From June 9, 2019, transport policymakers, academics, and managers from every corner of the world will flock to the Swedish capital for the “Public Transport Olympics,” as one participant jokingly dubbed the UITP Global Public Transport Summit, which the International Association of Public Transport organizes every two years. As part of this summit, decision-makers in the field of public transportation meet to present new ideas in a quest to prevent urban gridlock. These include MAN and Scania. Both TRATON GROUP brands will present technologies and strategies aimed at improving public mobility in the city in Stockholm.
“All transportation companies worldwide face the same burning issues,” says Rutger Hörndahl, Senior Technical Adviser Buses and Coaches at Scania. Companies must move away from fossil fuels and generate fewer emissions. Municipalities are determined to encourage more people to ditch cars in favor of trains and buses. At the same time, however, operators are struggling with rising costs. “We are showcasing both here-and-now solutions—such as Scania’s wide range of renewable fuels—as well as solutions for tomorrow, where we address all these questions in our innovative vehicle study,” says Hörndahl. The details of the study will be presented at the Stockholm event and will be available on traton.com.
Hörndahl believes that some of the urban mobility of tomorrow will take place in the form of autonomous buses. “This vision could already be reality in special lanes in a few years’ time,” he predicts. These types of vehicles would be cheaper and more flexible to operate than they are currently. This would also make smaller buses and additional bus lines worthwhile. The Scania study will provide a concrete outlook for this vision.
The UITP summit is taking place from June 9 through June 12 in Stockholm.
MAN is focusing its Stockholm appearance on the MAN Lion’s City E, a state-of-the-art electric vehicle representing a brand-new generation of city buses. The new Lion’s City range provides an answer to the burning questions posed by the current urban mobility challenges. “Our new city bus family makes MAN fit for the future! There is currently a lot of demand for modern line-service buses, especially in Europe. We are offering our customers efficient and climate-friendly mobility solutions that have been customized to suit the individual requirements of the operators and the market,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Product and Sales Bus at MAN.
The range is extremely flexible and has already been designed with different drive types in mind, thanks to new diesel and gas engines. Combined with MAN EfficientHybrid into a hybrid solution, it has the potential to be even more economically robust and eco-friendly. “We consistently designed this new city bus in line with future technology requirements from the very first sketches. These include the fully electric drive system, which we are showcasing at the UITP Summit in Stockholm with the help of the MAN Lion’s City E,” explains Rudi Kuchta, who is also the spokesperson of the Bus business area at MAN Truck & Bus.
As well as specific products, the Stockholm event also focuses on presenting and discussing concepts. Breaking into the world of electric mobility calls for one thing specifically: a broad and comprehensive concept. “We have therefore expanded our product range to include a mobility consulting component in order to offer as much added value to our customers as possible,” Kuchta explains. MAN Transport Solutions promises its customers a holistic consultancy approach along with individual solutions—for electric mobility operations and the associated infrastructure, service, and maintenance. How much energy is actually required, and where can the vehicles be charged? MAN experts simulate routes, creating business cases and entire operation concepts.
Additionally, summit visitors in Stockholm have one question on their mind: what will the public transportation of the future look like? There is no clear answer to this question yet. Experts are debating many possibilities for getting a handle on the congestion problem: new systems such as vehicle convoys, autonomous driving, shipments in all imaginable sizes, and the creation of car-free zones.
Together, MAN and Scania will search for the ideal solution for the cities of tomorrow under the TRATON umbrella. Electrification, autonomous driving, digitalization, expanded business models, and sustainability—these are just some of the aspects to be taken into account in a quest to find it. The jury is still out on what a joint future concept will look like exactly. One thing is certain, however: it can only be achieved with the help of cross-brand collaboration, transfer of knowledge and expertise, and by systematically leveraging synergies. That is the only way MAN and Scania products can continue to help prevent gridlock on our roads in the future.