Changing the face of the city – how ITS and cycling combine for future mobility

01 December 2020 - Published by CIE Communications

At the virtual ITS European Congress on 9-10 November, cycling took the central stage with the session organised by BITS and CIE on connected cycling and ITS.

This was a great occasion to present BITS project’s development and implementation at the largest event entirely dedicated to smart mobility and digitalisation of transport. These Congresses are an important occasion to exchange ideas on smart mobility solutions among policy makers, industry experts, company leaders and the general public. During the 2020 edition, more than 500 participants attended the live sessions where industry experts presented the latest developments in ITS, showcases of cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions for smart mobility.

CIE and the BITS project hosted a panel which was moderated by CIE’s CEO Kevin Mayne and gathered Jamie Cudden (Dublin City Council), Nikolaus Stieldorf (SWARCO), Ronald Jorna (Province of Overijssel; Coordinator of the BITS project) and Raymond Gense (PON; Chair of the European Expert Group on Cycling and ITS).

Jamie Cudden presented the Dublin cycling perspective and focused on the need for a smarter approach to cycling infrastructure investments. He highlighted that the pandemic acted as a catalyst for a switch to more sustainable transport in cities. The Covid crisis has become an opportunity for a shift in the way citizens move and therefore the need of better data to drive the investments has become more and more important. Multiple data sources are extremely useful to better understand trends and to measure the impact of cycling and sustainable mobility investments. Many innovative implementations have been carried on during the pandemic in Dublin creating safer roots for cycling.

Nikolaus Stieldorf outlined the major challenges in terms of mobility data such as lack of data sources, data source agreements, data sharing mandates and data consolidation. He presented MYCITY, Swarco’s mobility management platform, to show how these challenges are tackled by Swarco. This platform enables a standardisation of multimodal data via common data model, implementations of strategies across domains, real-time map visualisation, local integration with traffic light controllers and integrations with 3rd parties to receive and trigger aligned strategies across parallel systems.

Ronald Jorna presented the BITS project and how it aims at making cycling smarter by the use of ITS. The use of new technologies with data can contribute to make cycling more attractive, improving safety and reliability, speed and convenience, comfort and experience. Providing floating bike data, smart bike parking, intelligent traffic lights and route information for cyclists are just some examples that can substantially improve cyclists’ experience. BITS has already developed two tools that combine the different implementations within the project: the State of the Art report (available here) and the CycleDataHub with open data, information for cyclists, information for cycling policy, which will be soon available online.

Raymond Gense presented how the CIE Expert Group on Cycling and ITS is bringing together all these information to set a framework for bikes and ITS. The strategy focuses on three main pillars:

  • Behaviour change and mode shift: multimodality, combination between cycling and other services, bike sharing and other sharing, cooperation and coordination with MaaS.
  • Smart bike and rider: new bike technologies, apps and digital mapping, traffic management systems, parking, route planning, better information to cyclists.
  • Interactions: between the environment, between vehicles around, infrastructure, road safety.

The common denominator that brings together these three pillars is data: counting, measuring, aggregation and standards.

The next steps are the definition of the ambitions and needs of cycling along with stakeholders, policy makers and users to put that into action. CIE is leading the way on this and thanks to the important contribution of the BITS project and Industry Experts, the smart cycling strategy will turn into reality.