The day started with a short Annual General Meeting, where Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd was re-elected chairwoman of the Program Board for the coming year.
One of the highlights on the agenda was of course having Sweden's Minister for Infrastructure, Anna Johansson, on site. In her speech she talked about Drive Sweden as an excellent example of cooperation between various organisations, and the Government's Innovation partnership programmes, especially ‘Next generation travel and transport’, where Drive Sweden is hosting two projects; Mobility as a service and Self-driving shared electrical vehicles in large scale solutions. The minister said,
“Drive Sweden has an important role to create local living labs for creating world-leading new technology, for achieving the vision zero of road safety, a fossil free Sweden and new products for the global market.” She continued, “I look forward to following the development of the projects Drive Sweden is hosting and I am convinced they will help us achieve a more sustainable transport sector both in a local and global perspective.”
Jane Lappin, Director at the Toyota Research Institute, talked about their massive investment in automated vehicles, and the challenges involved.
“One of the most important things is to inform cities, and the society in general. It is very important that they are part of the development, and public representatives need to understand what is real and possible when it comes to autonomous driving- education is always key.”
Kalle Runnberg, from Volvo Cars, gave an interesting update on the Drive Me project, the research platform involving the world’s first field test involving normal customers driving highly automated cars on public roads.
Presentations were held by several Drive Sweden supported projects, all in all describing a wide scale of activities. The Drive Sweden Open Innovation Cloud being the largest one of those projects, was presented in more detail and it was highlighted how this platform will enable various projects to share data, connect fleets of vehicles etc.
Also during the day, three of Drive Sweden’s more recent members, Uber, Uniti and RideCell, presented their ”Partner pitches”, describing their respective visions for the future mobility. Lewis Horne from Uniti has a clear aim for their electric city car.
“We are here for all the crazy challenges – and we can actually re-invent things. For us it’s incredibly important to design our car for the direction we are heading for.”
Martin Savén, Public policy manager from Uber, did a quick poll to see how many in the audience had downloaded the Uber-app, and seemed happy with the 90%+ positive response. He also talked about trends, saying,
“We see three major trends for the future; shared, electric, self-driving, and shared self-driving vehicles could reduce the number of vehicles by 90%”. Martin also gave examples of co-operations Uber has with cities and companies, providing different flavors of mobility services.
Program director Jan Hellåker summed up the day, saying,
”Birthdays are always fun, but celebrating Drive Sweden’s progress after our first year of operation was particularly satisfying. The breadth of the participants and their energy level, the results that were showcased, and inspiring speeches from our external guests; everything added to this event being a great first year wrap-up, but also a terrific launch pad for our continued activities”.
Download the presentations here: