ITS European Congress 2023: ‘It’s about mobility’

ITS European Congress 2023 in Lisbon will deliberately focus on a broad range of transport modes. Joost Vantomme and Lisa Boch-Andersen from organiser Ertico explain why
May 15, 2023
By Adam Hill
© Angelo Cordeschi |
© Angelo Cordeschi |

Ertico – ITS Europe is unique, says CEO Joost Vantomme. Why? Because it does not, as an organisation steeped in mobility, have a favoured mode. For example, he insists: “Micromobility is one part of the puzzle. It's not the Holy Grail.”

There’s also no question of being anti-car, he continues, as Ertico welcomes and advocates a broad spectrum of solutions. “I mean, it's about mobility,” Vantomme says. “It's not about cars against something or bikes against something or cities against something – no; it’s to move people and to move goods and that's exactly what we do. ITS is very relevant to us – to put that technology innovation as the glue into the system. And that's why you will not see any transport mode that is a preferred mode for us. We are neutral.”

This openness will be reflected in the programme of the ITS European Congress 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, which Ertico is organising. “We are multimodal, multifaceted,” Vantomme says.

Lisa Boch-Andersen, Ertico’s director of communications, congresses and events, points to a Lisbon plenary session that focuses precisely on multimodality: “We all think of matching the different modes, to give the best opportunity for citizens - but sometimes it becomes a little complex and there are many different options. How do you make sure that you choose the most optimal - both for passengers and for freight? How do you ensure communication on these options and how do you make it seamless?" Another plenary is about managing urban mobility space. “Of course, it's not new that we focus on cities,” says Boch-Andersen. "But cities are super-important - and they're becoming increasingly important decision-makers. And this is why we need to understand what we can expect from cities in future.”

Vantomme says that it’s important to look at the “delicate balancing act” between the priorities of different cities, even within the same country. Different regional constituencies need to be brought together.

“I want to see the opportunities of a connected conversation,” concludes Boch-Andersen. “And this is what the Congress offers on all fronts: you can see and feel products in the exhibition and the demonstrations; you can go to the technical level in the technical programme; and you can hear the high level - at city level, at EU level, at regional level and at company level.”

ITS European Congress 2023: plenary sessions

All sessions take place at the CCL Lisbon Congress Centre

Digitalisation – what can mobility users expect?
Monday 22 May 15:15-16:15
This session will bring together stakeholders in the mobility data marketplaces to discuss what the real benefit of data sharing is and how best to tackle the challenges, perceived or real.

Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility: How green can you go?
Tuesday 23 May 09:00 – 10:00
This plenary will consider the question of whether and how CCAM can be a game changer for the Green Deal, supported by the latest research on CCAM’s environmental impacts.

Integrating road, rail, air and waterborne – multimodality by any means?
Tuesday 23 May 14:00 – 15:00
This session will explore the role ITS can play in balancing the societal wish for greener travel with the transport and mobility suppliers’ wish to maximise profits. What are the barriers for integration?

Managing urban mobility space – what can we expect from cities in the future?
Wednesday 24 May 15:30 – 16:30
This plenary will discuss the role of mobility network management, including the use of network simulation and AI for decision support, in the use of urban space. What do mobility suppliers expect from cities - and what do cities look for in return?

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