By Marco Annoni, CEO Vem Solutions
The mobility of goods and people is an absolute necessity and holds a great economic and social importance. However, it is also an indirect cause of problems that need to be managed. Road accidents, pollution and traffic congestion are constantly increasing, road infrastructures are saturated and their improvement is made difficult by due to the lack of space and appropriate structural investments. The scientific community attributes to mankind a significant role in increasing the frequency and severity of extreme climatic phenomena and in causing global warming. According to the EU estimate provided in the Transport White Paper, transport accounts for 25% of CO2 emissions, 71% of which are directly related to road transport. On the other hand, goods and people need to move more and more quickly, efficiently and safely. ICT communication technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) play a crucial role in solving this dilemma. In order for these solutions to become effective and economically sustainable, the evolution of the different solutions in the domain of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) – this is already taking place at a multinational level, pushed by technological and market factors that are not integrated enough – must prevent a fragmentation of solutions and ensure interoperability at European level. In this sense, Telematic Service Providers (TSPs) can play an important role by proposing and developing new cooperative business scenarios based on replicable, standard technical solutions. At a national level, the Viasat Group is a leading player and is favoring this approach together with the other members of the TSP Association. The objective of the European Commission is to spread the adoption of ITS solutions in order to guarantee system interoperability at European level, ensuring permanent access to information, continuity of service and finally the creation of effective cooperation models that can be applied to the different actors in the transport sector. In this process, countries are asked to harmonize their respective national strategies with the aim of creating an interoperable transport system at the European level, suitable for urban and goods transport, in order to reach the zero emissions objective by 2030. The identified areas of intervention focus on different aspects.First the streamlining of the supply chain by implementing appropriate supply systems, in which deliveries and loadings within urban areas are coordinated. Then the introduction of access and circulation control mechanisms for commercial vehicles in urban areas, through incentives for vehicles with low environmental impact and the introduction of restrictive regulations for city access, require the widespread adoption of ICT. Or the maximization of the use of ITS solutions and systems to streamline logistics operations and the loading/unloading process; managing travel times by avoiding traffic-prone routes. Another solution is the adoption of the practice of scheduling deliveries outside of working hours, thus encouraging the use of infrastructures when the traffic is lower. At last the creation intermodal infrastructure networks for the conversion of urban freight transport into other means of transport with a lower impact (e.g. City Logistics scenarios). In this globalization process of telematic solutions, Viasat Group will certainly play a leading role, also thanks to the growing presence of its subsidiaries in many European countries. It is also worth mentioning how service scenarios that apply the IoT paradigm to fleets are gradually developing. Technically, these data can be transferred from the “smart” sensors via a vehicle gateway to a Big Data ICT platform, capable of collecting and processing the data, carrying out analyses and providing services. Sharing these data anonymously through standard and open protocols will allow the creation of a new generation of services for road transport, both telematic and dedicated to mobility planning and management by public entities. As we understand, the key factor for these scenarios is the adoption of common protocols for the exchange of these data and the creation of a modern, flexible regulatory framework at an European level in order to accelerate this type of development, in which Viasat Group aims to play a leading role in terms of technical evolution, service portfolio and commercial presence.