Next month the global Intelligent Transport Systems community gathers in Scotland’s largest city for the four-day ITS European Congress



In less than a month ITS will take over the vibrant city of Glasgow for a brief week to celebrate the annual get together of all who are shaping the future of transport today. From policy-makers and businesses to students and researchers, Glasgow will be hosting the enthusiastic ITS community from June 6 to 9 this year.

Third largest city in the UK, famous for its cultural scene and shops, Glasgow attracts over 2.5 million tourists every year. For a brief week the city will be bustling with over 2,500 ITS community representatives, coming from over 50 countries to discuss the challenges and solutions of transport today.

The theme of this 11th ITS European Congress is ‘Delivering Future Cities Now’; it will focus highly on increasing connectivity, bringing new services to users and improving communication, in a sustainable way. With these premises, Glasgow is going to be the perfect place to welcome top policy and decision makers, industry representatives and researchers.

As Jennie Martin, secretary general of ITS United Kingdom, says: “Glasgow is an exemplary ITS city in both senses: within the city, Intelligent Transport Systems are widely used to support the users and operators of roads, rail and buses, and the city was an ITS pioneer back in the 1980s with the CITRAC system, a very early traffic management ITS example.

“It is also exemplary from the ITS Congress point of view – a medium sized European city with a mix of industry, retail and service employment, with a city centre mainly built in the 19th and early 20th centuries laying down the parameters for how transport can be organised, an important but not dominant tourist industry, and a past as a major sea port – a typical eurocity in many ways”.

“The congress is designed to provide insight into the real life ITS solutions of today and showcase the ideas of tomorrow with an interactive and wide array of programmes and activities,” Didier Gorteman, director of congress and chair of the European Programme Committee, explains.

“In addition to the session discussions, demonstrations will give participants the chance to experience technological advancements first-hand while the exhibition will provide the opportunity to stumble on some of the ingenious ideas revolutionising transport today”, he continued.


Why will you be there?

ITS enthusiasts will have plenty of reasons to pay a visit to Glasgow, whether it is to hear from the high-level speakers, shapers of industry and policy in one of the 100-plus sessions, or to discuss the latest trends and hottest topics with like-minded enthusiasts. There will also be the opportunity to visit the exhibition hall featuring 80-plus companies and organisations showcasing the latest tech from all over Europe to inspire and engage, do business and share ideas. Plenty of networking events including a Welcome Reception and the Scottish Evening will provide opportunity for discussions and debates.


Beyond the sessions

After a highly successful call for papers where the organisers received over 350 paper and 60 session proposals, the European Programme Committee met in Brussels in the beginning of March to finalise this year’s congress programme. The selected papers were grouped in accordance with the five key topics ranging from automation through sustainability and environmental impact to satellite services and user centric service initiatives.

The preliminary programme is now available online, so make sure you have a look to start mapping out your ITS week in Glasgow. Skim through the 100-plus executive, special interest, project and technical sessions, have a look at the line-up or discover a workshop or associated event you find interesting.

As one of the highlights, on June 8, the first ever Mayors’ Summit will be organised. The summit will be an unprecedented opportunity for elected leaders of European cities to come together to discuss current challenges and opportunities in the field of intelligent transport and smart cities. Multi-modal public transport, Mobility as a Service, city network management, will be just few of topics on the agenda.

As every year, students will have an important role in the event. Student sessions, special discount rates and a networking event are being organised to engage the younger generation.


Get the real feel

Demonstrations are one of the most exciting activities of the congress, understandably so as participants get a chance to get the real feel of the new technologies and the future of transport.

The congress demos this year will showcase a variety of different services from Green Light Optimisation Speed Advice through maintenance assistance vehicles and mobile sensor network projects to the demonstration of connectivity across satellite and cellular networks for emergency services.

Also, technical visits have been organised to Transport Scotland’s National Control Centre and the multi-award winning Riverside Museum and Glenlee tall ship, Glasgow City’s award winning Operations Centre, the city’s largest bus control and maintenance facility and the innovative Fastlink bus priority network to one of Europe’s newest and largest hospitals.

But the congress is not only about work. There will be a traditional Scottish Evening organised on Wednesday evening hosted in the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London. During this traditional walking dinner and entertainment, visitors will have a chance to visit the extensive collection of over 8,000 objects providing a rich insight into the history and arts of Scotland.

After such an exciting agenda why not experience Scotland at its best?

“After a stimulating week of knowledge sharing we invite delegates to immerse themselves in all that Glasgow has to offer from world class art and cultural activities through medieval castles to the endless stream of coastlines and picture-perfect lochs,” says Hamilton Purdie, Mott MacDonald Ltd, project manager ITS Glasgow 2016.

The 11th European ITS Congress 2016 is organised by ERTICO – ITS Europe in partnership with the European Commission, and hosted by Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland. Visit Scotland, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), ITS United Kingdom and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau strongly support the event.


COMMENT: This is the most exciting time for many years

Martin Howell, Director of External Affairs, Cubic

This is the most exciting time for many years in the intelligent transport sector. There are opportunities and challenges at every turn and the industry needs to compare best practice, build new alliances and redouble its efforts to speak with one voice if we are to solve the problems of congestion and pressure on our infrastructure right now. The solutions and the expertise all exist and we must keep getting the message across to government and authorities.

The ITS European Congress represents a very effective setting to promote all that is good about our industry, secure in the knowledge that we will be speaking to the widest possible audience, through our presence, our presentations and all the media attention that the Congress attracts. For Cubic, participation is a must.

It provides a platform for a great range of capabilities and solutions from around the industry. Any visitor with a genuine interest in addressing some of the most serious problems in our cities – optimal access to transport, control of pollution and promotion of environmental responsibility, management of traffic and intelligent use of assets to achieve the best results in the face of challenged funding – will find much to think about at this event.

Cubic will have a number of senior personnel and subject matter experts on hand throughout the event, and we will be showcasing the latest in traffic management (including a world debut), tolling solutions, intelligent travel solutions and integration. Cubic’s worldwide experience in the field of intelligent travel means that visitors will gain multiple insights into what it takes to make some of the most successful systems work – first time, every time, day in and day out.


ITS Congresses

ERTICO ITS Europe organises either an ITS World Congress or an ITS European Congress every year.

The ITS World Congress rotates between Europe, the Asia Pacific region and the Americas, returning to Europe every three years. The ITS European Congress is held in the years when there is not a World Congress taking place in Europe.

The congresses provide the ideal opportunity for all stakeholders to come together, discuss and make the necessary contacts to move initiatives forward and to develop their business by exhibiting and demonstrating state of the art ITS solutions. The congresses also showcase the latest ITS achievements from the city and region hosting the congress, and can help increase awareness of ITS in the host region itself.




This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

DON’T MISS OUT – GET YOUR COPY! – click here to subscribe!