At the beginning of June, Resolve Group’s Managing Director, Martin Leak, attended the 9th ITS European Congress in Dublin, the theme of which was ‘Real Solutions for Real Needs.’ Addressing the similar challenges all regions face in delivering sustainable transport solutions to meet current and future mobility requirements, the event  was designed to be a place where transport authorities could find detailed information on targeted ITS solutions that would deliver tangible positive outcomes for real needs specific to their region.

Martin was particularly impressed by the level of technological connectivity that will be available in the immediate future in the vehicle fleet, and was surprised at how much of the technology that was experimental only a few years ago is now available to the consumer, “What I saw on test tracks two years ago is now appearing in commercial vehicles.” As an example, by 2015 all new vehicles will have ‘Eco Call’, an automated emergency response beacon. And by 2017, it is forecast that 60% of the vehicle fleet will be interconnected via the ‘cloud’ allowing for crowd source networking of huge amounts of data accessible to the travelling public via their vehicles.

Martin foresees rapid change in the next five years, with Europe on the cusp of the mass market introduction of Electric Vehicles. A number of new models from major manufacturers will be arriving on the market by the end of the year and issues of fragmentation within the Electric Vehicle market around easy, interoperable charging in public spaces are currently being addressed throughout Europe in order to support mass market adoption.

Dublin City works with IBM on transportation research and practice and as one of the ancillary events to the conference, Martin visited the IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin where a highly skilled and cross-disciplinary team are helping the city better understand, interconnect and manage its core operational systems such as transport, communication, water and energy.