In this issue we feature some of the highlights from the 2018 ITS World Congress in our continuing effort to focus on the broader ecosystem of the current and future automated, connected, electrified, and mobility services world. The ITS (intelligent transportation systems) event, held annually on a rotating schedule among Europe, Asia, and North America locations, was in Copenhagen in September and organized by ERTICO and the European Commission.

This year’s event theme, “ITS – Quality of Life,” embraced topics including the environmental benefits of ITS. That topic holds special significance to the host city; Copenhagen aims to become the world's first carbon-neutral capital city by the year 2025.

While Copenhagen is leading by example, at the ITS World Congress over 120 ministers, mayors, and other representatives of national and local governments met to review how intelligent and “green” mobility can contribute to sustainable growth and a better environment for their citizens. A high-level round table met to talk about solutions to transport challenges and emerging opportunities that, until recently, were considered too difficult, but now are more attainable because transportation technology is developing so rapidly.

The round-table discussions were based around three broad themes: making cities more liveable by reducing congestion and improving air quality; helping cities to plan for the deployment of new mobility services; and the changing roles of governments, especially in regulating and legislating. While noting the benefits of ITS for reducing congestion, emissions, and energy consumption--while enhancing safety and mobility for people and freight, the representatives stressed the need for more large-scale trials of highly automated or driverless vehicles to assess the combined impact on safety, air quality and congestion. They identified that more research is needed on the behavioral aspects of transport, ways to manage city space including parking and automated vehicles, and the needs of travelers with reduced mobility. They also called for guides to the potential of emerging ITS technologies for policy development and for the different processes for procurement.

One way that Copenhagen is furthering its “green” agenda is through the facilitation of eco-driving, using a combination of an onboard unit and a multimodal app designed for trucks, buses, and cars. The app informs drivers what the optimal speed is to achieve a green wave through intersections. The goal is to achieve environmental benefits by encouraging drivers to moderate their speed and acceleration.

ITS World Congress attendees were also be able to experience Copenhagen’s green-mobility solutions first-hand thanks to a new MaaS app called MinRejseplan, which has been developed especially for the event. The app will provide free public transportation to all delegates for trains, metros, buses, and harbour ferries. It will also give information on private transportation options such as taxis and bicycle-sharing.

The combination of public and private transportation advice in one app is completely new, and the app will also be a live demonstration project that delegates can test and evaluate at the congress. The testing will therefore be a step into the future of Mobility as a Service, and MinRejseplan will be available to the Copenhageners after the congress.

Apps, other MaaS solutions, and related business-model developments could not only improve the environment and ease human mobility, they also could add significantly to new economic growth. The global MaaS market is projected to reach $1.75 trillion by 2028, according to a recent BIS Research report. The major drivers are the on-demand transportation services, the extensive role of government in development of solutions, and benefits of integrated platforms for mobility services.

The increasing penetration of ride-sharing and smartphones in a consumer's lifestyle is expected to drive the global MaaS market, according to report author, Mohammad Faisal Ahmad. The ride-sharing segment of the MaaS market is projected to see an impressive CAGR of 51.8% for the period 2018-2028, reaching $429.3 billion by 2028.

The report authors believe that the factors impacting future growth include the market introduction air-taxis, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles, and the use of e-bikes, scooters, and cycles for last- and first-mile connectivity. Key factors for innovation and growth is through disruption by offering a range of mobility options, ride features, and value-added services to increase customer engagement.

A focus is has to be a breakthrough in the conventional mindset of commuters by ensuring ride availability, developing customer-centric solutions, maintaining data security and privacy of consumers, and spreading awareness about MaaS solutions.