Interview with Steve Georg, Project Manager at Opticities and Member of the New Mobility Services Initiative

28.10.2016
By Marketplace Editorial
Interview

Steve Georg is an ITS expert. He is the project manager for Birmingham in the OPTICITIES project and member of the EIP-SCC Initiative on New Mobility Services that forms part of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster. ‘The EIP-SCC New Mobility Services Initiative provides a unique opportunity to build on the output of OPTICITIES to promote the transfer and replication of the organisational and technical innovation established in the project’, he said.

1.    What is OPTICITIES and what is the link with the EIP-SCC Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster and the New Mobility Services Initiative?

OPTICITIES is a three-year innovation project implemented between 2013 and 2016. It gathered European cities, companies and research institutes to develop and experiment innovative Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solutions to foster efficient and sustainable urban mobility. OPTICITIES has addressed the whole information value chain on mobility from data collection and processing up to the delivery of services to the end user including network operators, citizens and freight operators.

One of the project’s key achievements was the cooperation of operators and innovators looking forward jointly to scale up solutions to be implemented and commercialised in the next three to five years. This activity has ensured that OPTICITIES output is directly in line with the aims of the EIP-SCC Sustainable Urban Mobility Action Cluster with the project’s partner cities actively involved in establishing and supporting the New Mobility Services from its launch earlier this year. The initiative provides the opportunity for the large scale transfer and take-up of a multi modal dataset and contractual arrangements established by OPTICITIES with follower cities.

2.    What is the status of the OPTICITIES right now? What are the next steps for OPTICITIES?

The OPTICITIES project is drawing to a close at the end of October 2016 and we are now completing our final dissemination events and tutorial sessions. A key output is the project’s Transferability Handbook that provides recommendations to plan and implement Urban ITS services. This handbook gathers the key learning points and success factors of the project in a user-friendly format and is backed up by access to the full project deployment guidelines that are available in the OPTICITIES Online Stakeholder Forum at www.opticities.com that provides a positive legacy beyond the project duration.

In terms of next steps, the OPTICITIES partners are keen to continue to seek ways of working together, build on the output of this very successful project and support the deployment of the OPTICITIES multi modal dataset.

3.    How is the New Mobility Services Initiative encouraging the further uptake of the OPTICITIES’ result in your opinion?

The New Mobility Services Initiative provides a unique opportunity to build on the output of OPTICITIES to promote the transfer and replication of the organisational and technical innovation established in the project. This provides the ideal platform to establish collaborative working with follower cities and enables them to save time, effort and money by building a new common ground for mobility services.

4.    The New Mobility Services has launched a manifesto of interest called ‘Scaling-up new mobility services in Europe’ which can be signed by people and initiatives interested in becoming members of the Initiative. What does the signing of the manifesto mean with respect to the OPTICITIES?

Signing the manifesto (click here to download it) is the first step in engaging stakeholders in a collaborative initiative that provides a unique opportunity to share the strategic results and public deliverables of the project that have been tested and evaluated by six leading European Cities. The manifesto provides a gateway to accelerating the mass deployment of OPTICITIES outcomes, providing greater market certainty and minimising risk in the investment strategies of public and private investment in providing Mobility as a Service (MaaS) on a wide scale deployment platform.

5.    A message to encourage people to sign the manifesto...

I strongly urge cities, regions and their industry partners to sign the manifesto and benefit from the collaborative approach that enables the replication of the standardised Urban Mobility Dataset that the OPTICITIES partners have developed. It is ready to use, allows you to control your data management, saves money and saves time. All that is needed is your commitment to the manifesto as a first step to achieve this aim on a common journey with like-minded partners. 

For further information, visit the New Mobility Services page.