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22 October 2012

Doris Bures outlines Austrias influence on ITS

Publishedin ITS World Congress2012
Daily News
Day 1
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Doris Bures Fedral Minister for Transport
Doris Bures, Fedral Minister for Transport

Austria has built a strong ITS industry and become an important location in the sector. Doris Bures, Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology talks about what the country has to offer the global ITS community

Q As the host country for the 19th ITS World Congress, what examples of best practice will Austria be able to show to the global ITS community?

A The Austrian ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, together with its agency AustriaTech and Ertico-ITS Europe, has been working hard since 2009 to arrange a high-quality congress agenda
International experts will discuss the present and the future of ITS in more than 1,000 presentations, and 22 demonstrations will show the latest developments in live operation. In a joint demonstration, the Austrian Testfeld Telematik consortium, the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium and Drive C2X will demonstrate in the real traffi c of Vienna how cooperative systems can improve road safety and effi ciency. Vienna itself can be considered a best practice of urban mobility. In 2011 the share of public transport amounted to 37 percent, leaving the car far behind with only 20 percent Thereby Vienna represents a wonderful example for lived multimodality and proves to be a deserving host for the ITS World Congress.

Q Your Ministry is part of a European network – Ertico-ITS Europe – to promote the development and deployment of ITS in Europe. Why is this network important for Austria?

A Common standards must not only be limited to the own country but have to be implemented beyond country and even continental borders. To develop and deploy solutions on a European scale it is always very important to be part of such a network Ertico is a successful Public Private Partnership that facilitates the exchange between industry, infrastructure operators, and public authorities. Additionally they have proven to be a valuable partner in organising ITS Vienna 2012.

Q How important to Austria is the wide-scale implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems?

A We have built a strong ITS industry in Austria, having invested over €100 million in research and development so far. Developments and building of competences already started several years ago with reference projects such as AnachB.at in Austria and the Europe-wide ventures Coopers and In-Time. Now is the time to harvest the fruit of our early activities. Statistics prove that we are on the right way: in 2011 there were 523 fatalities on Austrian roads, which is the lowest number since records began in 1961. To continue this trend we need all players to work together even more, at national and international level. Following the European ITS directive, the Austrian ITS law is currently in the process of parliamentary approval and is expected to be ratifi ed this year. This law will create a framework for a coordinated and coherent introduction and deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems.

Q How would you view progress in deploying ITS and what do you see as the essential next steps?

A Mobility governs business locations and enables people to share ideas and products worldwide. Thus it is a central element of common economic development, but also very important for every user’s individual well-being. The task for ITS is to facilitate the process of fi nding the balance between easy and affordable mobility for both people and goods and sustainability. Within this process the users take a crucial part, because they are the ones who ultimately adopt and implement political measures. For this reason ITS Vienna 2012 will mainly focus on user benefi ts, but will also be more political than previous ITS World Congresses. We have to take the unique chance that lies within this event to signifi cantly raise public awareness for new mobility solutions and thereby facilitate the deployment of ITS. On the fi rst day of the congress we will convene about 20 ministers and state secretaries from all over the globe for a Ministerial Round Table. They will collectively point out their political will to take action and deploy ITS comprehensively.

Q What do you regard as Austria’s speciality and expertise within the ITS arena and how do you envisage it evolving?

A We were able to witness that the ITS sector is an excellent driver for economic growth. Many of the big players like Kapsch, Swarco or Efkon are based in Austria and essentially contribute to our national economy. During the last years Austria has become an important location when it comes to high-quality, comprehensive and multimodal Transport Information Systems. Under the aegis of Austrian road operator ASFINAG important national companies and lobbies have teamed up for the project Verkehrsauskunft Österreich (VAO). After going into live operation in 2013, VAO will provide real-time multimodal traffi c information throughout Austria.

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