In an age of rapid global urbanisation, it becomes ever more pressing to redefine a new model for sustainable urban mobility. Today, at the Geneva Motor Show, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) launched a new initiative – the FIA Smart Cities– with the aim of helping cities to define solutions best suited to tackle new scenarios in which mobility has a central role.
Caption: From left, Andrew McKellar FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, Marco Parroni, Head Global Sponsoring Bank Julius Baer, Katarina Metzger, Chairwoman at Digital Leaders Ventures, Robert Denda, Head of Network Technology at ENEL’s Global Infrastructure and Networks division and Monty C. M. Metzger, Partner at Digital Leaders Ventures.
The launch platform for this initiative is the FIA Formula E Championship, the first race series for single-seaters entirely powered by electricity, with events held in the heart of some of the most important cities in the world, since 2014.
“The FIA Smart Cities is something entirely new for our Federation,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “We wanted to come up with an initiative that could bring together the best aspects of sustainable mobility, to make a mark on the cities that host rounds of the FIA Formula E Championship, a series that presents the best opportunities for synergies between the two pillars on which the FIA stands, sport and mobility. We have the support of the city councils, of our clubs and also important players from the industry and the finance, who have opted to support us in this initiative. Solving the mobility challenge will require bold, coordinated actions from the private and public sectors: it is my hope that the FIA Smart Cities initiative can contribute to design better cities for those who live in them now and for future generations.”
The first part of the FIA Smart Cities will come to life in conjunction with four rounds of the third Formula E season, those held in Mexico City, Berlin and Montreal, as well as a special event in Paris. Each Friday before the race day, there will be a Forum which will bring together speakers from national and local authorities, research institutes, important industry players and FIA members to reflect on how innovations have paved a way for safer, more connected and more sustainable mobility solutions in various cities worldwide.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “I am delighted that the FIA has chosen Formula E to partner them on the FIA Smart Cities Initiative. It is an ambitious task to address the issues city centres are facing such as air pollution and e-mobility, and I am proud that together with the governing body and our partners we are celebrating those who are creating new technologies in the fight against climate change. As the automotive industry is moving toward electrification, Formula E is a platform that can accelerate and promote the change to sustainable mobility.”
Alongside these Forums, there will be two further activities on the initiative: the FIA Smart Cities Awards and the FIA Smart Cities Start-up. The first involves cities that host rounds of the current Formula E season being invited to come up with a sustainable mobility project. A panel of high-profile judges will pick the 2 most innovative projects in mobility services and mobility solutions, which will be recognised at a gala event in Montreal, the city that hosts the final round of the championship. The FIA Smart Cities Start-up is a competition set up in conjunction with investment fund company Digital Leaders Ventures, which sets out to identify, support and invest in the world’s most innovative and impactful technology companies in the smart cities ecosystem. Projects put forward to the panel for review will focus on technologies that advance safe and sustainable mobility solutions in cities.
“Our society is more mobile than ever, leading to completely new challenges for cities and transportation infrastructure,” said Monty C. M. Metzger, Partner at Digital Leaders Ventures. “Start-ups will deliver quick solutions to these challenges while creating new business opportunities. Digital Leaders Ventures is excited to launch the Global Start-up Contest in teamwork with the FIA and to award the first FIA Smart Cities Start-ups.”
The Founding Partners of the FIA Smart Cities are ENEL, Julius Baer and Michelin.
“We are pleased to be part of the FIA Smart Cities initiative, which is a unique opportunity to create an intersectorial platform for best practice sharing on energy, innovation, connectivity and Smart Urban Services,” said Robert Denda, Head of Network Technology at Global Infrastructure and Networks division at multinational energy company ENEL, Formula E’s Official Power Partner. “We will contribute our technology and leadership in Smart Grids development, leveraging on our partnership with Formula E, to help shape a global smart community which promotes efficiency, sustainability and smart mobility to make our cities better places to live in.”
“Our global partnership with the FIA Formula E Championship supports to raise awareness towards innovative technologies for more sustainable means of transport. Being one of the founding partners, the FIA Smart Cities initiative is a logical step as this will enable us to contribute to the discussion of the future of mobility. Our Next Generation philosophy revolves around an exploration of the global megatrends set to affect our lives in years to come and it seeks out sustainable growth opportunities based on those megatrends, one of which is definitely energy transition and its interlinked topic mobility,” commented Marco Parroni, Head Global Sponsoring Bank Julius Baer.
“As Michelin is committed to all initiatives that improve road safety and to construct the mobility of tomorrow, it is only natural that the company stands alongside the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and supports the Smart Cities initiative”, said Claire Dorland-Clauzel, a member of Michelin’s Executive Committee. “In accordance with its sustainable development policy, Michelin is committed to facilitating the development of sustainable mobility in all its activities. We are therefore delighted that the FIA wishes to recognise cities which implement actions and put in place structures that allow for mobility that is more ecological, intelligent and efficient energy-wise.”
Calendar for the first edition of the FIA Smart Cities:
30 March ’17 Mexico City
20 May ’17 Paris*
8 June ’17 Berlin
27 July ’17 Montreal