The Economic Times Smart Mobility Summit 2017, held on December 4 at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, has turned out to be a resounding success. It was a day of great learning for the participants, as they gained key insights about the future of mobility. The Smart Mobility Summit started with a welcome address by ET Edge, which was followed by a keynote address by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. It was an insightful session by Kant, as he briefed about the future of transportation in India and the roadmap that has been planned. Kant also talked about the progressive steps being taken by the government to improve transportation infrastructure and take it to the next level. The roadmap planned for smart mobility is really pioneering, and now it’s up to government agencies and private players to execute it in the best possible manner.
One of the key highlights of the ET Smart Mobility Summit 2017 was the interactive panel discussions. The first panel discussion was on the topic of ‘smart transportation for smart cities’. This panel discussion involved Dr. Kamal Soi, Member at National Road Safety Council – Ministry of Road Transport & Highways; Greg Moran, Co-Founder & CEO, Zoomcar; Utpal Deka, Smart Cities Mission National Team Leader – Capacity Building for Urban Development in India; Vikramjiet Roy, Managing Director, Maccaferri India; Shekhar Wankhede, Director, Swastik Renewable; and Brijeshwar Singh, Former Chairman, NHAI. During the discussion, a number of contentious issues were discussed. It appeared that some issues can be resolved easily, whereas more complex issues would require further brainstorming and a lot more time for their resolution. Key things discussed included the need to upgrade public transport, improve infrastructure and utilize smart technology solutions.
The second interactive panel discussion was about the topic ‘transport in the digital age’. In this, some very interesting things were discussed such as the need to create suitable infrastructure for smart mobility, how to create powerful batteries, speed-up battery charging time, and the conundrum of battery use and environmental impact. This panel discussion included Chetan Maini, vice-chairman, SUN Mobility; KK Sharma, Former Chairman, EESL; Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto; Arun Malhotra, Corporate Advisor Nissan Motors; Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India; and Rajesh Bysani, Chief Product Officer, Zoomcar.
The third panel discussion was the UITP (International Association of Public Transport) panel discussion that focused on promoting electric vehicles in public transport. The panelists were Mr. Praveen Srivastava, OSD, DHI; Mr. Ananda Rao, Executive Director, ASRTU; Mr. M Ramsekhar, MD, DIMTS Limited; Sanjeev Kumar Lohia IRSE, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd.; and Mr. Chinmay Pandit, Head – Electric Mobility, KPIT. It was revealed during the discussions that India can learn a great deal about smart mobility from European countries. These countries have become leaders in the use of electric powered vehicles for public transport and the same approach can be utilized by the Indian government.
Apart from the panel discussions, there were talks by other experts and leaders as well. Overall, it was an enriching experience, as the participants gained extensive knowledge about the future of transportation in India, electric mobility solutions, hybrid vehicles, alternative fuel, energy efficiency in transportation, etc. The ET Smart Mobility Summit 2017 has opened a gateway for the future of smart mobility. It will contribute significantly towards spreading awareness and mobilizing people, organizations and the government to come together and work towards common goals.