Next month the global Intelligent Transport Systems community will gather in the Danish capital for the four-day 2018 ITS World Congress



Copenhagen, with its long history as a vibrant Baltic maritime hub, is set to play host to the 25th Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress. With ‘ITS – Quality of Life’ as its main theme, this year’s congress will explore how transport and mobility solutions can improve the quality of life in our cities by placing users and their needs at the heart of the mobility system. With this aim in mind, ITS experts from across the globe will converge in Copenhagen during September 17-21 to exchange best practice and advance the discussion on how to leverage smart mobility solutions to enhance people’s lives.

At this year’s congress more than 10,000 participants from over 100 countries will discuss issues related to cyber-security, resilience planning and smart transport solutions among many other themes. The ITS World Congress programme covers a range of topics, from intelligent transport and the environment to the legal and safety aspects of co-operative, connected and automated mobility.

“This year we will put emphasis on creative thinking, interaction and dialogue through a variety of sessions,” said ERTICO – ITS Europe congress director Didier Gorteman. “Attendees will have access to innovative ideas and concepts from experts presenting in more than 150 dynamic sessions. Our vision is to enhance the interaction between the speaker and the audience, and thereby increase knowledge and expertise shared between our delegates from around the world.”

Featuring more than 200 sessions and workshops, an exhibition, numerous demonstrations and technical tours, as well as a series of networking opportunities, associated events and social functions, the congress is an opportunity to learn from peers and share knowledge about the latest technologies and policy developments from across the world. It is also a forum for the forging of new partnerships, offering participants the opportunity to join forces to
push for positive change in the mobility sector.

The ITS World Congress 2018 is organised by ERTICO-ITS EUROPE, a public-private partnership of 120 companies and organisations representing stakeholders in the intelligent transport ecosystem, in collaboration with the City of Copenhagen, the European Commission, ITS America and ITS Asia-Pacific. ERTICO believes that the congress, by providing these stakeholders with a forum to share their experience and learn from each other, makes a key contribution towards ensuring that intelligent transport systems improve the quality of life in cities and better serve the needs of urban transport users.

“The topics of this year’s congress cover the most relevant areas in today’s business and policy agendas and are perfectly in line with our activities and priorities: Connected and Automated Driving, Urban Mobility, Clean Mobility, and Transport and Logistics,” said ERTICO – ITS Europe CEO Jacob Bangsgaard. “As organisers of the largest event on smart mobility and transport digitalisation, we work closely with our partners to ensure that we drive forward our shared vision towards zero accidents, zero delays, fully informed people, and a reduced impact on the environment.

“The ITS congress is a great channel for us to promote this vision as well as to meet our overseas colleagues, understand their current work, see what solutions they have already in place and what their plans for the future are.”

Sustainability in Action

Copenhagen is ideally suited to host the ITS World Congress. The city regularly ranks at the top of the world’s most liveable cities, thanks to its commitment to sustainability. The city’s green credentials are reflected in some impressive statistics – around 45% of Copenhageners cycle to work, pedalling a combined total of 1.4 million kilometres per day. In fact, there are more bicycles than people in Copenhagen and only 29% of the city’s households own a car. Copenhagen is working hard to become carbon-neutral by 2025, and the ITS World Congress will be an opportunity to learn about the technologies and policies they are using to help achieve this goal.

Copenhagen is a good place to be. None of this came about by chance. It is the result of years of planning and development based on the needs of Copenhageners

“The city fuses quality of life at local level with a global outlook,” said Frank Jensen, lord mayor of Copenhagen. “It is internationally renowned for its innovative approach to climate and the environment. It has a reputation as the world’s best city for cyclists. It is a living showcase for Danish architecture. But most of all, Copenhagen is a good place to be. None of this came about by chance. It is the result of years of planning and development based on the needs of Copenhageners.”

During the ITS World Congress 2018, Copenhagen’s streets and squares will be used to display innovative ITS demonstration projects showcasing the latest technical innovations. Also on show will be Danish transport solutions, research findings and technological expertise, as well as products and services from Danish companies, in the hope of encouraging growth in exports of green mobility solutions.

Jensen added that the ITS World Congress 2018 is a lever to bring together international public and private partners in a close collaboration that will contribute to the advancement of worldwide future ITS solutions. “On a regional level, the goal is that the congress should strengthen the potential of cross-border partnerships in Greater Copenhagen, and reinforce the wide-ranging alliance within the Nordic Region,” he said.

Spotlight on Multi-modality

The 25th ITS World Congress is one of the culminating events in the ‘European Year of Multi-modal Transport’, during which the European Commission is promoting ‘multi-modality’ with a range of initiatives. Major advances are foreseen as a result of this initiative, such as new regulations on multi-modal passenger rights and data. It is no coincidence, then, that the ITS congress has a clear focus on multi-modality and how to forge a path towards truly seamless and effortless mobility and achieve a system that is more efficient, sustainable and user-friendly.

Within this context, a session at this year’s congress will examine how Mobility as a Service (MaaS) pilots and projects are aligned with the new regulatory environment and whether the proposed regulation takes into account results from field trials conducted throughout Europe. Also at the congress, the European Commission will provide an overview on the regulatory framework around the deployment of multi-modality and will share the progress made in MaaS projects funded by the EC.

Shape the Discussion

For anybody interested in the latest trends in smart and integrated transport, the ITS World Congress represents an opportunity to contribute to and shape this discussion, share knowledge and learn about the latest technologies and policy developments globally. The congress is an ideal forum to network with like-minded enthusiasts and leading experts with a view to forging new partnerships and pushing forward the intelligent transport agenda.

The congress programme will be complemented by a 25,000 sqm exhibition with the participation of over 400 companies and organisations from all over the world, showcasing their intelligent transport and smart city technologies and solutions. The 2018 congress will also launch the first-ever exhibition space dedicated to young ventures of smart mobility at an ITS World Congress. The Area-C Start-up Connector is an exclusive space for start-ups, giving them the opportunity to present their latest innovations and meet with potential business partners.

Furthermore, delegates of the congress will have the opportunity to go on various technical visits and view demonstrations of the latest state-of-the-art products and solutions for real-world mobility scenarios, providing answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change, air quality, urbanisation, congestion and traffic safety.

By providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and best practices from around the globe, the ITS World Congress will make a significant contribution to the promotion of user-centric smart mobility solutions, both in Europe and internationally, supporting the event organiser ERTICO-ITS Europe in its efforts to improve the quality of transport systems for Europe’s citizens.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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