provide services to assist with the realisation and the value of the data assets. Key to maximising these data assets is understanding the markets to which they are being applied, along with effective elimination of those parts of the datasets that don’t provide real value.
As always, this year’s ITS World Congress was a fantastic event and I personally enjoyed all my interactions with a diverse group of our industry’s top professionals. Looking forward to seeing you all again next year in Los Angeles.
Stephen Owens is Chief Operating Officer at Intelematics.
Intelematics delivers the intelligence behind connected services to keep people moving. Since its establishment in 1999, Intelematics has continually been at the forefront of the telematics industry with a presence in Australia, North America and Europe. Intelematics’ expertise is delivered via a suite of scalable, multi-tenanted solutions. This includes connected transportation services such as real time insights and predictive services, connected motoring applications on vehicle dashboards and specialist safety and security services.