Wednesday, 4 April 2012

FEMA Special Edition Newsletter - Intelligent Transport

FEMA Special Edition Newsletter - Intelligent Transport - April 2012

Dear readers,
The advent of "intelligent transport" - the use of information & communication technology for driving assistance and communication - is perhaps the most groundbreaking mobility innovation we will experience in the near future. Real-time traffic information, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, collaborative route planning, lane and distance keeping assistant... Which of these technologies will take up in the coming years, and what impact will they have on our driving habits? How do we make sure that we, as individual road users, each with our own experience, training and mobility, can get new technology to do what we need it to do?

Most importantly, how do we make sure it actually makes us safer? Time and time again motorcyclists have shown a keen interest, with mixed feelings of excitement and worry. Do those who develop, choose and deploy the technology have an eye for the rider's specificities? Can one count on them to make sure everything is done to integrate motorcyclists as a full component of a shared, safer transport environment? The European Commission's open consultation on the provision of free traffic information, launched last week, will draw the public's attention to an entire policy field that, despite holding the potential to fundamentally change the way we understand land transport, has so far mostly been discussed within political circles or behind the closed doors of research & development departments.

The fact that we are dealing with a multifaceted field - psychologists, engineers, traffic managers, vehicle managers, urban planners, software programmers; elected officials and civil servants at the local, national and European level, all having a role to play in designing, deploying and maintaining the connected traffic grid, along with the complexity of motorcycling - its technical, social and economic specific characteristics - does not make it any easier to answer these questions.

In this special newsletter, FEMA sets out to answer these key questions, by opening for the first time its pages to a panel of experts from across the field: top researchers in behavioural science and safety systems, members of the motorcycle industry, and officials from the European Commission in charge of transport and information technology. Together, they will provide an in-depth insight to the best way forward to bring about a safer traffic environment - for everyone.

Ride Free,
Aline Delhaye, General Secretary of FEMA

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