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ITS World Congress 2012 highlights connectivity

March April 2012
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Martin Russ
Martin Russ, who has worked in the ITS world for the better part of 20 years, is the managing director of AustriaTech, a federal agency focused on technologies for future mobility. He has wide experience in a range of areas including transport planning, modelling and GIS, Austrian and German rail technology, consultancy, and the Austrian Ministry of Transport.

Vienna is gearing up towards the ITS World Congress, taking place from the 22-26 October 2012. Martin Russ, managing director of AustriaTech, the local organiser, takes a look at how the event is shaping up so far

This autumn, Vienna will see a flurry of visitors arriving for the 19th Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress. From 22- 26 October, prominent locations in the ‘best city in the world’ (Mercer Quality of Living Survey in 2009, 2010, and 2011) will hold the Congress, hosted by the BMVIT (Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology), and organised by Ertico, an umbrella organisation for ITS in Europe, with support from local organisers AustriaTech. The congress programme includes an exhibition, technical lectures, and a demonstration area.

As presented in the succinct tagline ‘smarter on the way’, this Congress will throw a spotlight on the ways in which user-friendly ITS can benefit both private and commercial customers. Connecting between modes of transport to make the system flow more easily is a particularly important theme this year, with sustainability an ever-present requirement, and the user standing at the centre of the whole operation.

Smart Vienna

Not only the highest ranking city for general quality of living, in a list recently compiled by American climate strategist Boyd Cohen, Vienna was named as the number one “Smart City” in the world – higher than Toronto, Paris, and New York. Examples of these smart strategies will be on display for delegates in an exhibition at the Messe Wien, a state-of-the-art conference centre neighbouring the Prater park. Just outside, a large demonstration area will showcase cutting-edge solutions, such as car-toinfrastructure communication. Research project Testfeld Telematik will be on display here and around 1,000 delegates each day will be encouraged to take the prototype on a test drive along parts of Vienna’s busiest road.

During the week, Special Interest Sessions will provide the opportunity for experts and academics to present their technical and scienti  c papers. The Call for Papers has now closed, and with a total of 1,100 submissions from around the world, adjudicators are spoilt for choice as they now select the best for presentation.

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Vienna at night


A public day in the middle of the week will convey a hands-on feeling of the technologies to the whole city. This will incorporate presentations from school projects, awards for the best masters and doctoral theses, and a women’s reception, which will be opened by Austrian Transport Minister Doris Bures. For those interested, there will be guided tours of the exhibition and demonstration zones.

For on-the-go information, there will be a smartphone app with links, timetables, maps and more, so that you will always know what’s going on. Information will be available for Congress Navigator users about the exhibition, the event, and even the city of Vienna. In addition to these Congress events, there will be a parallel cultural programme, including an opening ceremony with Austrian stars and artists, a four-course gala dinner and traditional Viennese Ball held in the former imperial palace, a highly sought-after venue for occasions such as this.

For accompanying guests who do not wish to participate in all of the event, a tourism programme is also being pieced together, including tours around the capital city, and excursions along the Danube valley, to parts of rural Austria in one direction, and Bratislava, Slovakia in the other.
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ITS Vienna 2012 logo

• For more details, and to register your interest for this incredible opportunity, go to the Congress website at www.itsworldcongress.com

Companies in this article

Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology
Boyd Cohen

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