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Robert Missen

Voices from the morning seminars  

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Robert Missen, European Commission, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport 

How can the EU simplify cross-border collaboration as regards electric, connected and self-driving vehicles? 

"One obstacle to reaching the goal of lower emissions is that there is a huge difference in ability and willingness between the 28 member states. We can only move forward with the speed of the slowest country, but of course we want to encourage those who want to progress faster. One of these areas is the Smart Cities initiative, to encourage cities which are enthusiastic about new ideas within energy, transport and IT systems. We can bring them together to discuss and share ideas. There are so many good ideas in Europe right now, but not everybody knows what their neighbours are doing. We have a small amount of money for organising meetings and facilitating dialogue and cooperation across borders – then we stand back and let the real experts talk and share their ideas. Sweden in general, and Gothenburg in particular, has a lot of innovative ideas, especially when it comes to transport. It's always very interesting to come here and see what's going on, whether it's electric buses or electric roadways." 

Niklas Gustafsson

Niklas Gustafsson, Senior Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Volvo Group 

What role do test beds play in the development of future transport solutions? 

"We can do a great deal ourselves in our labs, in our test environments and on our test tracks. But a large chunk of the transport solutions of the future is based on collaboration. Ten years ago, producing the world's best truck, bus or heavy equipment was enough to be considered the best in the world. Today, it's all about entire transport solutions, and that requires more links in the chain: charging, infrastructure, logistics systems and so on, and here test beds are one way to find the right partners." 

"Our greatest challenge right now is not the technology; we're investing huge amounts in electromobility and connected and self-driving vehicles. Most important now is finding the right business model and getting society on board this development. I still say that there are currently no obstacles whatsoever to any city in Europe wanting a fully electrified bus service. Even though we've been able to demonstrate that electrified buses both work and are cost-effective from a life cycle perspective, there are still many stakeholders, such as mayors, buyers and operators, who need to understand this and take the first step. Unfortunately, that takes time."  

Jan Hellåker

Jan Hellåker, Programme Director, Drive Sweden 

What's the most exciting thing you're working on at the moment? 

"Our most exciting and challenging work at the moment is packaging new mobility for users. Things need to be simple and connected! We can't be opening a new app each time we change vehicle. Our goal is to create a Spotify for how we get about. Development is moving forwards, but challenges remain as regards both policy and technical aspects. Surveys show that users are very keen and interested, especially younger generations, to own less and instead gain access to services. After the summer, work will start to turn Lindholmen into a large test bed for just this in LIMA, the Lindholmen Integrated Mobility Arena project. A thousand employees will participate in a trial giving them access to all the standard mobility services. However, about a hundred of the participants can also bring a car on occasion, which can be shared via a shared locking system and automatic payment transactions within the system. We hope to launch the pilot project in the third quarter of 2019." 

Rolf-Barnim Foth

Rolf-Barnim Foth, Director Neighbourhood Policy, Marketing, Tourism, Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation 

How do you hope to benefit from today's event? 

"We're here as part of a larger delegation from Hamburg, including the transport minister and representatives for the port, the development of intelligent transport and international relations. Our two cities are quite similar and we have many common interests. We've worked together with Gothenburg for many years on several joint projects and enjoy good relations between our universities and colleges, ports, tourism industries and research and development in many areas. An opportunity like this is perfect, not least for politicians to learn more about what the future holds. The existing smart cities are pioneers and thanks to them and the exchange of knowledge at conferences such as this, we don't need to keep reinventing the wheel and as such can save much money."  

"We're also hoping to arrange a meeting with Ann-Sofie Hermansson (Mayor of Gothenburg) on regional funding for a future fast rail link from Oslo to Hamburg, via Gothenburg and Malmö. What's more, it's interesting to get to discuss with Volvo Cars how Hamburg can enable their future cars to drive on our roads as well – we don't want to drive only German cars in Germany." 

Charlotte Ljunggren

Charlotte Ljunggren, Airport Director, Swedavia Göteborg Landvetter Airport 

What did you find interesting today? 

"I was impressed by how clearly a seminar such as this underlines the fact that the development of future transport solutions is a global issue, involving so many stakeholders and collaborations – the EU, individual countries and cities, trade and industry, and research. I would've enjoyed learning more about the intermodality we saw examples of from Oslo, though. Every mode of transport must play its part. We need to think more in terms of smooth day-to-day living, you need to be able to get about in different ways depending on where you are in life and where you are physically. More modes of transport need to be linked and collaborate if Gothenburg and Region Västra Götaland are to be attractive places to live."  

"It was also interesting to hear about electrified roads. Swedavia is involved in such projects, such as for goods transport between the airport and the seaport. There's generally a lot of good things being done in Gothenburg that others can learn from, from tools like the fantastic parking app to Swedavia's efforts to run a climate-smart airport. I think this is all down to the fact that we're very good at collaborating here in the Gothenburg region." 

Niclas von Heidenstam

Niclas von Heidenstam, Business Developer Nordics, Icomera AB 

What insights have you gained today? 

"Today's seminars have provided good insight into how electromobility, self-driving vehicles and connected vehicles are three pillars which together provide far better conditions for the transport industry and public transport, and as such for society as a whole as well. I'm also here for personal inspiration and new knowledge, as well as to network. It's really good to gather everything and everyone under one roof in a single forum."  

"At Icomera, we work with connectivity in different vehicles, encompassing WiFi, infotainment systems and eco driving applications, for instance. Among other things, we're involved in the ElectriCity project, and I think that such collaborative initiatives are important because they drive development on many levels. They bring together so many different actors. We see this in the IT for Public Transport (ITxPT) project, for example, which we're also involved in. This is a framework for standardising IT in vehicles and involves everyone from technology suppliers through transport companies to politicians." 

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