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Big data and strong ideas at Drive Sweden Forum

Data was the main topic when about 100 Drive Sweden Forum participants gathered at IBM in Kista. Keynote speaker Professor Sonia Yeh from Chalmers described how big and continuous data can improve mobility transitions and students from Konstfack shared visualized ideas on automated buses.

Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, chairwoman of Drive Sweden, started off by reminding the audience about ‘why we are doing this’. 

”If we look at the the UNs 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 14 are in some way connected to transport. The program of Drive Sweden is a way for Sweden to contribute to these goals and to be a country driving innovation and development.”


In order to track consumer behavior and mobility patterns, Professor Sonia Yeh, from UC Davis and Chalmers, uses global data for example from Twitter. The usage of data can help foresee traffic delays and congestions, plot travel distances, estimate travel demands etc. 

“This is a very exciting area and I think Drive Sweden can bring together people who are involved in different aspects, to exchange ideas and to stimulate new potential collaborations.”

“Ultimately my own personal interest is really to explore how to improve how we move, more efficiently and more environmental friendly – in a more sustainable way. Transport has multiple purposes, and my goal is to minimize the drawbacks, like pollution, while enhancing the benefits and create a more exciting society.” 

A panel consisting of Stefan Engdahl, Trafikverket, Olle Isaksson, Ericsson, Mattias Lundberg, City of Stockholm and Mats Lundin, Volvo Cars developed their thoughts and ideas connected to ‘A digital infrastructure’ and what kind of data that could or should be shared.


”Drive Sweden is an excellent arena to discuss
a joint definition of a digital infrastructure. The business model – who is responsible and who executes – this needs to be in place”,
said Olle Isaksson.

“The CEO of Volvo Cars has announced that safety data should be free and shared. We need to have our cars connected to reach the safety goals. But we need to look into the privacy regulation too, so to have this arena is key”, said Mats Lundin.

“If we had more info from the vehicles, we could handle the traffic flows more efficiently, and we will be part of this development. In Sweden we are good at cooperation between government bodies and companies, and this will make us successful”, Stefan Engdahl commented.

During the breaks, students from Konstfack shared their visualized ideas on automated buses. Their teacher in ‘Sustainable design’, industrial designer Leif Theis, commented;

“We have worked with pods, or autonomous buses. Our starting point was to use a platform developed by ITRL (Integrated Transport Research Lab) at KTH. The students have then created several concepts, based on two scenarios – one here in Kista and the other one in Barkaby. Instead of being limited by technical issues, they have had a human approach – how would we like this to work? They have really enjoyed this project.”

Concept by Hillevi Hesseldahl, David Molander and Simon Skinner:  


Among other things, the participants could also learn more about BestMile, Freelway and UniqueSec during their partner pitches.