Beyond technological innovation

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Since its early beginnings, public transport has been powered by innovation. Today more than ever, technology-driven innovation is leading the sector beyond frontiers that seemed almost impossible not so long ago.

Since its creation in 1885, UITP has been at the forefront of supporting public transport actors in developing added value solutions. It is now leading 20 Research & Innovation projects which will concretely help improve the urban mobility environment in the years to come and 2018 is already promising to be filled with new findings that could have meaningful impacts for operators, authorities and industry.

We live in an extremely prolific era in terms of technological advancement with new solutions discovered as fast as issues arise. But behind electric or hydrogen propulsion, MaaS, first and last-mile solutions and automated vehicles, there are creators: individuals whose passion is to improve mobility options for citizens… for innovation truly is a human journey.

The PTI Magazine has chosen this exact theme for its first issue of 2018 - the non-technological aspect of innovation. It will focus on how individuals and organisational cultures are the spearhead of what drives innovation in the public transport sector.

From Chief Innovation Officers (CIO’s) to frontline staff, the industry is ever more empowering each of its talents to stimulate their creativity and expertise in developing new ideas. New technologies are also allowing operators and authorities to directly engage users, encouraging them to share their suggestions via Apps available on smartphones.

This new cultural approach to innovation is changing how technologies are developed and implemented. It involves being open to testing and trying, at the expense of potential failure, but more importantly to accept that innovation is a journey, with bumps and setbacks.

Valuing the role of individuals in the process of creating and developing innovation is being open to giving meaning to the evolution of your products or services. It’s about believing that progress may take time and resources, but that openness, and collaboration with all stakeholders in defining innovation, leads to far greater and purposeful results.

The next PTI Magazine will feature CIO’s, industry players and third parties, from the United States, Turkey, Brazil Europe and elsewhere that share their views on the human side of innovation, as well as the mechanisms they are implementing to help it thrive. There will also be an interesting (very) high-level discussion on Transport Network Companies, as well as articles on women and public transport in the MENA region.

Stay tuned for the next issue of the PTI Magazine, but in the meantime follow it on Twitter and keep the discussion going on this theme.

Umberto Guida
Head of the R&I Department

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