This year’s ITS Congress will be held in Strasbourg, a city steeped in history and famed for innovation. It is in Strasbourg that Johannes Gutenberg is said to have perfected the printing press in 1440, and it was at the Strasbourg Institute of Physics and Chemistry of Materials where researchers developed the first single-molecule LED in 2014. The University of Strasbourg has produced many Nobel laureates including; Jean-Marie Lehn (1987 in Chemistry), Jules A. Hoffmann (2011 in Physiology or Medicine), Martin Karplus (2013 in Chemistry), and Jean-Pierre Sauvage (2016 in Chemistry), while many other notable inventors, innovators and academics have called Strasbourg ‘home’.
Strasbourg is also one of the three households of the European Parliament and the number of students attending the University of Strasbourg has been constantly increasing over the last few years, with 46,627 students enrolled for the academic year 2014-2015, and the international students represent about 20% of the student population.
Strasbourg holds a unique place in Europe; set in north-eastern France, located on the German border, Strasbourg can be considered one of the few European cities providing an environment where cross-border issues and challenges such as technological compatibility and interoperability or legislative evolution and application can be experienced. The intersection of multiple transport and communication networks makes the city an ideal living lab for testing future mobility concepts. In February, Germany and France agreed to build a cross-border corridor between the 2 neighbouring regions of Lorraine and Saarland to test connected and automated driving. Following the agreement, signed by Germany’s Minister for Transport Alexander Dobrindt and French counterpart Alain Vidalies, the lanes opened at the end of March, covering the 70 kilometre distance between Merzig and Metz by road. This initiative serves as a leading example for other member states and regions looking to tackle cross-border transport interoperability issues.
Strasbourg is also a pioneer in sustainable mobility. By improving walkability, building an extensive network of cycle tracks, introducing car sharing schemes and a new road code, the city is delivering upon its strategy for sharing public spaces and delivering an excellent quality of life for its inhabitants. To further demonstrate the city’s commitment to sustainable mobility, the Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau has recently announced the introduction of driverless shuttles as a public transport service for all citizens, following a call for expression of interest for the Cross-Rhine Driverless Shuttle Challenge. The Challenge aims to demonstrate the value of a driverless shuttle service to the general public, its safe operation in open street traffic, and the maturity of the involved technologies. This Challenge is the second cross-border project within the French-German Initiative for electric and digital mobility initiated by the two ministries.
The route for the Challenge will be approximately 2km long, connecting the territories of Kehl and Strasbourg, crossing the Rhine River using the existing foot and bicycle bridge. This Challenge will test, for the first time, a temporary public transport service, which the public will have the opportunity to evaluate using a multi-criteria evaluation form.
During the ITS Congress, the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and ERTICO – ITS Europe will also host the second edition of the Mayors’ Summit on 21 June. City mayors and leaders from across Europe will gather again to explore opportunities, experiences and strategies related to present and future contributions of ITS to the provision of seamless travel and sustainable, efficient and innovative mobility.
Efficient and sustainable mobility will be amongst the topics featuring at the Congress. The Programme is shaped around six key topics (Mobility services – from transport to mobility; Next generation goods delivery; Transport networks evolution; Connected and automated transport; Satellite technology applied to mobility; and ITS and the environment) and by the selection of the 300+ papers and 80+ session proposals received by the European Programme Committee. While the Programme is the backbone of the event, exciting demonstrations and exhibitions will showcase the current state of the art of ITS technologies in Europe and beyond.
The Congress is the leading event in ITS and is the perfect place to learn, share ideas, try out real life demonstrations and to meet with the potential business partners. ITS Strasbourg is the once in a year opportunity to engage with Europe’s ITS community, with over 2500 attendees coming from more than 40 countries and a variety of backgrounds (research, traffic and transport industry, supplier, public authority, or mobile network operator).
But the Congress also offers a number of social events and networking opportunities. The Welcome Reception will be open to all Congress delegates on the first evening in the Exhibition after the Ribbon Cutting. ERTICO will host its own cocktail on Wednesday at booth C12 with some special celebrations, with networking to follow at the thematic Gala Evening held at La Villa Quai Strum.
The registration for the ITS European Congress is now open and the Preliminary Programme will be available online soon, in the meantime you can visit the website www.itsineurope.com for further information.
The 12th European ITS Congress 2017, taking place from 19-22 June, is organised by ERTICO – ITS Europe in partnership with the European Commission and hosted by the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg with the support of the Region of Alsace, ITS France, Strasbourg Convention and Exhibition Centre, Pôle Véhicule du Futur and the Eurodistric Strasbourg-Ortenau. ASFA, Engie, Transport Systems Catapult, Port of Strasbourg and PTV are proud sponsors of this year Congress.