The UITP Photo Contest, which came to its conclusion at the Global Public Transport Summit in Montreal, celebrated innovation in the sector and embodied the Summit’s theme of ‘Lead the TRANSITion’. We sat down with each winner to discuss their photograph and pick their brain about the future of mobility…
Interview with the Gold Winner: Laura Mareovich
Laura Mareovich from PostBus was awarded first place in the Photo Contest with her photo, ‘Driverless SmartShuttle in Sion’. The photo depicts a landmark event in the transport world: the first public autonomous vehicle test.
Autonomous shuttles have the potential to drastically change the face of urban mobility. The environmentally-friendly and on-demand transport solution was a key focus of the Summit, with on-site test rides from Keolis and Transdev.
What is innovative in your photo?
My photograph captures the first autonomous shuttle tested in a public area. The pilot project begun in June 2016 in the old town of Sion (Switzerland) where two 100% electric and autonomous buses are running on a route of 1.5km, transporting up to 11 passengers, six days a week. The project will run until the end of October 2017 and is the first of its kind in the world.
How do the autonomous shuttles respond to specific public transport challenges that Switzerland faces?
As people are becoming more and more mobile, and large cities continue to grow, new transport solutions are required to respond to this urbanisation, in particular: the development of green transport and car-share services. Besides gaining expertise in intelligent transportation, the SmartShuttle project allows PostBus to improve the mobility of urban areas, and to enhance mobility for the first and last mile.
The public transport system of tomorrow will be clean, smart, and easy to use
What do you think are the benefits of the SmartShuttle project for users? What’s in it for them?
The SmartShuttle project answers tomorrow’s challenges today, by testing new types of mobility and contributing to the development of ‘smart cities’ where quality of life is improved. This project will lead to enhanced security, service, and customer experience. Most importantly, it will have a positive impact on the environment. It will also connect places that were not previously accessible by public transport.
What do you think the future of public transport looks like?
The public transport system of tomorrow will be clean, smart, and easy to use. It must be efficient and adapted to urban challenges and new customer needs.