The world around us is rapidly changing as a result of the increase in communication technology. Does this mean the way we move around is also changing? Absolutely. Our approach to mobility is changing fast. We are moving around increasingly often, more quickly, more efficiently, more safely and more sustainably. Easy access, road safety and quality of life are basic requirements to which smart mobility can make a major contribution. Social and technical innovation in the field of mobility could help us find solutions to the issue of how Rotterdam could continue to be a city that is both accessible and safe and that also offers good quality of life with clean air and sufficient appealing public space.
Smart mobility in Rotterdam
Rotterdam responds to the smart mobility trend in various ways. The city is experimenting with smart solutions for parking, such as the ParkeerSlim app, which means residents don't have to spend ages looking for a parking space. The app uses road surface sensors. The sensors keep track of whether a parking space is available or occupied. Residents/participants can use the app to find out where there are available parking spaces. A number of solutions for the smooth flow of traffic are also being tested. One example is a test related to truck platooning in the port. This system concerns multiple trucks travelling a very short distance from one another. The trucks are automated and communicate electronically. There is a lot to be gained from this 'truck train': fuel savings, improved road safety and more efficient flows of traffic, which also offers cost savings. Apart from the experiments lots of sensors are currently already in use. Such as rain sensors for cyclists. What happens when it rains? The sensors communicate this to the traffic lights and the green light for the cyclists is triggered more quickly.
Rotterdam also encourages entrepreneurs to invest in developing smart solutions for mobility issues. The Rotterdam Mobility Lab provides space for new and innovative ideas that contribute to improved accessibility. Participating start-ups are supported by €25,000 in funding, which they can use for marketing and communication, contacting customers and investors, and to scale up.
Apart from technical innovation, you will also find social innovation related to mobility in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is hosting the 20th edition of the international conference Walk21. Its focus is on 'Putting Pedestrians First'. Rotterdam’s vision on walking, supported by a new National Walking Agenda, and the parallel achievements in other Dutch cities make a compelling package for politicians and professionals from around the world to experience the practical and visionary ways in which walking can be used as an accelerator for more equitable, healthy and smarter places.