Groningen should have a center for new forms of mobility, a so-called ‘Mobility Innovation Center’ (MIC).
To this cause, executive officials of the Province, the Municipality and the University of Groningen as well as of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the Noorderpoort (one of the largest Regional Education Centres in the Northern Netherlands) signed a letter of intent last 2 November. In this center, governmental authorities, knowledge institutions and other players shall research, develop and test ways of smart and innovative transportation. The launch of the Groningen MIC (half way through 2019) shall be the first of its kind nationwide.
Travellers and transporters are increasingly being supported by digital technology. For instance by several travelling apps or by smart info boards at bus stops and railway platforms. Technological developments are thus facilitating smarter and more sustainable travelling. Transport providers are able to process large quantities of data in order to – for instance – provide up-to-date info regarding transport flows. Through this information all means of transportation are able to adjust better to traveller’s needs thus allowing more efficient use of scarce transportation space.
The objective of smart mobility is to improve the accessibility of the environment in a safe, agreeable and sustainable way. In order to make the biggest impact in this context, governmental authorities, knowledge institutions and companies should all join forces. Within the abovementioned envisaged MIC the development of smart and innovative mobility should be continuously enhanced. Moreover, such a center would also prove to be a showcase of what’s happing in the Northern Netherlands in this field.
What specific themes were defined in this context?
The initiators have designated a number of themes on which the MIC shall initially focus:
- The development of autonomous transportation by road, rail, air and water. Special focus shall be put on the accessibility of rural areas as well as on the social acceptance of autonomous transportation.
- The development of communication between vehicles through for instance sensor and 5G technology.
- Making mobility more sustainable for instance by driving on Hydrogen and batteries as well as by smart (re)charging.
- Smart city logistics, focused on smart, efficient and sustainable solutions for freight transport in urban areas.
- Behaviour influencing: in what way can we encourage more travellers to travel outside rush hours?