Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, must have felt slightly overdressed in a suit and tie on his arrival Thursday (September 28, 2017) at Schuppen 29 in the MLove Future City Campus in HafenCity, and noted: “We have just come from a supervisory board meeting. So Mr. Falk looks the same.” During his remarks on mobility later, Horch requested understanding for the issue. Mobility has to be seen in its entirety “as organising transport for a metropol (region) of 5.3 million people was no easy task.”
Transport is high on the agenda in the run-up to a decision on Hamburg’s bid to host the 2021 Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to be announced by an international committee in Montreal this November. Commenting on Hamburg’s chances of receiving the nod, Horch expressed confidence: “We have not only good ideas in Hamburg, but also many completed projects that we can now implement.” Futuristic-looking means of transport including e-scooters, electric buses, drones and eSegways took centre stage at the New Mobility Day 2017 hosted by Mlove and Harald Neidhardt and partners. Exhibitors in various containers gave visitors 360-degree glimpses of their business models and ideas. Guests included members of Hamburg’s senate, representatives of the Logistik-Initiative, Hamburg Hochbahn, HafenCity and universities as well as leading companies and start-ups in the transport sector.
Mobility as a catalyst of digital transformation
Presentations focused on augmented windows that give e.g. train passengers information and entertainment offers, as well as pooling and ride sharing models and apps for passengers. “ Asked about what motivated him to work on alternative means of transport, one founder noted: “15 million (car) seats go unused in Greater Hamburg every day.” Transport is thus a catalyst of digital transformation and the sector in which many people can experience changes immediately.
Joint efforts needed for intelligent mobility
Talks after the keynotes focused on the future of mobility. Only integrated and networked solutions promise success and joint efforts are needed for intelligent mobility. The ITS World Congress could work like an accelerant, said Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn. Although the congress is likely to bring many international projects to Hamburg, this was only part of a strategy, which would not end in 2021 and would instead mark a start. Falk asked: “And why are we doing all that? So that Hamburg remains the nicest city in the world.”
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