The launching of the Portugal Mobi Summit 2019 gathered today, in Cascais, the major Portuguese players in smart mobility. The initiative, resulting from a partnership spearheaded by Global Media Group with the support of EDP Comercial, will place on the agenda, until next October, topics such as the electrification of transports, the new ecosystem of integrated and shared mobility, or the role of artificial intelligence and driverless vehicles in our way of moving through the urban environment.
“Following the success of the Summit’s first edition, in 2018, with over 1.500 participants, this year we have the new ambition of achieving a more international dimension and holding events all over the country throughout the year”, said Victor Ribeiro, CEO of Global Media Group, in his speech at the opening of the Summit, that took place at the university campus of Nova SBE, in Carcavelos. This is also the college that will host the international mobility summit, from the 24th to the 27th of October, which will bring to Portugal world-renowned speakers. Until then, three separate sessions will be held in different towns, that will cover themes such as smart cities, automotive industry and road safety technology.
Testing driverless vehicles
“Gathering together a media group, a local council like Cascais and a business school makes up a most auspicious partnership”, said José Mendes, Deputy State Secretary to the Environment Minister and Secretary of State for Mobility, who attended the launching of the Portugal Mobi Summit. In his view, this is an intelligent event in a global network. It is a matter of showing the world what Portugal has been doing in this field. José Mendes believes that “mobility is a tool of social and territorial cohesion” and that it can and must help to create further opportunities for individuals, since not all places have universities, and medical and schooling facilities. Thus, “people must be able to gain access to mobility at a cost they can afford”, he said.
The Secretary of State disclosed that he is starting preparations for the introduction of driverless vehicles in Portugal. To this end, he has set up a task force to consider the regulations required for the launching of mobility and driverless vehicles testing, which may take place earlier than expected. “By the Summer, I’m hoping to have a set of proposals”, he predicted.
EDP inaugurates electrical charging stations
In addition to EDP, supporting this initiative are such diverse entities as Via Verde, Fidelidade, CEIIA, and the Municipal Council of Cascais, a pioneer in integrated mobility systems. News coverage of emerging trends, innovations and enterprises operating in the mobility field will be provided by Global Media Group’s outlets such as Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias, radio news broadcaster TSF, Dinheiro Vivo, and Motor24.
On behalf of EDP Comercial, the company’s CEO, Vera Pinto Pereira, enumerated some of its innovative services already fully operational or undergoing trials, such as new electric vehicles charging and energy consumption management solutions at home for private customers. “This service is already on the market and has presently reached the homes of Portuguese individuals”, she said. Another service for private customers that is being tested in Lisbon and Oporto is an electrical vehicle (EV) charging solution for condos. Also, the
company continues to bet on EV public charging stations. Through a partnership with BP, EDP inaugurated nine electrical vehicle charging stations in BP’s gas stations. Today, argues the CEO, “people want to reduce their carbon footprint, to be offered shared mobility solutions and to engage in intuitive digital experiences”.
Via Verde’s ecosystem
Franco Caruso, Marketing and International Relations Director at Brisa, remarked that experience and evidence collected by his company show that “mobility needs to be transformed”. Brisa has innovated with the launching of Via Verde, in 1981. Today, it is developing a mobility services ecosystem that includes, for instance, the Via Verde Estacionar [Via Verde Parking] – already present in 12 Portuguese cities –, the Via Verde Boleias [Via Verde Hitchhiking], a carsharing service available in Lisbon, and an online journey planning service. In Franco Caruso’s opinion, the Portugal Mobi Summit presents the great advantage of “promoting the dialogue between private companies and the government, which is crucial if there is to be effective cooperation”.
For his part, João Carlos Mateus, Institutional Relations Director at CEIIA, expressed his expectation that the summit will come to project Portugal’s image both at home and abroad. And CEIIA, an innovation centre for the automotive industry established in 1999, is pursuing partnerships and projects which the company wishes to disclose at the event. CEIIA’s executive wants to show Portugal’s pioneering spirit, a country which in 2008 was already at the forefront of electric mobility.
A school of the future
“The Portugal Mobi Summit is of great importance to this particular business school, part of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, because this is a school of the future, concerned with the megatrends related to technology and urbanization”, summed up Daniel Traça, Nova SBE’s dean. “The universities of the future take all the stakeholders and all fields of knowledge and they mix everything together”, he said, arguing that only in this way will it be possible to find the answers and solutions to the mobility challenges we’re now facing in Cascais and all over the world. Daniel Traça hopes that next October’s international summit will not be another event happening in just one room of Nova SBE campus, in Carcavelos, “but rather that the whole school experience this feast of mobility and sustainability”.
Carlos Carreiras, President of the Municipal Council of Cascais, an entity associated with the Portugal Mobi Summit, enumerated a range of innovative projects already in progress in the municipality – both in the field of mobility, and in those of health, education and housing –, in order to show that mobility is interconnected with everything else. One of the innovations that is about to be implemented in the smart city of Cascais is the creation of two new types of travel passes: the municipal travel pass, and a travel pass for Lisbon’s metropolitan area, which are due to be launched next month. Cascais is an intelligent city, for, as the mayor puts it, in contrast with non-intelligent cities, it positions itself “to benefit the individuals”, and has come up with ground-breaking mobility solutions.
“Those who become the front runners bear the risks. But only in this way will we be able to fulfil the mission of being ground-breakers in a certain community”, concluded the mayor.