Keynote speech by the Minister Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen ITS European Congress, Eindhoven
“This congress focuses on an international ambition that we, in Europe, are going to shape together. The future begins today. The innovations we now have at our disposal, which we’ve tested and are presenting to the public at large, are a paradigm shift in the world of mobility. They’re being used on an ever-increasing scale. Their value to society is growing bigger and bigger.”
Dear guests, representatives of the automotive industry, manufacturers and service providers in the ITS industry, ladies and gentlemen,
What a wonderful performance!
It was great to see how the dance performance and the spectacular lighting plan enhanced each other. This is an age when technology is part of the living, breathing world. We see it everywhere.
It’s a very special experience to be ‘opening’ a congress when we’ve already seen so many inspiring, exciting and memorable moments. After yesterday’s Public Day with all its activities, today is the first of four full days of the latest technology, showcases and pioneering developments in the area of mobility.
And perhaps most important of all: the opportunity for us all to gather to give shape to the future of mobility in Europe.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the Brainport region. Here we are in Eindhoven, a marvel of growth. Of technological growth, with Philips, ASML, Eindhoven University of Technology, and the factories of DAF Trucks. With its population of 230,000, it’s the fifth-largest city in the Netherlands. And that’s nothing short of a miracle, bearing in mind that only a century ago it was home to just 6,500 people.
The explosive growth of cities: it’s a very familiar phenomenon these days. Population growth and urbanisation pose great challenges in terms of mobility. We want to keep our European cities and transport corridors accessible, maintain a healthy economy and achieve ambitious climate goals. A great responsibility lies on our shoulders!
‘Fulfilling ITS promises’ is the title of this congress. And it’s very aptly chosen. It marks the turning point we’ve reached. We’ve passed the stage of small-scale, promising pilots. A new age has dawned, on the road too. We’re moving from ‘testing’ to ‘applying in practice’. In the Netherlands, and throughout Europe.
A declaration was signed here today in which several member states and private parties commit to a single goal: ‘Data for road safety’ throughout Europe. Five member states, five car manufacturers, two service providers – all joining forces to create a single system that will make driving safer.
Public and private data is being shared and combined to provide real-time information that will help drivers on the road. I don’t know if you saw the showcase this afternoon too, but I was very impressed.
Rival companies increasingly recognise that they share certain interests, even in a free market. The key is then to work together, including with government bodies. Especially if it leads to safer roads.
The Data Task Force’s pilot project is a good start. The essence of the system is: the more participants there are, the better the data is, and the better and more accurate the system is. And the greater its effect will be.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In terms of surface area, the Netherlands isn’t very big. But it’s a densely populated and very busy country. That means we have to find new mobility solutions. By adopting a pragmatic approach, and with a strong creative industry, we can quickly put new innovations into practice.
‘Smart mobility, Dutch reality’, we call it. It’s about looking at the mobility issue from a different angle. Not that of the road, but by asking ‘Where do I want to go?’. And ‘What mode of transport suits that best, at what particular moment?’.
Mobility as a Service. The Dutch programme is the first to be implemented at a fully national scale, under joint conditions and agreements. Companies both big and small offer a wide variety of transport services and concepts. The government makes sure there are data standards, as well as consumer protection and a transparent ecosystem of mobility solutions. So that a level playing field is created, where innovative start-ups can introduce new services.
And here’s some news you’ll read in tomorrow’s papers – but you heard it here first: that first standard, API, is now to be applied in Belgium, Luxembourg and North Rhine-Westphalia too.
Mobility as a Service is, without a doubt, an important concept for the future of transport. And here too we find that the more participants there are, the better it works.
It’s the key to all the solutions for twenty-first century mobility: Connected Transport Corridors, Talking Traffic, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. In a moment you’ll be shown a short film about all these innovations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This congress focuses on an international ambition that we, in Europe, are going to shape together. The future begins today. The innovations we now have at our disposal, which we’ve tested and are presenting to the public at large, are a paradigm shift in the world of mobility. They’re being used on an ever-increasing scale. Their value to society is growing bigger and bigger.
I’m honoured and proud that the Netherlands is hosting this exceptional congress. I’d like to thank the organisers, ERTICO, Brainport region and all the supporting partners for their excellent work in putting it all together.
I hope the coming days prove inspiring and productive for you!