Intelligent Mobility for Safer, Greener, & Smarter Cities
Europe has the opportunity to lead the world in the fields of clean energy and intelligent mobility. Now is the time for every relevant stakeholder to actively engage in the process to help bring about smarter, safer and greener cities for all citizens. The Intelligent Mobility for Energy Transition (IMET) initiative takes an important step to deliver better services for Europeans, and speed the process of developing a new model for mobility. This article summarises ongoing work and offers scope for those interested to engage through a new online survey, which will support the development of a white paper focused on the vision of the IMET initiative. You are all invited to participate in this survey, engage in future IMET projects, and be part of this bold vision for intelligent mobility in Europe.
Mobility is a critical component for any city, but our current urban transport infrastructure and practices create high levels of pollution and energy consumption. Road transport, in particular, is a significant source of air pollution that suffocates our cities and a major consumer of fossil fuels that are driving climate change. This impacts at a city level, and the entire planet. In recent years, however, the emergence of electric vehicles, alternative fuels, digital technologies and smart energy systems have brought new opportunities for intelligent mobility.
Intelligent mobility goes beyond the movement of people, and even beyond the reduction of road transport emissions, to integrate transport and energy systems in ways that were never possible before. Intelligent mobility offers people a far better travel experience, improves transport and road safety, whilst also increasing the energy efficiency of both vehicles and cities themselves, by using the immense energy storage potential of electric vehicles through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
“The EIP-SCC IMET initiative brings together market actors in an innovative setting, seeking to provide solutions for clean and smart transport at scale,” says Henriette van Eijl, Policy Coordinator for Smart Cities and Sustainable Mobility for the European Commission DG MOVE. “We are encouraging public and private organisations interested in joining pilot projects to contact IMET.”
Europe is at the forefront of the intelligent mobility movement, which together with the help of their automotive, technology, and energy partners, and also cities, policy makers, and many others, are revolutionising urban transport across the continent through their Intelligent Mobility for Energy Transition (IMET) initiative. Together IMET's current and future partners hope to tackle the problems associated with road transport in cities and bring about a new era of enhanced mobility with zero emissions.
Since its establishment in 2017, IMET has implemented a variety of enablers, demonstrations, and pilot projects throughout Europe. National ambassadors across the continent have been given clear objectives to support the initiative and follow an ambitious roadmap to achieve the goals of the project. By creating a network of stakeholders, including mobility and energy authorities/companies, technology providers, and cities themselves, the IMET initiative is working towards an age of cleaner, greener, safer, and more intelligent road transport.
Phase 1, in 2017, saw the development of the IMET team and key lines of communication, such as a newsletter, to encourage the active engagement of all relevant stakeholders, and a LinkedIn group to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. Phase 2, currently underway, is focused on consolidation. During this phase, EU wide networks are being developed, initial pilot projects are being refined, and benchmarking standards are being established.
The GrowSmarter project, for example, involving Barcelona, Stockholm, and Cologne, aims to bring together cities and industry to integrate and demonstrate ‘12 smart city solutions’ within energy, infrastructure and transport. The project will provide cities with valuable insights on how they function in practice and how models can be replicated. The idea behind GrowSmarter is to create markets that will be ready to fully implement these smart solutions in order to support growth and the transition to a smart, sustainable Europe. Working alongside the Smart Cities ‘Lighthouse’ programmes – an influential pool of 14 programmes, and close to 100 EU cities.
Another pioneering project, led by Polish SME NaviParking, in cooperation with the Institute of Computer Science Polish Academy of Sciences, focuses on the integration of smart parking data with electromobility data – charging stations and eMobility services providers. Their app connects users to digitalized parking spaces equipped with EV charging stations and interlinked with other clean transport networks. This brings smart parking into the eMobility ecosystem and enables citizens seamless transfer to eco-friendly forms of transport, like electric taxi or e-bikes. The concept is born out of openness in data sharing - the prerequisite for collaboration between automotive industry, city and mobility providers in a joint effort to reduce carbon emissions.
Nissan Europe and Ubiwhere, an R&I software SME from Portugal, are taking a leading role in intelligent mobility in the EU. They are working to aggregate the views of all kinds of potential stakeholders within the clean energy transition, electric and intelligent mobility, as well as road and energy infrastructure spaces. Together they have developed an open online survey where they hope to gather information that will help shape the future of the IMET initiative and evolution of urban mobility in the EU. The results of the survey will be used to develop a white paper that will highlight and raise awareness about our vision through key European institutions and stakeholders.
Using this survey and white paper, along with continuing enablers, demonstrations, and pilot projects, the EU and its partners are working towards phase 3 of the IMET programme. The third stage is where deals will be done with cities around Europe so that pilot projects can be initiated and developed at scale to bring about real change and unleash the benefits that intelligent mobility can provide.