For more efficient and cleaner mobility: quality of service is speeding up the transformation
An expert analysis by Baudoin Huon, Mobility Market Director at ENGIE Ineo
The bill on mobility, which is currently being debated in public session, aims to make concrete improvements for users of transport services. How? By offering more efficient and, most importantly, greener transport solutions. The long-term goal is to reduce the environmental footprint and develop innovations that make travel easier. Baudoin Huon, Mobility Market Director at ENGIE Ineo, casts an expert eye over the challenges of speeding up the shift to greener mobility. Innovations in urban and rail modes of transport, connectivity and real-time information for travellers are all opportunities worth exploring in the quest to meet the needs of local authorities and their users.
What are the challenges currently facing new modes of mobility?
The question of mobility, and therefore of transport, is an everyday issue for our towns, cities and regions. First, we must make a distinction between two major themes: urban transport (buses, trams and metros) and rail transport (express urban trains, regional trains and high-speed trains). The growth of urban networks is keeping pace with a rate of urbanisation that has never been higher. By 2050, more than two thirds, or 67%, of the world’s population will live in megacities! Which is the reason why we can see metro and tram networks multiplying all over France, in Toulouse, Nantes, Nice, etc. The urban potential and the potential of railways, especially on an international scale, explains the need, not only for quality of service and carbon-free modes of transport, but also for the development of new uses and modes of transport, like car-sharing or electric vehicles. ENGIE Ineo’s expertise and solutions are perfectly aligned with this move to optimise transport networks, while adopting a zero-carbon approach. Meeting the needs of local authorities and of the authorities responsible for organising mobility, while offering a better quality of service to users, who mainly demand punctuality, information and safety, raises numerous challenges.
What are the most notable developments in the field of user services?
Two major trends stand out in the realm of urban and rail transport that aim to optimise traveller mobility.
First, real-time access to coherent and harmonised information on timetables, the weather and the traffic using multimedia devices, such as smartphones, information screens or tablets. This involves aggregating data in the mobility centres (user and traveller information platforms, information services, etc.) so that the information is available continually. France is leading the field in this respect, in particular with the M2I inter-modal mobility project in Greater Paris, in which ENGIE Ineo is one of the partners. Cross-referencing and centralising data on traffic conditions, driving conditions or the weather enables the service on offer to users to be optimised even further, by responding to their demands for punctuality and safety. ENGIE Ineo is contributing to this drive towards connectivity by supplying high-performance operations support and traveller information systems (Navineo) and real-time information devices (displays, screens, public address announcements, etc.).
The other major challenge is connectivity onboard public transport, in particular thanks to the development of onboard Wi-Fi, which is becoming essential. This demand comes not only from passengers, but also from operators and maintenance teams, who can benefit from improved knowledge of the state of the networks.
Do you foresee any transformations in our new uses of transport services?
Today, congestion on the roads, air quality and global warming represent challenges for our cities and regions all over the country. These difficulties demand a change of course and environmentally-friendly solutions that will make traffic smoother and transport easier to use by optimising the existing infrastructures.
Since the question of transport is an integral part of the “smart city”, changes are gradually being made to introduce and adopt the notion of the energy transition. Encouraging the use of shared means of transport rather than private motor cars is just one aspect of this drive to optimise people’s movements at a lower cost and with a reduced carbon footprint. The future introduction of electric buses on a massive scale is another aspect of this dynamic. In response to these new challenges, the teams at ENGIE Ineo have developed Charge & Go, a plug-and-play electrical recharging solution for transport authorities that encourages green mobility. This simplified infrastructure can recharge between 20 and 40 buses at a time in order to optimise vehicles’ power supply, irrespective of their origin.
As a player in the mobility-related transformations, ENGIE Ineo is developing a range of global solutions to adapt to its customers, while continuing to extend its range of offers in order to propose turnkey solutions. Today, we are in a position to meet all the transport-related demands of a local authority, excluding the rolling stock and platform: electric systems, signalling, points control, telecommunications, passenger safety, connectivity, traveller information, recharging terminals for electric vehicles and buses, etc. The market coverage of our offers is unique!