ITS Nationals Network leads debate on smart intermodal freight

The Network of National ITS Associations presented a special interest session on Smart Intermodal Freight at the European ITS Congress in Lisbon.  The session attracted a full house which joined in a lively and informed discussion.

The ITS associations of Finland, Norway, Germany and Estonia contributed speakers and ITS Ireland helped out with the organisation of the session.  Thanks to the ability of the Network to harness expertise from so many different European countries, the panel included experienced professionals from rail, marine and road freight, and was able to talk meaningfully about how to achieve seamless intermodality and remove cross border friction.

The discussion centred on two themes:  how to turn research and demonstrations into permanent implementations, and what the role of AI (Artificial Intelligence) might be in the future freight sector.

As in other areas of ITS, projects and testbeds seem to be more ubiquitous than permanent applications.  The panel agreed that in some ways this perception is unfair;  it is just that the time lapse from first research topic to fully embedded system can be ten or even twenty years, which can give the impression that few things actually translate into everyday usage.  In other aspects it is true;  issues of piecemeal and somewhat arbitrary funding, lack of effective collaboration between bodies which really should be active partners, and poorly executed stakeholder engagement, can all slow down or even sabotage eventual implementation.

Talking about AI, the panel agreed that this will definitely be important in the future freight sector.  Making an analogy with automated vehicles, they suggested that AI will be gradually adopted by the freight industry and rejected the idea of a current or imminent “revolution”.  Some promising use cases proposed included security both of loads and of staff, the speeding up of cross modal and cross border transfers, and better conditions for drivers achieved by more intelligent and adaptable routing and rostering. 

A very good case was made for the importance of universally accepted standards and protocols, if full digitisation of the end to end logistics chain is to be achieved.  That it needs to be achieved in order to unlock cost savings, less environmentally damaging freight moments, and improved conditions for all the humans involved in them, was not in doubt.

The panelists were:  Lone-Eirin Lervåg from Norway, Tim Knutzen (Germany), Heiti Mering (Estonia), and Jukka Lepistö (Finland).  The session was moderated by Jennie Martin on behalf of the Network and co-organised by Donal Hodgins of ITS Ireland.

(Picture by Paul Hutton)

Sampson tells the ITS industry “don’t wait for the storm to pass – learn to work in the rain”

The Senior Adviser to the ERTICO-ITS Europe, Professor Eric Sampson has affirmed that the ITS European Congress 2023 in Lisbon has shown that European ITS can deliver mobility that is accessible, equitable, affordable, resilient, has zero fatalities and has zero emissions.

As Chief Rapporteur, Prof Sampson was giving his final closing summary at a Congress as he retires from his role, which allowed him to reflect on the successes of the transport technology industry.

However he gave a warning to the delegates saying, “Hitting two or more of these targets at the same time is still very hard. Most of the technologies are ready but the policy makers are lagging behind. If we had a clear political drive; if we accepted the price of deciding to reach key goals quickly – then Zero fatalities Zero emissions are within our reach.”

Prof Sampson added that “the problems that remain are mostly about waiting for the perfect solution or unwillingness to adapt our behaviour. The message to all of us is that we need to change – NOW. I live in a farming area in North Yorkshire where there’s a saying – Don’t wait for the storm to pass – learn to work in the rain.”

His closing summary pointed to how the earliest Congresses were “showcases for declassified military technology or research projects seeking new knowledge”, rather than exploration of new services. 

“There’s now much more joint working so instead of suppliers telling users “Our system does this you should buy it”  the focus is now “tell me what you want to achieve and we’ll work together to design and deploy solutions that deliver it”,” he said.

And Prof Sampson gave an emotional farewell concluding by saying, “It’s time for me to share the pleasure and the privilege of leading the rapporteur teams so I’m handing over to Wolfgang Hoefs who will do all I do but with more energy and more stamina. Goodbye.”

He was given a standing ovation by the audience and the ERTICO CEO Joost Vantomme then gave a short speech praising Prof Sampson’s unique contribution to the ITS Industry and its World and European Congresses.

(Picture – Highways News)

Looking ahead to the ITS European Congress on this week’s Highways Voices

“It’s nice to have all these companies and institutions showcasing their nice things,” says Joost Vantomme on this week’s Highways Voices podcast, “but what does the user think of that? What does the citizen think of that? There’s a lot of questions on the new technologies. How do they work? What do they promise?”

The ERTICO – ITS Europe CEO is looking ahead to this year’s ITS European Congress in Lisbon which runs from 22-24 May, and explains how new technology in transport will be put into the context of improving mobility with real-world examples.

Subscribe to Highways Voices free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or Pocket Casts and never miss an episode!

His colleague Lisa Boch-Andersen, who is Director of Communications, Congress and Events at ERTICO adds that Lisbon is a living example of transport technology, “It really is one of the major economic centres with a very busy transport network,” she explains. “It has a lot of different mobility initiatives. It has major container ports, big bridges, and they just informed that there would be no major traffic in the centre of Lisbon.”

You’ll hear all about the different themes of the congress and also from LCRIG Director Kerry Winstanley about the UK Pavilion and how a range of British SMEs are exhibiting at the European Congress thanks to support from the Department Business and Trade, the Transport Technology Forum and LCRIG. These are; Zenzic, Navtech Radar, Clearview Intelligence, Nicander, Now Wireless, Angoka, Ito World, Arup, Neology, Grid Smarter Cities, See.Sense and VESOS. Members of the Department for Transport, Innovate UK and Intelligent Transport Systems UK will also be participating on the stand and there will be a visit to it from British Ambassador to Portugal, Chris Sainty.

Register now for 5th German Tunnel Congress

The 5th German Tunnel Congress is taking place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany, from 26th April to 27th April 2023.

What can you expect?
Two days of exciting presentations and discussions about:

  • Digitalization,
  • Tunnel Planning,
  • Tunnel Security,
  • Tunnel Cyber Security,
  • Tunnel Operation Technology,
  • Tunnel Control Centers.

Topped off with:

  • Cozy evening event in Ettal Abbey,
  • Exciting field trip to Tunnel Oberau.

The congress language is German.

Get your ticket now!
You can find further information about the congress and program on the event website:

ERTICO promotes ITS World Congress 2024 with Dubai webinar

The ITS World Congress 2024 will be held in Dubai – the first time the European leg of the three-year cycle takes place outside of continental Europe itself.

To promote the event, the organisers ERTICO – ITS Europe has announced a webinar to take place on Monday 27 March from 9.45am CET.

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority and ERTICO will explain about the partnership and exhibition opportunities at the Congress, which will be held in Dubai from 16-20 September, 2024.

The webinar will feature background presentations, details of the host venue, an open discussion from high level organisations aiming at sponsorship and exhibition plus Q and A.

The Congress is billed as the chance to highlight Dubai’s latest accomplishments in the field of Intelligent Mobility Services, alongside those of the rest of the world. It is also a great opportunity to network with key mobility stakeholders and learn about the different ways of proactively engaging in the Congress.

To sign up, click here before Friday 24 March.

ITS Nationals and ERTICO announce closer cooperation

The Network of National ITS Associations (ITS Nationals) is strengthening its ties with ERTICO-ITS Europe, as the two organisations continue to work together to make their partnership stronger.

ITS Nationals, which has an objective to ensure that ITS knowledge and information is transmitted to all its members across the region, has accepted an invitation from ERTICO’s CEO, Joost Vantomme, to join the ERTICO Strategy Committee as a permanent member.  Vice Chair, Dónal Hodgins will attend quarterly meetings of the Committee, which provides an advisory role to the Supervisory Board of ERTICO.  His presence, representing the 28 national ITS organisations will support closer cooperation between the two entities and improve cohesiveness between European ITS stakeholders.

Mr Vantomme has also invited ITS Nationals Chair, Günther Weber, to represent the organisation for a dedicated agenda slot at the ERTICO Supervisory Board Meetings at regular intervals as this will reinforce common goals and cement relationships further.

Furthermore, Mr Vantomme suggest the ITS Nationals to become an official member of the Board of Directors for the ITS World Congresses and Martin Russ, Managing Director of ITS Austria, will be the ITS National’s representation. Mr Russ has a long experience and history in organising and promoting large events for the ITS community, including the ITS World Congress in Vienna in 2012.

“The work delivered by ERTICO-ITS Europe and the ITS Nationals Network across Europe complement each other very well,” explained Günther Weber. “While ERTICO-ITS Europe liaises with the European institutions and wider international governance bodies and delivers high-level thought leadership and stakeholder engagement, the Network delivers expertise at a local level among innovators in almost every country on the European continent. By collaborating and sharing our expertise innovation and ideas, ITS Nationals benefits the entire ITS industry and helps to advance digitalisation and servicesto deliver safer, greener and more cost effective transportation compared totraditionalsolutions.”

“Since my first day as CEO of ERTICO – ITS Europe in January 2022, I wanted to foster a close dialogue and connect the dots with the ITS associations at national level. Pleased to see this come true. Both of us complement each other and voice the value of smart and sustainable mobility with concrete deliverables for citizens and business”, comments Joost Vantomme, CEO of ERTICO.“We are one ITS family with each of us having our own action radius. 1+1=3 in this elevated partnership. More to come on our cooperation!”

ITS Nationals is supporting and will be represented at the ITS European Congress in Lisbon from 22 – 24 May.

(Picture shows members of the ITS Nationals team including Chair Günther Weber, third from right with Joost Vantomme, second from right, courtesy of ITS Nationals/ERTICO)

International Symposium on Electronics in Transport – ISEP 2023 – hosted by ITS Slovenia

We cordially invite you to be active at the 31st International Symposium on Electronics in Transport – ISEP 2023. It is organised by the Electrotechnical Association of Slovenia and Slovenian ITS Association. The Symposiums’ 2023 theme is


ISEP 2023 will take place on the 27th March 2023 as Virtual event – Webinar. 

Please find more information about the event for authors and other participants at  .

Dates to remember:

27 February 2023, Extended Registration of abstracts

1 March 2023, Extended Notification of acceptance

21 March 2023, Submission of the final paper

24 March 2023, Final registration

The peer-reviewed papers will be presented in the proceedings of the symposium with an ISBN.

There is no need to travel, there is no need to find the parking places, but we will miss the real networking.

Join us at the International Symposium on Innovation advances towards the Future of Managing Traffic

June 26-30, 2023, Vienna, Austria

Traffic management as key element for future mobility solutions. Several new mobility services have the potential to improve the mobility system performance and to make it more sustainable. However, to exploit this potential these services have to be integrated in the mobility system by proper traffic management. In addition, traffic management allows the optimal use of existing road capacities, without having to build new infrastructure. The aim: make the best use of the available infrastructure, minimise negative effects and so contribute to a quality of location!

This international symposium will provide a platform for operators, managers, traffic engineers, practitioners, and researchers to discuss and share their experiences with “Innovation Advances Toward the Future of Managing Traffic”. Industry leaders and specialists from around the globe are invited and will engage in discussions on the challenges, research needs, innovative methods, and approaches to collaborate with other agencies and service providers to improve how they actively manage and control traffic on the surface transportation system.

The 4th International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations, succeeds previous symposia sponsored by the Transportation Research Board and International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) in 2006 (Athens), 2009 (Honolulu), and 2016 (Berlin).

The Symposium program will include plenary sessions, technical sessions with invited speakers, poster sessions and workshops which will address:

  • the next generation of traffic management systems
  • sharing and using emerging sources of data (e.g., connected and automated vehicles)
  • incorporating data from connected and automated vehicles into operational/safety strategies and control plans to manage traffic on freeways
  • innovative methods to actively managing and controlling traffic
  • managed lanes (e.g., HOV, HOT, Part-time Shoulder Use, Reversible Lanes)
  • use of pricing to improve the use of traffic operational strategies
  • managing traffic management assets
  • sharing information with other systems and stakeholders
  • opportunities to share electronic data among systems and 3rd parties
  • incorporating mobility on demand services into the day-to-day traffic management and emissions mitigation activities
  • coordinating and sharing information with agencies and service providers in response to planned and unplanned events

Key topics

Innovative Financing to Build and Operate Motorways including use of incentives and pricing in traffic operational strategies.

Track A: Governance and Organizational Challenges

Track B: Managing and Analyzing Operational Strategies and Performance

Track C: Next Generation of Traffic Management Systems and Services

Track D: Innovative Financing to Build and Operate Motorways

Find out more here.

Invitation to first DACH Mobility Conference

We are pleased to invite you to the first DACH Mobility Conference and mobility workshops on 15-16 November 2022 in the Kursaal in Bern/Switzerland. The event is jointly  organised by the ITS organisations ITS austria, its-ch, ITS germany and ITS mobility as well as by asut (Swiss Telecommunications Association), the Federal Roads Office and the Touring Club Switzerland.

Registration for the mobility workshop and further information can be found here. The places for the workshops are limited. The language of the conference is German.

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