On the hottest day of the year thus far, the PTV Group invited people to an event at its headquarters in Karlsruhe that was all about Mobility 4.0. Guests enjoyed a podium discussion with high-quality participants, the opening of the PTV Mobility Lab, as well as insights into the company’s current developments and projects. After that, there was a celebration with cold drinks, delicious street food, and a ten-person salsa band.
Keynote speaker José Viegas, General Secretary of the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the OECD, offered an exciting introduction to the topic of mobility. PTV has enjoyed a long-term partnership and cooperation on numerous projects with the ITF and the OECD.
The traffic engineer Viegas is an expert in the area of sustainable transport and he spoke about Mobility 4.0. The focus must be placed on access. He named three main instruments for this: Shared mobility, which requires better accessibility of workplaces, for example. Smart street fees, that is, a route-based toll, which ensures the uniting of individual behaviour and the public interest. And finally, sustainable city planning, which shifts the weight from car-oriented mobility to person and access-oriented mobility, which in the end will also have a positive effect on the quality of public space. The massive changes that the future of mobility will bring and the technological change could make transport cleaner and safer. However, it alone is not sufficient to guarantee a better quality of life and an inclusive society. Only with inclusive political leadership can the stakeholders and interests of all be united for the greater good.
“The future of mobility in the Karlsruhe region”
Moderator Kristina Stifter, Head of Global Communications at PTV, invited the participants to the podium for the discussion: José Viegas, Christoph Erdmenger, Head of the Department of Sustainable Mobility at the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe’s Housing Commissioner, Michael Obert; Dr. Martin Hillenbrand, who heads the Department of Electronic Systems and Microsystems at the FZI Karlsruhe and Vincent Kobesen, CEO of PTV.
As an environmental scientist, Erdmenger believes that climate change is one of the most important topics. Connecting him to PTV are joint projects with PTV Transport Consult and Uni Stuttgart when the focus is on traffic modelling and political advising for the achievement of climate goals. Mobility does not absolutely have to mean more traffic, but it’s not possible without traffic, of course. However, in the future, thanks to technical and organizational innovations, it will be possible to unit traffic with the social, ecological and economic goals of sustainability. For this, the bicycle is the number one individual means of transport. In Baden-Württemberg, he believes Karlsruhe is an exemplary city for sustainable mobility.
Of course, this made Mayor Obert happy. Karlsruhe is open to new innovations, but it would not help if everybody suddenly had an autonomous vehicle and used the same routes as previously. Instead, people must change their own mobility behaviour. To the question about how he views the role of public transport, he responded that if in the future everybody were to be on the road in autonomous vehicles, that for main routes where many people must be transported to particular places, there will still be public transportation in the future.
Dr. Hillenbrand, who wrote his dissertation about engineering and information technology, views autonomous driving, especially for commercial vehicles, as a great opportunity. In principle, however, this depends not just on when the technology is ready, but on how everything is integrated into the mobility mix. Cities and people will have to be equally prepared for this.
As CEO, Kobesen represented the interests of industry and trade. For him, the mobility market of the future will be marked by fundamental changes in our mobility behaviour thanks to increasing technological intelligence and the use of autonomous vehicles. Here, the integration with public transport will play a significant role.
Opening of the PTV Mobility Lab
After the podium discussion, Mayor Obert and CEO Kobesen jointly opened the PTV Mobility Lab. PTV has established the mobility laboratory in cooperation with the City of Karlsruhe. Here, different transport planning and model solutions are linked to one another and to other solutions in order to try out new ideas and approaches as well as observe their effects on cities and regions everywhere in the world. From real-time solutions for traffic and transport planning to new, need-based mobility services (Mobility as a Service). The Mobility Lab offers a development and presentation environment that can also be used by other service providers and for other users. A place that brings together international researchers, planners, decision-takers, operators and service providers.
At the opening, we did not just show our guests the traffic management system for Karlsruhe with short-term prediction and scenario assessment. Applications from other cities and new services in the course of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) were also presented. Another highlight was the new solution for integrated and interactive city planning created by combining PTV Visum and the Urban Strategy tool that was developed by the Dutch research organisation TNO. Based on changes in the network or the area network, this solution allows noise and pollutant emissions from traffic to be calculated online. For more information on these highlights, please read our press release.
Now the guests were able to start moving themselves and take a look behind the curtain at the PTV Insights internal exhibition. What’s new in route planning? What lurks behind the EU transport model and what contribution will the transport planning software PTV Visum make? How can additional data in geomarketing be used with PTV Map&Market? How does PTV Vistad help increase the safety of road traffic? And which research and advising projects are focused on the top topics?
These and many other questions were answered at the informative stations that PTV employees prepared about the company’s products and projects. The varied program offered an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere and to spend a pleasant afternoon together.
The celebration continued at 5 PM with the summer festival for employees and external guests. Appropriate for the tropical temperatures, the ten-person band provided the right music with salsa.
With cold drinks and cool street food, everybody celebrated until late in the evening.
This post is also available in: German