Empowering citizens: the Innovation Hub South co-organises two citizen engagement events in collaboration with our community ecosystem

In recent years, civic engagement aimed at community involvement and collective learning has become a centerpiece of environmental management. People are expected to be interested, inquire, express opinions, make suggestions, and even take responsibility. And EIT Urban Mobility is, among other actors, responsible for motivating them with attractive and meaningful initiatives. Also, understanding that citizens are our customers is vital for making this process feasible and with a clear purpose. And our customers need to be considered and heard.

Committed to our objective of empowering citizens and giving them the tools to speak up their minds, the Innovation Hub South organised two citizen engagement events in collaboration with the EIT Urban Mobility Headquarters unit, Factory, and two of our main partners: Toulouse Metropole and Barcelona City Council.

The first one was a session scheduled into the main programme of the Barcelona Innova Week, a Barcelona City Council initiative to reflect and experiment on the relationship between people, technology, and cities. In collaboration with the EIT Urban Mobility supported project Ces4Kids, and our partner VOI, we coordinated a workshop session where young students were challenged to present their ideas and solutions to their city’s daily mobility challenges. Creativity, engagement, and a bunch of robust and feasible ideas were the results of the workshop. The session also reaffirmed the idea that citizen Engagement must start at an early age, and people should be able to express their ideas and be considered in the process of (re)designing a city.

Our second event brought us to the city of Toulouse. Under the umbrella of “Le Festival Toulouse Innovante et Durable”, EIT Urban Mobility designed an action in collaboration with CARNET, core partner, and Factory. Together we created a space where citizens could discover EIT Urban Mobility and the pilot project implemented in Toulouse, give their inputs about how to improve citizen’s mobility = citizen’s life in the city, learn about sustainable mobility habits in our co-organised workshops and discover the mission and the vision of EIT Urban Mobility. All under one roof and in an appealing context that helped citizens approach us. These direct conversations and information exchanges facilitated the citizens’ engagement and empowerment and helped us position ourselves as key actors in the mobility ecosystem.

We strongly defend that true engagement is not merely providing information and gaining support from citizens, but it is about reinforcing the sense of community and building up citizenship in a participatory process. Events are a powerful tool to connect with the citizens and co-organising them in collaboration with our partners makes sense to our actions.

EITUM Website marketplace

Just launched: the Mobility Innovation Marketplace, showcasing the mobility of tomorrow!

Are you an innovator seeking more visibility for your new product? Are you are searching for a mobility solution for your city? Then this is the marketplace for you!

Join the reference platform for urban mobility and stay up to date on the latest innovation in the sector! Gain an all-round understanding of the current opportunities and trends by accessing our variety of content, including:

  • Mobility products: featuring 50 of the most innovative solutions providing sustainable mobility in cities, and giving you the opportunity to promote yours for free!
  • Best practices, presenting the latest success stories of pilots and implementations of urban mobility solutions.
  • City challenges, giving a voice to cities to state the different mobility challenges they face and want to overcome.
  • Insights: providing the latest articles and news on the sector, from regulatory changes to the arrival of new cutting-edge technology.
  • Services, showcasing the diverse services offered by EIT Urban Mobility that you can choose from to fulfill your needs.

Don’t miss out on the latest news in sustainable mobility for cities! Join now by signing up for free on the platform and access our exclusive content.

Costs and benefits of the sustainable urban mobility transition in Europe

We are happy to release the fifth report of our Urban Mobility Next series, which explores the costs and benefits of the sustainable mobility transition in European cities. The analysis focuses on 779 EU-27 cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants based on 12 city prototypes. The model used in the report covers small, medium, and large cities in Eastern, Northern, Central/ Western Europe, and Southern Europe.

We have modelled three different transition scenarios to reflect possible pathways for cities to address the European Green Deal objectives for the transport sector of -55% CO2 emissions by 2030 and -90% CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. These pathways are composed of a set of 29 different policy measures (e.g. car and bike sharing, cycling infrastructure, metro and bus lanes, etc.) grouped into three main scenarios:

  • “Promote and Regulate”: this transition pathway assumes the promotion and regulation of 19 sustainable mobility options;
  • “Plan and Build”: this transition pathway focuses on 14 infrastructure building and technology related actions;
  • “Mixed”: this transition pathway is a mix of the two above-mentioned approaches, with 23 measures related to both technological innovations and behavioural change.

Read our study

For the preparation of this study, we have applied this model to the cities of Barcelona, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Munich, and Prague based on a combination of publicly available indicators and assumptions.


For a tailored evaluation based on your specific city data, please contact us at factory@eiturbanmobility.eu

TRT Trasporti e Territorio, has carried out this study using the MOMOS (Sustainable MObility Model) tool. MOMOS is a quantitative tool which allows to simulate the impacts of different mobility transition pathways on a range of indicators, including costs and environmental benefits, for different types of cities.

Auve Tech wins the award for best pitch at the Ready2Scale II event during ITS World Congress 2021

As part of the ScaleTHENGlobal programme, a programme financed by the EIT Urban Mobility and led by CARNET, the 15 participating startups from this edition were invited to participate in the Ready2Scale II event, which was part of the ITS World Congress, taking place in Hamburg from 11 to 15 October. During this activity, organised by Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg, the startups pitched live in front of the audience and a jury of experts, who chose Auve Tech as the best pitch from the session.

After an introduction by Peter Vest, Business Creation Manager at EIT Urban Mobility, startups presented their business ideas and were afterwards faced by questions from the jury, who then performed the task of selecting three winners. The first place was awarded with an economic prize of 2,000€, second place received 1,000€, and the third best pitch was awarded 500€. The jury of experts was composed by:

  • Doreen Brodersen, Director Business Unit New Business at FUNKE Logistik
  • Ulrich Balke, Sales Direktor at KPMG Germany
  • Christian Salzmann, Executive Director Startup Dock Hamburg

After all the startups had their chance to pitch their solutions, Auve Tech, represented by Paula Johanna Adamson (Chief Sales Officer at Auve Tech) was announced as the winning startup from the session, receiving a 2,000€ prize. They have developed an autonomous shuttle, providing a safe and sustainable solution for last-mile transportation.

Ottoban, represented by Marc Schindler (Managing Director at Ottobahn), received the silver medal and a prize of 1,000€ for their pitch of their emission-free and autonomous system for transportation of people and goods. Lastly, Elonroad, represented by Dan Zethreaus (Founder & Innovator at Elonroad) was awarded with 500€. They have designed a high-tech electric road system capable of auto-charging all types of electric vehicles when parked, as well as when driving.

In addition to the pitching session, some of the startups from the ScaleTHENGlobal Programme had their own booth at the ITS Future Area, reserved to these companies in order to facilitate networking opportunities at the congress, increasing their chance to meet potential investors during the event, which gathered key stakeholders from the urban mobility sector.  

The ITS World Congress showcased the newest trends in smart mobility solutions and logistics alongside national and international partners during the week of 11–15 October 2021. When closing its doors on Friday, it hit a record of 13,000 guests and 400 exhibitors from all over the world. This confirms the huge interest towards creating a more efficient, comfortable and climate-friendlier urban mobility.

ScaleTHENGlobal is financed by EIT Urban Mobility and is a programme led by CARNET (initiative coordinated by CIT UPC), with the collaboration of PowerHub, Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research, UnternehmerTUM, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik (NFF), Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg and the City of Hamburg, with the support of Xpreneurs, UnternehmerTUM Digital Hub Mobility and SpinLab.

Integrated and safe: how innovation can increase micromobility end user adoption

This fourth report of EIT Urban Mobility’s Urban Mobility Next series explores solutions and best practices boosting the uptake of micromobility in cities. Central to this report is the question of how to increase user engagement with various forms of micromobility, focusing on multimodal integration and safety as key enablers.

The report, realised with the support of Spin, sums up expert insights collected during a custom mobility workshop. 12 participants from public and private stakeholders across Europe discussed four use cases covering data integration and management, as well as safety performance and innovations of the micromobility sector.

Main recommendations cover data regulations, urban space allocation, training, vehicle homologation, as well as service level agreements and outcome-based objectives to ensure contribution to cities’ public policies.

EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation Awards for Climathon and hackathon participants

EIT Climate-KIC has launched a call for ideas on sustainable, inclusive and aesthetic solutions for New European Bauhaus challenges. Open to EU teams participating in the 2021 EIT Climate-KIC Climathon and hackathons of EIT Digital, EIT Food and EIT Urban Mobility, the call will be open from 25 October to 15 November 2021 and will offer prizes of up to €10,000 in seed funding. 

Led by EIT Climate-KIC, the Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus is engaging with European innovators to overcome fragmentation in the European innovation landscape, increase collaboration with universities to identify challenges and solutions, and ensure the engagement of civil society in the movement. The initiative will directly support the European Union’s New European Bauhaus (NEB), announced by President von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union address, that aims to create beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive places, products and ways of living. 

The initiative is now calling out to EU-based teams participating in the 2021 EIT Climate-KIC Climathon and hackathons of EIT Digital, EIT Food and EIT Urban Mobility, to submit ideas that address one or more NEB challenges.

New European Bauhaus challenges include: 

  • Green transition through architectural, cultural and historic sites:  
  • Green roofs, green walls and other green infrastructure to reduce the heat island effect, enhance air quality and advance new aesthetic value in the urban environment.  
  • Urban, regenerative agriculture to reduce emissions and foster stronger relationships between city dwellers and farmers.  
  • Towards circularity and urban resilience: 
  • Enhancement of the public realm, green areas and biodiversity, as well as their inclusiveness, accessibility and interconnection through active mobility, to improve physical and mental health.   
  • Circular economy actions based on the principles of the food waste hierarchy and efficient reutilisation of bio-products and bio-waste, achieving emissions and waste reduction and fostering the second life of products.  
  • Ensuring affordability and accessibility to all: 
  • Energy communities to ensure comfortable living at affordable prices through multi-disciplinary service models.   
  • Digital open data platforms to ensure transparency and reliability of data.  

The NEB Ideation awards will offer an excellent opportunity to join a network of stakeholders making the New European Bauhaus’ ambition a reality on the ground, and enable actors to connect and collaborate on key issues. This will in turn contribute to the EU NEB strategy and enable participants to join a pipeline of ideas that will be shared with the European Commission and used in future Cross-KIC activities.  

Winning teams will be announced on 30 November, 2021 and will get the chance to win €10,000  in seed funding to implement their idea in 2022. Other prizes include €3,000  and a study visit to the World Design Capital 2022 event in Valencia (Spain); three Jury Awards (3,000 , 2,000  and 1,000 EUR) and one Audience Award (1,000 ). All winning teams will be granted a study visit to Valencia to participate in person to the Award Ceremony on 15 to 16 December, 2021

How to apply? 

  1. Download the NEB Ideation Awards Guidebook to access more details on the call. 
  2. Download and carefully download the application form. We will be accepting applications from 25 October to 15 November, 2021, 18:00 CET. 
  3. Record a video of maximum three minutes pitching your idea. Please briefly introduce your team indicating your location, define the NEB challenge addressed and concisely explain your solution integrating sustainability, inclusiveness and aesthetics. Explain potential benefits and impacts deriving from that solution. The video can be the same as the one used at your local Climathon or hackathon, or a different one. Design of the video is free style.  
  4. Send both the application and video together using the file-sharing platform Wetransfer to XKICNEB.IdeationAwards@climate-kic.org 

If you have any questions please contact Natalia Vera, Cross-KIC NEB Project Manager at EIT Climate-KIC: natalia.vera@climate-kic.org. 

EIT URBAN MOBLITY | Startup Investments 2021 (Q3)

Urban mobility is undergoing one of the most transformational shifts of a generation. A successful strategy in the industry requires the adoption of a comprehensive and coherent approach, centered on innovative ventures that are disrupting this landscape. 

While the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economy, the crisis has also encountered major opportunities for innovation. Examples of drivers underpinning this ongoing transformation are startups and scale-ups with high financial, environmental and social impact and growth potential. 

In pursuit of leading positive change and business prosperity, EIT Urban Mobility is investing up to €150.000 per company in high-impact startups and scale-ups to accelerate their journey, to continue critical innovation and to ultimately transform the European urban mobility landscape. 

An EIT Urban Mobility investment will not only provide you with capital but also position you in the venturing ecosystem and include you in our European partner network of corporates, investors and cities. 

Who qualifies for startup investment?

Startups and scale-ups currently fundraising or preferably already in an ongoing funding round with the following characteristics: 

  • Incorporated not more than 10 years ago 
  • Less than 100 employees on their payroll
  • Innovative product/ service contributing to at least one of the EIT Urban Mobility Focus Areas:  
  1. Urban Air Mobility  
  2. Waterway Transportation & Water Logistics 
  3. Connected Vehicles 
  4. Mobility & Energy 
  5. Autonomous Vehicles and Systems 
  6. Mapping and Navigation 
  7. Sensors and Training Data 
  8. Mobility Services 
  9. Vehicle Marketplaces and Aftermarket 
  10. Smart Cities & Smart Parking 
  11. Last-mile Delivery & Green Logistics 

For more information, please contact Pablo Garrido

Tips for future applicants

You can submit your application form using EIT Urban Mobility platform. The platform has new functionalities to help you prepare your application, and the Guide for Applicants and FAQs on the EIT Urban Mobility’s website have been updated.

  • You can prove that your company has successfully developed and commercialised products or services that represent a significant innovation in markets where value and monetisation can be maximised 
  • You have the management and technical expertise, with the necessary resources to show that the company is economically viable 
  • Your company’s operations, products/services contribute positively to at least one of the EIT Urban Mobility’s Core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDG3, SDG7, SDG8, SDG9, SDG11 and SDG13 

Activity DateComment 
Call opens25 October 2021Register here: application form
Deadline12 November 2021
Evaluation of proposals12 – 19 November 2021 Timeframe dependent on number of eligible applications  
Final Evaluation period with Virtual Pitch, Q&As and Due Diligence22 – 26 November 2021Timeframe dependent on number of eligible applications 
Announcement of companies selected29 – 30 November 2021Outcome notifications for different selected applications will be made as they happen
Approval and signature of investmentDecember 2021   

What we offer

Our startup investment instrument consists of up to €150.000 in exchange for equity. If selected for investment, your company will also benefit from access to regional ecosystems, infrastructure and coaching to drive growth and internationalisation. 

These are the requirements that companies need to fulfil to be eligible:

  1. The amount of equity for EIT Urban Mobility needs to be substantiated (e.g. company valuation set in the last funding round, revenues, term sheet, etc.) when submitting the application form.
  2. EIT Urban Mobility will be a strategic shareholder, and EIT Urban Mobility’s shares would be diluted in case of capital increases
  3. Selected Applicants are required to contribute to EIT Urban Mobility’s Financial Sustainability Mechanism (FSM). The Applicant will give out company’s shares in exchange of the investment received, based on the company’s valuation and investment amount agreed by EIT Urban Mobility and the applicant. This means EIT Urban Mobility will benefit from the success of your business
  4. A term sheet and a shareholders agreement shall be notarised to formalise the investment

Selection criteria

  • Resilience and capacity to leverage your company’s resources as a response to the changing environment and challenges and opportunities, ensuring traction and growth 
  • Positive contribution to at least one of our challenge areas (Active Mobility, Sustainable City Logistics, Creating Public Realm, Future Mobility and Mobility & Energy) and to Core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDG3, SDG7, SDG8, SDG9, SDG11 and SDG13 
  • You have secured/ committed investment from other accredited investors (BA, VC, CVC, etc.) in your current capital raise where EIT Urban Mobility would participate 
  • You can act fast and diligently to formalise the current funding round and the investment process  

The equality between men and women is a core value for EIT Urban Mobility. We support the adoption of the EIT’s Gender Mainstreaming Policy and its impact in the Knowledge Triangle.

In consequence, the quality and experience of the founders’ team is essential, and a gender-balanced team is evaluated as a significant strength.

Exclusion criteria

Applicants will be excluded if they:  

  • Are subject to an administrative sanction (i.e. exclusion) 
  • Are in one of the following situations: a. Bankrupt, being wound up, having their affairs administered by the courts, entered into an arrangement with creditors, suspended business activities or subject to any other similar proceedings or procedures under national law (including persons with unlimited liability for the participant’s debts) b. Declared in breach of social security or tax obligations by a final judgment or decision (including persons with unlimited liability for the participant’s debts)  
  • Are found guilty of grave professional misconduct by a final judgment or decision (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)  
  • Are convicted of fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorism-related crimes (including terrorism financing), child labour or human trafficking (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)  
  • Shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations under a procurement contract, grant agreement or grant decision financed by the EU or Euratom budget (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control)  
  • Have misrepresented information required for participating in the EIT Urban Mobility funding scheme or fail to submit such information  
  • Were involved in the preparation of any documentation regarding this call or are involved in the evaluation process of this call and this entails a distortion of competition 

Selection process and key dates

  • Please use this application form to express interest and provide all requested  details about your company at the latest  by the 12 of November 2021
  • All applications will be evaluated by EIT Urban Mobility staff with the support of independent external experts and venture capital investors
  • By the 29 – 30 of November 2021, EIT Urban Mobility will announce the companies selected and will also communicate the next steps
  • All information you share with us will be treated confidentially and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR (Regulation EU 2016/679)  

Welcome2Europe has selected its new batch of participating startups

The ScaleTHENGlobal programme, developed by the EIT Urban Mobility and funded by the European Union, recently opened a new call for participants to take part in the Welcome2Europe activity. This programme is looking to expand the capabilities of the selected urban mobility start-ups and help them boost their business ideas into new territories.

Welcome2Europe will host for the upcoming months 5 international startup companies who are targeting Europe, and will give them the opportunity to be introduced to investors and local hub partners. Preparation workshops will take place to assist the selected teams and boost their networking capabilities with potential customers. Additionally, all the participants from the programme will benefit from Access to the EIT Urban Mobility network and ecosystem.

The full participants list is as it follows:


  • BlueSpace (USA)
    • Predictive Perception software to capture the true motion state of all objects to enhance autonomous driving functions and provide verifiable safety without external dependencies.
  • Parabol (Turkey)
    • Urban mobility management and analytics solutions by turning mobility-related data into actionable insights and recommendations to make more sustainable, safe, and liveable cities real.
  • URBANCOLAB (India)
    • A data-based design and decision-making tool for cities to benchmark streets and enable mobility shift.
  • NMODES (Canada)
    • A conversational AI platform delivering sustainable customer service and user engagement for smart cities and smart transportation.
  • WeavAir (Canada)
    • A solution enables improved safety and reduced operation costs of automotive fleets and transportation systems.

The consortium is looking forward to working with them to foster engagement between start-ups, small and medium-size enterprises, original equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Furthermore, participating start-ups and cities will be able to interact, and expectations from different European regions will also be exposed. One week before the main event, preparation workshops will facilitate the selected teams strengthen their future presentations and networking capabilities with potential clients.

Welcome2Europe is part of the ScaleTHENGlobal project, supported by EIT Urban Mobility, a programme led by CARNET (initiative coordinated by CIT UPC), with the collaboration of PowerHub, Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research, UnternehmerTUM, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Niedersächsisches Forschungszentrum Fahrzeugtechnik (NFF), Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg and the City of Hamburg, with the support of Xpreneurs, UnternehmerTUM Digital Hub Mobility, and SpinLab.

Podcast: How do startups work and how do they navigate the mobility industry?

Episode 7 of podcast ‘Conversations in the Park’ (the second one sponsored by EIT Urban Mobility) puts all the emphasis on start-ups and how they navigate the complex mobility industry. We invited two start-up leaders to tell us about their experiences and the challenges they are facing. 

Mari-Ly Klaats is the COO of Auve Tech, maker of self-driving vehicles and autonomous transportation systems. Based in Estonia, they are working on a number of important projects throughout Europe. 

Our second guest is Vianova’s co-founder and CEO, Thibault Castagne. The data company aims to bridge the gap between cities and mobility operators to create smarter urban spaces. They operate internationally between France, USA, China, UK, Spain, Chile, Sweden to introduce intelligent mobility solutions. 

We also wanted to have a larger-scale view, so we invited our Business Creation Director Fredrik Hånell. In his work, he has supported and observed many start-ups in their journey from idea to success, which provided us with some very valuable insights. 

Here is what we learned from our conversation with them about the startup journey: 

The beginning and end outcomes are often very different

Starting at the beginning, we wanted to know how a start-up is created. Our speakers seemed to all agree that it is not a straightforward process. 

As is the case with many young companies, usually someone with an entrepreneurial mindset would come up with a revolutionary idea they believe can solve a big problem. They begin to work to develop the idea into a product that can be marketed and sold. Do research, prepare presentations, meet with possible investors and follow the process. 

Sometimes however, the idea ends up being unsuccessful. Which could be due to many reasons. But from that grows a different idea that ends up being more viable. And by going through the process of ‘failure’, the entrepreneurs have learned so much more about the industry and what actually makes a success. Having gone through that, they can now reiterate and build upon their initial product. 

In other cases, the idea finds the entrepreneur instead. They may just be exploring a certain solution/technology as part of academic research or their line of work. And then find out that what they are exploring can actually fill a gap in the market. Or change the market completely. That then encourages them to keep experimenting and turn the idea into a business. Similarly to the above example, they may go through several iterations until they reach a fleshed-out product. 

Cities cannot catch up with start-ups 

We live in a day and age when technological innovation is happening at a massive rate. And the mobility ecosystem is no exception; every day we make progress on autonomy, data management, electromobility. Start-ups, like Auve Tech and Vianova, are at the forefront of that, they are the ones constantly evolving and introducing new technologies. But in order to apply them and improve lives, they need the cities. 

And cities often are not fully caught up with all that change. Infrastructure is still built around the old ways of moving and living, which makes it difficult to incorporate new mobility solutions. There is also the issue of legislation. New technology may take a few weeks to get developed, whereas a new law takes years. In addition, to bring a product from prototype to widespread market use, startups often rely on funding from government bodies. Which again, takes time. Another hurdle may be that the people in a city are not ready for a certain innovation. A big percentage of the public still does not trust autonomous vehicles completely. 

Prevalently, what we see is that start-ups oftentimes have to educate and wait for cities to catch up to the rapid growth happening. And that slows down the progress they are capable of introducing. 

Our speakers expand on these hurdles in much more detail during the episode. Hear their personal experiences on episode 7 of the podcast ‘Conversations in the Park’ here: 

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-startup-journey-in-mobility/id1546360284?i=1000537093158 

And everywhere else you find your podcasts.

Our Innovation Hub Central welcomed last week partners and stakeholders in its new premises in Munich

The Innovation Hub Central is one of five Innovation Hubs that EIT Urban Mobility has created to engage, support and to widen its partnership, to build up and share knowledge amongst the local ecosystems and to increase awareness across the whole Europe.

Relaxed COVID19 regulations and the new location of Innovation Hub Central in the Munich Urban CoLab allowed for a three-day face-to-face and semi online inauguration event taking place between 20-22 September 2021 in Munich (Germany).

On the first day, Innovation Hub Central presented to local and regional stakeholders the vision and mission of EIT Urban Mobility, our action-orientated innovation, business creation and the various training programmes of the Academy as well as the services we offer to support the scaling and market uptake of innovative solutions. We also had the opportunity to showcase the vibrant and dedicated Munich ecosystem and the startups we support in the field of urban mobility to our partners that had come to Munich from across the geography of the hub to the event.

From left to right, Directors of Innovation Hub West, Edwin Heesakers, East, Traian Urban, North, Henrik Morgen, South, Daniel Serra, and Central, Judith O’Meara.

The following day was dedicated to thematic topics with panel discussions on the New European Bauhaus Initiative by the European Commission and on Future Mobility, with a special focus on Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Speakers from partner cities, universities, research institutions, industry and startups participated in the discussions. 


Within the framework of the European Mobility Week, site visits were organised by the City of Munich in the afternoon to mobility-related places of special interest to foster active mobility and the creation of liveable urban spaces.

On the third day of the event, two EIT Urban Mobility Action and Impact Groups (AIGs) on Public Realm & Active Mobility were launched and followed by ideation sessions. AIGs aim at identifying and applying for regional, national, and European level funding schemes, adjacent to the EIT Urban Mobility mission and for the added benefit of our partners. In parallel, a meeting of the Specific Interest Group (SIG) on Urban Air Mobility took place to plan joint actions on the field.

While local and regional stakeholders learnt more about EIT Urban Mobility and the topics of special interest to the partners of Innovation Hub Central, new connections were created across the local ecosystems located in Innovation Hub Central and ideas were discussed and explored in view of the next Project Development Lifecycle.

Learn more about this hub and its work!

Three levers to unlock artificial intelligence benefits in urban mobility

With its ability to interpret data, assist judgments, and generate insights that are beyond human manual processing capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) is profoundly changing urban mobility systems.

Promising AI applications focusing on end users’ journeys are at the centre of the recent EIT Urban Mobility report on AI[1], which explores the use of AI in fields such as Mobility as a Service and Demand Responsive Transport. One of the report’s use cases features HaCon and Siemens Mobility, two companies that work with machine learning to predict the number of passengers in public transport, providing travellers with estimates of how crowded public transport will be. The solution has been implemented by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) in and around the city of Frankfurt in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to make social distancing easier for public transport users.

This is a testament to the fact that AI is already playing a central role in supporting the development of user-centric, citizen-oriented urban mobility.

Similarly, the AI TraWell project[2], co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility and led by a consortium including Fraunhofer and University College London, is using AI to create an app that optimises multimodal routes to fit travellers’ preferences and wellbeing. In this case, AI helps provide predictive information about the different transport modes a user considers, so each journey can be adapted to one’s preferences. Additional AI applications in mobility include traffic and logistics forecasts, on-demand bus services, vehicle tracking on transport networks, or self-driving car technologies such as automated valet parking, which is a currently widespread application for AI in cars.

To further accelerate the development and deployment of AI in the mobility sector, business leaders and policymakers across Europe need to pay special attention to three priority areas: investments in AI; data infrastructure & skills; ethical & trustworthy AI.

1. Increase AI investments for Europe to catch up in global race

With its potential to increase efficiency and productivity, the momentum around artificial intelligence has been growing over recent years, in sectors as diverse as information and communication, wholesale and retail trade, and manufacturing. In terms of yearly investments, the US and China are clearly dominating the international stage: of the €25 billion total investment worldwide in blockchain and AI technologies each year, the US and China account for more than 80%, while the EU’s share only amounts to 7%, or about €1.75 billion. This echoes findings from the EIT Urban Mobility report on AI, according to which one of the biggest barriers to AI solution deployment arebudget constraints (for a third of the survey respondents).

Stressing this investment discrepancy between Europe, the US, and China, a recent report on AI and blockchain by the European Investment Bank (EIB) highlights a gap of up to €10 billion that is “holding back development and deployment of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies in the EU.” The launch of a new EU funding instrument in March 2021 of up to €150 million should help close part of this gap, by focusing on AI early and growth companies in Europe.

2. Improve data infrastructure and skills to reap the full benefits of AI

According to the results of the industry survey[3] of the EIT Urban Mobility study, the provision and use of AI services in Europe is still mainly focused on the business-to-business (B2B) sector: of the AI companies surveyed in the EIT Urban Mobility report, 76% operate within the B2B space. While all companies use or provide AI in part of their daily operations, more than 60% of survey respondents have yet to feel that AI solution deployment actually leads to revenue generation, and 54% of respondents stated that AI solutions had not been impacting costs. This reflects some important barriers that are still hindering the full use of AI’s potential. In this regard, the lack of technical feasibility (stressed by 60% of respondents) and the poor data availability and quality (50%) are the most important non-financial bottlenecks.

The positive impact of AI on revenue increase and cost reduction still needs to be felt in some key business areas 

In parallel, the governance of both AI providers and adopters needs to be improved in line with the new challenges and opportunities arising from a more widespread use of artificial intelligence in businesses: according to the experts surveyed, the three main risk areas where improvements are needed to better fit AI in corporate activities are cybersecurity (73%), compliance (55%), and personal privacy (55%). To face these risks, European businesses need competent staff equipped with the necessary AI knowledge and skills to make the best use of AI and reap its full benefits.

3. Implement a clear framework for ethical, trustworthy AI

Despite being already omnipresent in our lives, AI is not regulated under a set of globally agreed standards. However, in the global race for competitiveness in AI, the EU stands out as a leader in ethical AI, thanks to an encompassing data strategy. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed a harmonization of rules for AI to establish a framework protecting people’s security and fundamental rights. This will be an essential milestone toward the development of a single market for lawful and safe AI, while preventing market fragmentation. Importantly, it will contribute to reinforce trust in the technology and provide the regulatory certainty cutting-edge innovation needs to thrive.

Looking ahead, enhanced governance and more effective enforcement of existing regulations applicable to AI systems will accelerate the development and deployment of AI in Europe, with positive impact on the accuracy and uptake of user-centric urban mobility applications.

The report can be accessed here

Background information

[1] Report based on a survey of more than 60 AI experts in the fields of urban mobility, climate, manufacturing, and health – both AI technology providers and adopters.

[2] AI TraWell is a consortium project of Achmea, Eindhoven University of Technology, Fraunhofer Society, Gehl Architects, ISBAK, Münchner Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund, Open & Agile Smart Cities, TomTom, University College London, with the participation of the cities of Copenhagen, Istanbul, Lublin, and Munich.

[3] The survey sample of 64 replies includes companies and institutes affiliated with EIT Climate, Manufacturing, Urban Mobility, and Healthcare. The survey covers both data management for AI development as well as AI business model and applications in Europe. Respondents are mostly AI solution providers (68%), followed by AI technology adopters (28%), and AI technology investors (4%).

Welcome2Europe – Global outreach programme for international startups

The ScaleTHENGlobal programme, developed by the EIT Urban Mobility has opened a new call for participants. A total of 5 startups will be selected from around the globe to take part in the activities, which will promote global outreach for urban mobility startups based outside the European Union.

Welcome2Europe will host 5 international startup companies targeting Europe, and will give them the opportunity to be introduced to investors and local hub partners. This activity will foster engagement between startups, small and medium-size enterprises, original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, public administrations and potential investors. Preparation workshops will facilitate the selected startups to boost their future presentations and networking with potential customers.

We offer:

  • Participation in networking events (online due to COVID) with key stakeholders (such as startups, SMEs, original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, potential investors, and public administrations) for the urban mobility startups participating.
  • Participation in workshops and mentoring sessions with international experts.
  • Access or participation to Smart City Expo World Congress
  • Introduction to the local ecosystem
  • Access to the EIT Urban Mobility network and ecosystem.

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 20 August 2021