IT-TRANS: Mobility as a digitally optimised service

Debut for Future Mobility Lab and Award for start-ups

Digital tools have the potential to optimise the quality of public transport, to boost its efficiency, reduce its costs and help to improve the overall passenger experience. The advantages of this can be seen in concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and in new technologies like autonomous driving. IT-TRANS devotes special conference sessions to both of these areas. Between 3 and 5 March, Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center will be playing host to the world’s leading conference and exhibition for digitally networked urban mobility.

Approximately 150 speakers at the IT-TRANS conference will be examining these aspects in detail in a total of 30 sessions. One of the speakers is Guillaume Gibon, CEO of Paris-based company CITiO, who will be sharing his knowledge in a lecture on “Start-ups as mobility innovators”. This session will discuss how public authorities and public transport operators are working together with new players with a view to making urban mobility systems of the future sustainable. Gibon is not only a speaker at the conference but is also one of the exhibitors at the exhibition: “IT-TRANS is an absolute must for players in the transport sector. For us, it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our solution, which uses big data for optimising public transport networks, at international level. In doing so, we use both platforms: the conference and the exhibition.”

Conference and exhibition: an ideal networking and discussion platform

Sector experts will be presenting their best practice examples and their latest products and mobility services not only in the conference but also at the exhibition. In the two Market Update forums, a total of 70 speakers from exhibiting companies such as IVU, INIT, Trapeze, Cityway, Bestmile, Masabi, Grupo Etra, Scheidt & Bachmann and Siemens Mobility will be sharing their visions and experiences. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), seamless mobility, data analyses, mobile ticketing and integrated planning tools for transport companies are just some of the topics that will be covered in the Market Update forums.

As project manager Jochen Georg reports: “IT-TRANS shows where digital solutions can be used in public transport – from micromobility and big data to artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Our exhibitors – approximately 280 in all – will be presenting their smart software on an area measuring 28,000 square metres which, for the very first time, extends to two exhibition halls. I am particularly pleased to report that exhibitors from no fewer than 34 countries will be making their way here to Karlsruhe. There has been a marked increase in exhibitors from the UK, Belgium, Spain and the USA signing up for our 2020 event.”

New: Future Mobility Lab with barrier-free access and micromobility

The new Future Mobility Lab combines a number of different areas on a single space, namely e-charging, barrier-free access, micromobility and connected mobility. Exhibitor Stoehr will be presenting its charging stations for electric buses and cars. INIT will be showing IT-TRANS visitors what public transport feels like for people with reduced mobility or with sight and hearing disabilities. Visitors can go directly to INIT’s stand to experience at first hand how an inclusive travel assistance system takes into account their specific needs and allows them to make use of public transport. In addition, visitors to the Future Mobility Lab can test provider VOI’s e-scooters on a driving safety route. And TAF mobile from Jena will be presenting an app that groups together different modes of transport on a single platform and allows them to be booked there.

Control room simulates management of complex transport systems

For the very first time, a control room is to be set up at IT-TRANS 2020, providing a live simulation of how autonomous e-vehicles are integrated into a transport system that also includes vehicles with drivers. The control room is to be set up by Swiss exhibitor Trapeze. The software for integrating the self-driving vehicles into the control system will be provided by its subsidiary AMoTech. As Matthias Stahel, Director Corporate and Marketing Communications at Trapeze Switzerland GmbH, explains: “With the control room, we will be demonstrating the challenges associated with managing a complex transport system. For example, when vehicles with drivers are using the route network at the same time as self-driving vehicles, it is necessary to decide – with the aid of software – which bus will drive into a layby first. In the case of driverless vehicles, it is necessary to clarify how passengers obtain their tickets, how many passengers there are in a vehicle and whether there are medical emergencies.” IT-TRANS visitors can observe the various modes of transport on the control room monitors, watch the dispatchers at work and ask any questions they might have.

One of the vehicles shown in the control room’s traffic management system is a self-driving minibus produced by easymile, which is available for a test drive on a demonstration route.

Future Mobility Award for start-ups launched

For the very first time, a prize for start-ups is to be presented at IT-TRANS: the Future Mobility Award, which acknowledges outstanding sustainable mobility solutions for public transport. The award will be presented by German trade journal Nahverkehrs-praxis, the Automotive Engineering Network and Messe Karlsruhe during the Karlsruhe Networking Night on the second evening of the exhibition. On the previous day, applicants will have had the opportunity to pitch their ideas, concepts and projects in the Start-Up Zone at the exhibition. A panel of experts from business and local government will be evaluating the submissions. Start-ups can sign up to take part up until 15 February – participants do not have to be exhibitors at IT-TRANS.

New companies show their latest innovations in a joint area

Around twenty start-ups will be showcasing their products on a communal space – the Start-Up Zone – at IT-TRANS. The start-ups come from China, Israel, Japan, Canada, Russia and the USA, as well as from Germany and other European countries. Participation by new German companies is being subsidised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and its support programme “Junge Innovative Unternehmen” (Young Innovative Companies).

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Portrait Verena Schneider
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Verena Schneider
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