Evolving transport requires bold initiatives and bold actors

10/14/16, 8:00 PM

“The transport sector is undergoing huge changes. Digitalisation, automation, the sharing economy and new services are transforming transport markets all over the world,” said Kari Wihlman, Director General of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) at the Trafi 2016 stakeholder event at Finlandia Hall today, 14 October 2016.

“We Finns are at the cutting edge enabling these changes; the new Transport Code will change, or rather revolutionise the way we think and operate in the transport sector. The transition in the transport sector is not only about digitalisation but also about competitiveness, about facilitating growth and employment, and about reducing emissions from traffic,” said Wihlman.

Trafi is making a contribution to the promoting of digitalisation and the streamlining of regulation, while also supporting various experimental projects. Actor responsibility is the key issue in creating new approaches; the role of the authorities is to support and to trust, not merely to impose rules and restrictions.

Trafi enables automation experiments in various forms of transport through licences and legislative reviews. “There is a worldwide race for transport automation, and what is crucial is to identify and leverage new business opportunities,” said Wihlman.

In the future, information will become increasingly important

Digitalisation will permeate the entire transport system in the near future. “Big Data, open data, MyData, geographical information – it is all about information. Information is the fifth mode of transport, and as such it is visible and audible everywhere. Moreover, it is needed everywhere,” said Wihlman, stressing the importance of information. “Next year, Trafi will be launching a trial involving a virtual driver’s licence usable on a smart phone.”

Trafi invests in the productisation of information and supports actors in the field for instance at Liikennelabra, a public-private cooperation forum. “Information is the fuel of the transport system and will become increasingly important in the future,” said Wihlman.

The right attitude and new approaches will continue to be the keys to success

Actors who boldly grasp the opportunities of the future will be successful. “Trafi supports and encourages actors in the transport system to make transport safe, smooth and sustainable. The right attitude and new approaches, including the new Transport Code, will ensure that the Finnish transport system will remain competitive in the future,” Wihlman summed up.

So what will the transport system of the future be like? One vision, outlined by the Directors General for the various transport categories at Trafi, is available in the new Trafi publication Liikenteen tila 2030.

The Trafi 2016 event brought together some 400 leaders in the transport sector at Finlandia Hall. The theme of the event was ‘evolving transport’, considered broadly from the perspectives of digitalisation, services and markets. The other speakers at the event were: Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications; Ari Jalonen MP, chairman of the Transport and Communications Committee; Piia-Noora Kauppi, Managing Director of the Federation of Finnish Financial Services; Pekka Soini, Director General of TEKES; and Henrik Hololei, Director General DG MOVE, European Commission.

The event may be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #Trafi2016

Director of Communications Anna Jokela, tel. +358 29 5346 222, anna.jokela(at)trafi.fi, on Twitter @Anna_Jokela