2019 Speaker Interviews

Discover more about the topics and technologies that were discussed at the 2019 conference, via a series of exclusive interviews with a selection of our expert speakers.

How can digitization reduce traffic congestion?

Tamy Ribeiro, chief evangelist and head of partnerships of Wunder Mobility in Germany, explains how digitization can make the world a better place to live in, one traffic jam at a time

What is your presentation about?
My presentation is about getting rid of the old to make room for the innovative and new. There has never been a time in history more defined by constant change than the era we’re living in now: the digital era. Most people (and companies) don’t embrace change until they’re pushed into doing so, and that’s what new technology is great for. Computers, smartphones, IoT – these are the technologies redefining our society and our way of life today.

Our goal at Wunder Mobility is to make the world a better place for people to live in. We do that by providing sustainable mobility models designed to reduce traffic and congestion, which make people sicker, poorer and unhappier. I’ll be talking about what we all need to do to solve these problems and how we can get digitization on our side to accomplish our goals faster and with more efficiency.

How can digitization reduce traffic?
To me, traffic represents an old way of life that is unfortunately still prevalent in many places. Traffic is a by-product of excessive car ownership, among other factors. That’s why I believe in the potential that shared mobility holds when it comes to congestion, and shared vehicles and transport modes are only shareable because of the software that powers them. They’ve been made ultimately more efficient through digitization.

There are a multitude of digital options out there designed to combat traffic. By analyzing smart data, for example, cities and governments can make well-informed urban planning decisions that wouldn’t be nearly as effective without analysis to go off of. Using this data, cities can build communities that discourage private car ownership or integrate multiple mobility modes, thereby reducing traffic in the process.
Simply put, digitization is the gateway to a multitude of traffic-reducing technologies – and in my opinion, it’s the only way forward.

What needs to be done to get to that point?
The first step is ‘waking up and smelling the coffee’ – realizing that our old models aren’t working anymore, recognizing and accepting that the times are changing and then coming together to work on innovative new ideas. I say it all the time: collaboration is key! Without the help of the private and public sectors, there’s no way we can expect our mobility landscape to advance in such a way as to be beneficial for all citizens, commuters and riders alike. It’s impossible without teamwork.

Are there any apps or digital technologies that are already reducing congestion?
Wunder Mobility’s software, of course! But we aren’t the only ones – lots of shared mobility companies have entered the industry recently, ready to make a difference. I think data mapping is a huge step forward, because without data analysis we can’t even effectively recognize where the problems lie, such as where the high traffic zones are, what the causes are, etc. And if we don’t know where to begin, we’ll never start to solve the serious problems.

Are autonomous vehicles the ultimate goal?
We should be very clear about this: it’ll be decades before self-driving cars are everywhere. Of course, autonomous vehicles will definitely redefine the automotive industry – as they’re already doing today – and they hold the very real potential of benefitting a variety of industry sectors, but they’re not quite ready to take over the mobility sector just yet.

The adoption rate for AVs is and will remain slower than what was once optimistically assumed by scientists and industry professionals alike. That’s partially because of the extremely complex technology, but also because of gaps in infrastructure, an increased need for regulation that can’t be quickly met (usually due to the comparatively slow reaction time of governments), and safety concerns. All that being said, we can’t forget that AVs are theoretically always going to be safer and more effective drivers than humans are. I think the ultimate goal should be finding a way for AVs, public transportation and shared mobility services to coexist in one ecosystem in harmony.

Don’t miss Tamy Ribeiro, chief evangelist and head of partnerships of Wunder Mobility, give her presentation titled More knowledge, information and intelligence, but the traffic problem remains. How can digitization reduce traffic congestion? on Tuesday, December 10 at 15:55hrs as part of Stream 7: Quantum Effects Through Big & Small Changes. See the full conference program here. Register for your conference pass here.

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