PTV Summer Festival: We’re celebrating 40 years of future

PTV celebrated the 40th aniversary with a big summer party.

Shaping tomorrow since 1979 – this was the motto at the celebration of PTV’s 40-year existence, with a big anniversary festival. Both an atmospheric summer event and a varied programme awaited more than 400 guests and employees: From the podium discussion to the Creative Street Art Zone.

In hot summer temperatures, CEO Vincent Kobesen greeted the guests, especially company founder Dr.-Ing. Hans Hubschneider, who with the “Planungsbüro für Transport und Verkehr GmbH” laid the cornerstone for today’s company. “We all have a reason to celebrate, for we can look back across a unique and successful history: from start-up to world market leader for optimisation software for transport and traffic,” said Vincent Kobesen proudly in his opening speech.

Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of Karlsruhe, addressed greetings to the guests.

In his greeting, Karlsruhe Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup emphasized the close cooperation of the city with PTV. Together, people are working to establish Karlsruhe as a global example for future-oriented mobility – not just in numerous projects, but also on visits of international delegations to the technology region.

Philipp von Hagen, member of the Executive Board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, that acquired PTV in 2017, also emphasized that mobility will significantly influence the economic viability and attractiveness of a location. “It’s our common goal to make a significant contribution to society.”

Focus on people

How do people shape mobility? The experts discussed this question during the panel.

Next, the stage belonged to Dr. Heike van Hoorn, Chair of the Deutsches Verkehrsforum (German Transport Forum). She introduced the topic of the podium discussion with her keynote speech: “Mobility Mindset – how people are shaping tomorrow’s mobility.”

Mobility serves essentially to satisfy basic human needs, such as a home, trust and autonomy. “If the mobility form that I have previously selected is no longer suitable for satisfying basic needs, then the re-parking begins in my head. And this re-parking in your head happens for users, just as for planners, politicians and transport operators,” said the historian.

But with all the many new technologies, how is it possible to include people in the much-described mobility transformation? Is there truly disruption in transportation? And who’s shaping whom? Is society shaping our mobility or is mobility shaping our society?

  • Dr. Heike van Hoorn: “Society and mobility influence each other: Since the invention of the wheel, people have further developed different forms of mobility that serve the needs of society. Conversely, today's mobile way of life would not be possible without these developments. But mobility must serve people – not the other way around.”

Dr. van Hoorn discussed these questions with Vincent Kobesen, Philipp von Hagen and Prof. Dr. Peter Vortisch, Head of the Institute for Transport Studies at the KIT, and Prof. Dr. Stephan Nickel of the FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik.

PTV CEO Vincent Kobesen (r.) says goodbye to Tom Schwerdtfeger together with company founder Hans Hubschneider (l.).

The leave-taking of Dr.-Ing. Thomas Schwerdtfeger concluded the official part of the evening. This long-time Board member and Vissim inventor has shaped PTV’s history since the beginning of the 1980s. Last but not least, he advanced PTV’s international business in Dubai before taking his well-deserved retirement.

Street Food & Street Art

PTV Insights, an internal exhibition with numerous live demos, has almost become a tradition at the PTV summer festival. What will the effects of new technologies such as autonomous driving be on mobility in our cities? What’s new with regard to road safety? How can PTV help shape mobility in the long run? In the Virtual Reality Lab, visitors could use VR goggles to dive directly into a simulation themselves.

After so many impressions it was time to engage creatively or simply to celebrate in relaxed fashion. People were allowed to spray in the Street Art Zone – everybody was asked to participate in creating an anniversary graffiti, which is now being exhibited in the PTV casino.

At the street food stands behind the PTV building, a wide variety of delicacies were served up from the region according to a sustainable concept – from pulled pork burgers to vegetarian food bowls. Despite the tropical temperatures, the band Fun2mas still managed to heat the guests up a bit. And so, people danced, laughed and celebrated until late in the night.