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Ready for SocialCar? First Innovation Management Meeting took place in Turin

The first SocialCar Innovation Management Meeting was held in Turin on 15th February 2016, organised by SocialCar partner CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas) and the City of Turin. The meeting was the first joint initiative of the consortium to familiarise a larger stakeholder audience with the logical and technical architecture of SocialCar. It gathered policy makers and urban transport planners, business and ITS development experts from the SocialCar test sites and beyond.  

The event served also as the inaugural meeting of the SocialCar policy board with delegates from the SocialCar test sites. With the policy board, SocialCar seeks to ensure political support for the efforts to involve public and private stakeholders in the implementation of SocialCar mobility models.  Project Manager Fabio Cartolano stressed that the fundamental tactic for tackling the mobility challenges of European cities is behavioural change. This starts with role models and is where the local governance and policy making structures are essential.  This call for political support was echoed by a Policy Statement from the city delegates, a formal expression of support for the SocialCar mission. 

Turin Deputy Mayor Claudio Lubatti opened the meeting highlighting the transport challenges of the city. As the birth place of FIAT, Turin has a strong tradition of car ownership. The introduction of car sharing, however, heralded a behavioural revolution. With 1 million inhabitants in Turin alone and 2.5 million more in the metropolitan area, the demand for alternative mobility solutions is growing. Lubatti declared this "fertile ground for carpooling".


The Mobility Division Manager of the City of Turin, Bruna Cavaglià, shared these sentiments claiming that the sustainable mobility policy of Turin, which manifests itself in public transport as well as car and bicycle sharing, would benefit from carpooling; and consequently SocialCar.


Project manager Fabio Cartolano introduced SocialCar in detail with its mission to integrate public and private transport improving accessibility and offering flexibility. Dionisis Kehagias from the CERTH illustrated the SocialCar landscape based on several algorithms.


Stefano Persi, founder and business development director of the Catalonian IT company  ENIDE, instigated a discussion on the market exploitation potential of SocialCar. As explained by Steve Wright from the University of Aberdeen, SocialCar needs to be faster than conventional journey planners in order to be really attractive for end users.


The discussion on mobility solutions was extended to cover OPTICITIES and SETA, two affiliated European projects.  


OPTICITIES seeks to develop and test interoperable ITS solutions, in order to provide urban citizens with the best possible journey conditions and to optimise urban logistics. SETA uses complex dynamic data from millions of citizens, thousands of connected cars, city sensors and hundreds of distributed databases, to better understand and model mobility and consequently improve urban planning and infrastructure.


The local TV broadcaster Rete7 interviewed Deputy Mayor Claudio Lubatti, SocialCar Project Manager Fabio Cartolano,  and Andrea-Emilio Rizzoli from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland.