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RESEARCH GPF-IBE: COLLECTIVE ROAD TRANSPORT, ´ENGINE´ OF INTERMOBILITY AND CHANGE
Press release n. 3 of the 05/05/2022 11.14.10 ( download )
The research presented during the Webinar ´The demand for new sustainable collective mobility for the Bus Industry and LPT´ within the Digital Green Week organized by Italian Exhibition Group
Intermodality is a need for 70% of Italians, but for 80% there is still a lot to do although progress has been made (75%)
85% of the sample will choose an ´ecological´, sustainable vehicle and service that is compatible with the environment
For 60% of users, road transport should invest above all in cutting-edge technological systems, a crucial aspect for the evolution of the service (95% of the sample)
Preference is given to a ´user friendly´ APP that can provide integrated information on the different parts of the trip
The ´Coach´ segment perceived by 80% as practical, comfortable, high ´comfort´, punctual, safe, flexible, a benchmark in terms of quality for the entire sector
Rimini, May 3rd 2022 - Collective road transport can and must become ´the ambassador of intermobility´ thanks to the support of technology. It is the result of the research conducted by GPF Inspiring Research for IBE Intermobility and Bus Expo presented during the Webinar ´The demand for new sustainable collective mobility for the Bus Industry and LPT´ within the Digital Green Week, the three-day event digital events organized by IEG Italian Exhibition Group from today to May 5th.
The GPF Inspiring Research-IBE research has set itself the objective of probing the breadth and depth of the demand not only for collective ´Coach´ transport (leisure / tourism and ´business travel´) and on commercial lines (long and medium range), but also of ´new mobility´ relating to Local Public Transport (LPT), increasingly interconnected and oriented towards the service of the citizen-customer (Mobility as a Service, Mobility as a Platform, Mobility as a Common).
At the opening of the Webinar, Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Italian Exhibition Group, declared: ´As IEG we are proud to offer the market an important comparison tool such as the GPF-IBE research we are presenting today. We believe that our role as trade show organizers is increasingly that of business facilitators and community catalysts for the supply chains we host. Therefore, the interpretation of trends and signals becomes essential to promptly make available to the production sectors and ´policy makers´ planning and direction elements consistent with the times of the industry. Bus Industry and LPT are facing an exceptional convergence towards a new ecosystem of public-private collective transport, driven by the energy transition and technology, issues on which as IEG we boast strategic know-how, thanks to events such as Ecomondo, Key Energy and , in fact, IBE ´.
Alessandra Astolfi, IEG Group Exhibition Manager, who was entrusted with the coordination of the Webinar, added: ´Public transport by road is the segment that shows the most marked evolution and a system potential that is still unexpressed. It can stand as a proactive actor in the evolution of the entire sector, a real ambassador of intermodality. At the heart of the change is technology that offers us solutions to transform the user into a customer who today asks for means that are more suited to the rhythms of our cities, automated and sustainable ´. ´It is an evolutionary path in which IBE Intermobility and Bus Expo (now in its 10th edition) reaffirms its central role for the New Sustainable Collective Mobility´, stated Astolfi.
Below are the most important evidences that emerged from the qualitative and quantitative research conducted by GPF in April 2022 on a sample of 663 interviews (representative of users who regularly use one or more public transport vehicles) as well as a selected number of ´ stakeholders ´and´ opinion leaders ´of the sector and emerging supply chains (*)
Collective road transport and intermodality: the ´Coach´ segment
The GPF survey showed that a ´true´ intermodality is a key need for almost 7 out of 10 users (69% of users believe that a scenario of intermobility is very important in which the means ´talk´ to each other to ensure greater efficiency). However, there is still a ´gap´ between hope and reality: 8 out of 10 users believe that the current situation is still far from an ideal scenario, although it is recognized (according to about two thirds of the sample) that some progress has been made.
The need for effective and efficient intermodality is very high, in a context in which about 3/4 of public transport users happen to use more than one vehicle for a typical shift within a month. According to the interviewees, it is precisely road transport that should become a ´champion´ of intermobility (6 out of 10 users) by investing above all in cutting-edge technological systems, an aspect considered essential for almost 95% of the sample.
The ´Coach´ segment is now considered by 8 out of 10 users to be practical, comfortable and punctual; a good degree of safety and adaptability to needs is perceived. A dynamic sector and (similarly to what has been said) in full transformation, the Coach sector is evolving along 2 complementary lines:
- optimization of what already represents a strong point of the sector, namely ´comfort´, with investments in special seats, such as chaise longues and investments in entertainment, drawing inspiration from what has already characterized the top air and rail / AV services
- greater accessibility in terms of economic offer, to attract an ever wider userbase, with services capable of acting as a ´competitor´ to public transport (by other routes).
In recent years there has been a proliferation of medium-long distance services on Gran Turismo coaches (capable of guaranteeing this ´comfort´) and bookable / usable with the typical methods of public transport. We are witnessing an evolution in the sense of a continuous customization of the offer, with the coexistence of large and traditional vehicles alongside smaller and leaner vehicles, able to better adapt to the user´s needs.
The analysis of the demand from the point of view of the ´stakeholders´ focuses on the role of integration and intercommunication with-between the means, in ways designed for the user, characterized by accessible digitization and ´user-friendly´ technology. Technology must therefore act as the glue between supply and demand.
Ecology is no longer (only) a facade ´must´, but it is an essential ´plus´ for a growing population basin: a large part of regular public transport users hopes for transport in the name of ecology and respect. for the environment; overall 89.5% of the sample declared that the choice of the means of transport is influenced by environmental considerations.
The economic element also has its impact: almost a third of users say they are very influenced by this factor; overall, over 9 out of 10 users are said (at least to some extent) to be affected by this variable
Technology at the service of the individual
On the user side, the most attractive technological innovations consist of ´user-friendly´ interfaces such as APPs that can provide integrated information and purchase tickets for many operators, reliable information on the arrival of the vehicle, practical aspects such as a WiFi connection within the vehicles, as well as a system that allows you to request-book the vehicle at a given time-stop, supported by effective GPS technologies (positioned on the vehicle and communicated to the user who can consult them in real time via mobile phone).
More generally, road transport is in the course of a technological and functional revolution that will allow it to ´change skin´ in the direction of ever greater autonomy, speed, punctuality and flexibility for the user. The technology, through advanced safety systems and interfaces with the road and other means, already makes it possible to reduce the gap of ´certainty´ and predictability relating to frequency and speed, typical of some rail services. This approach requires an infrastructural adaptation towards an increasingly automated system on lines / lanes dedicated to LPT on road which, in the not too distant future, could lead to autonomous driving.
According to the ´stakeholders´, the interaction between the supply of vehicles and infrastructure management will nevertheless give its best in urban situations where autonomous and external neighborhoods / ´hubs´ can be envisaged with respect to the city center; ´15-minute´ or even ´5-minute´ contexts, conceived for inter-mobility and where road transport is not subject to traffic variables, with ´zero-emission´ vehicles that allow the economic sustainability of the service.
Technology, a key factor for safety
According to the GPF-IBE research on the user side, further added value of the technology is perceived in particular in terms of safety: just think of the advanced braking, assisted driving and automated roadholding services, able to give the driver details in real time on the road (for example sensors that signal obstacles or pedestrians, developed around IOT infrastructures). These aspects (attributable to the ´primary´ needs of ´security´) are flanked by elements aimed at ensuring greater effectiveness and fluidity to the service, such as the interconnection with traffic lights (to always find green when the vehicle passes, the so-called ´green wave ´) Or by other means, as well as the instrumentation capable of informing the´ driver ´on the conditions of the route and on the´ status of the demand ´, ie the passengers waiting at the stops.
The future scenario: What´s Next?
Frequency, safety, reliability and personalization are some keywords for the public transport of the future. Road transport in particular should ideally be faster, more welcoming, smooth, widespread and computerized. A service offered with more ´compact´ vehicles (compared to those of the Coach / Shuttle segment), frequent, highly automated, and naturally more ecological. In fact, technology and ecology (a term still spontaneously cited alongside that of ´sustainability´) represent two essential cornerstones: sine qua non conditions that must imperatively characterize the future of road transport in primis and LPT in general. In this context, the impact of innovation and technology takes on a particular impact on the evolutionary dynamics of the sector in which we can see a progressive convergence between sector supply chains and new supply chains (energy, telecommunications and digital services).
Elements of resistance (among users who in any case use public transport regularly) are linked above all to the time factor, both in terms of the overall duration of the journey and of unsuitable timetables; following, there are other resistance related to safety (one fifth of the sample is held back from using the vehicles for this reason) and excessive crowding of the vehicles (also in this case, about one fifth of the sample is said to be visibly ´held back´ by use of public transport due to fears of contagion, starting from the pandemic period).
In summary, the key words of the intermobility of the future for the ´stakeholders´ are:
- Ecology: sustainability is the first objective, thanks to efficient means from an environmental point of view;
- Security: the technology will interact with the infrastructures on the ground. Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) will become a ´standard´;
- Integration: MaaS (Mobility as a Service) will be based on the development of platforms that allow the integrated offer of multiple ´competitors´ in transport services along the value chain;
- Digitization: central will be the degree of interactivity with the user / customer who will manage their mobility needs with a single APP, easy and fun to use thanks to ´gamification´ which, with a ´playful´ approach, rewards the purchase environmentally sustainable transport services.
In a satisfactory and effective future scenario, the Mobility as a Service approach therefore requires collaboration and cooperation between an increasingly large and varied number of actors: regulators, public administrators, manufacturers (hardware: vehicles / buses), developers (software: app , services, digital platforms), in a unicum towards the customer (ex-user).
(*) The sample is made up of 633 public transport users, a sample constructed by socio-demographic shares of gender, age and geographical distribution, by province of residence and size of centers, with the CAWI survey technique, integrated by in-depth interviews at ´ stakeholder ´in the areas of mobility, LPT, LCT and IT services relating to intermmobility.
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There are many testimonies from prominent exponents of industry, finance, associations and institutions participating in the Webinar. Their statements at the start of the works are listed below.
Fabrizia Vigo, Head of Institutional Relations of ANFIA intervenes on the PNRR and the opportunity it offers to the bus sector: ´The measure of the PNRR for the Italian electric bus supply chain is fully part of the government strategy to support investments in the automotive sector, for increase the production of highly sustainable vehicles in our country. The Italian manufacturers will certainly present important projects, the work we are doing together with them as ANFIA is to stimulate component companies to seize this opportunity, also considering the important allocations for the renewal of the bus fleet as a prospect ´.
Riccardo Verona, President of AN.BTI: ´As an association we hope that in the medium term, tourist buses with electric motors will be able to support our itineraries. Currently, the greenest engines for the tourism sector are Euro 6. We are trying to have support to equip our entire fleet with these engines with an environmental impact close to zero ´.
Below Federico Caleno, Head of Country Italy, Enel X Way on the issue of clean energy supply: ´The electrification of public transport is a fundamental element to ensure the true decarbonisation of transport, as also confirmed by the STEMI report presented by MIMS. To allow sustainable development of electric public transport, it is crucial to create innovative charging solutions, both in storage and in operation, tailored to the specific characteristics of the service to be offered ´.
Clean energy at the center of attention also for Michela Capoccia, Regulatory & Energy Transition Innovation Manager of the Sapio Group: ´Hydrogen represents one of the main solutions for decarbonising the transport sector. Thanks to the availability of European and national funds dedicated to the replacement of buses and the development of refueling infrastructures, it will be possible to accelerate this transition also in Italy. Among the main advantages, the autonomy of the vehicle and the speed of refueling. Sapio, for a century in the hydrogen sector, is committed to supporting its evolution ´.
Stefania Di Serio, Director of Strategy and Innovation Seamless Mobility, Almaviva reiterates the fundamental role of the most advanced technology ´Mobility is changing. Users and passenger needs change, but above all there are new players appearing in this market, all different and interconnected. In this context, the common language that relates and makes all the protagonists communicate is the digitization of the system and services and the cultural mediator becomes one who is able to play the role of the integrator, to manage complex data, transforming them into simple and useful, those who have the managerial ability to innovate processes using new technologies such as the blockchain ´.
This is echoed by Giovanni Dimopoli, Head of Strategies and Business Development, My Cicero who focuses on the usefulness of technology: ´With myCicero we anticipated the idea of MaaS by investing in a technological platform that integrates hundreds of mobility services to facilitate their use by citizens and tourists. Now, for truly smart mobility, it is necessary that all the actors involved, ie businesses, citizens and organizations, commit themselves to the new role of conscious members of a single community in which everyone collaborates so that critical issues create new opportunities ´.
The numbers of IBE Intermobility and Bus Expo
25 thousand gross square meters of exhibition area
10,000 gross sqm of outdoor area for test drives and experience activities
150 exhibiting companies, 10% of which are international
Synergy with the TTG, Ecomondo and KeyEnergy Exhibitions
Over 3 thousand test drives completed
+ 100 Roundtables, workshops, seminars
+ 300 hosted brants
The numbers of sustainable mobility
1.9 billion of new funds to Municipalities through the PNRR, 0.6 billion to the Regions through the Complementary Fund.
1.1 billion for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants from the Fund relating to the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Mobility (PSNMS), which will allow local authorities to purchase around 8,000 low and zero-emission vehicles over the next few years.
The monitoring of the evolution of the bus fleet for LPT shows a clear shift in favor of more modern and less polluting vehicles. Among diesel buses, the share of Euro 1-3 vehicles fell, between October last year and March 2022, from 37.7% to 34.9%, while that of Euro 5-6 increased from 55.4% to 58.1%.
Starting from October 2021, for the first time, a decrease in the absolute value of diesel buses (from 38,936 to 38,803 units) has been noted, offset by the increase in the number of zero emission buses
Andrea Vecci, Impact Sustainability & Communication, Redo SGR argues: ´The social impact real estate investments made and managed by Redo promote active and non-motorized mobility through the redevelopment of cycle and pedestrian infrastructures, the creation of small intermodal hubs for public transport and sharing urban: starting from a dedicated fleet of shared electric vehicles - designed to meet the travel needs of new residents - it is possible to bring new services to poorly connected urban areas ´.
FOCUS ON ITALIAN EXHIBITION GROUP
Italian Exhibition Group S.p.A., a joint stock company listed on Euronext Milan, a regulated market organised and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A., has, with its facilities in Rimini and Vicenza, achieved national leadership over the years in the organisation of trade shows and conferences. The development of activities abroad - also through joint-ventures with global or local organisers, in the United States, United Arab Emirates, China, Mexico, Brazil and India, for example . now sees the company positioned among the top European operators in the sector.
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