International VDI Conference - Future of Buses Autonomous & Electric Buses

  • Exchange ideas, discuss new concepts and engage with the challenges the bus industry will need to overcome when faced with developments in e-mobility and automation
  • Learn about the hurdles in electrifying a transport system and managing large e-bus fleets and discuss the impact on urban bus networks & city authorities 
  • Get insights from international best practice examples of autonomous bus projects and find inspiration in new business models and mobility solutions
  • Take your chance and exchange expertise in our interactive sessions with other professionals from a wide variety of fields in and around buses, e-mobility and autonomous vehicles and profit from extensive networking opportunities during the breaks and at the evening reception
  • With 1 conference ticket you get admission to 2 international conferences on “Autonomous & Electric Buses” and “Charging Infrastructure for Electromobility”
Future of Buses: Autonomous & Electric Buses | VDI Conference

The VDI Future of Buses conference is designed to focus on how the bus sector can adapt to changing environments in transport and urban mobility. Specifically, the transition towards e-bus fleets, connected autonomous buses and advanced bus technologies will be discussed and we will put into context how the new smart urban mobility environment is affecting the bus industry.

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Electric Buses in Cologne
Author: KVB

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A new Age of Public Transport?!

This event will look at the big picture: You will discuss the strategic needs of operators and manufacturers and the impact autonomous and electric buses will have on cities, local authorities and infrastructure as well as the corresponding technical developments towards full autonomy and connectivity. The conference is the ideal place to get an overview of the rapid changes taking place in the industry and to discuss new challenges, ideas and concepts.

Things are moving fast in the bus sector - developments in autonomous and connected bus technologies as well as the roll out of large e-bus fleets in smart, connected cities are calling for a new generation of urban bus systems. Systems, that have to be developed, tested and operated by means of vehicle technologies and infrastructure, fundamentally changing the way the industry works. It is clear that the bus sector will need to adapt to these changes as well as to disruptions coming from new mobility and technology providers, increasing data availability and multimodal transport services.

With every challenge comes opportunity:  Rethinking traditional public transport concepts and discussing new ideas and approaches will give the industry more impetus and prepare it for the future, turning competitive forces coming from disruptive mobility and technology providers into opportunities for a new age of public transport. At the VDI Future of Buses conference, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss these topics with experts from all important stakeholders in the bus sector and learn about the redefined, but still important role buses still play in a constantly changing mobility and public transport landscape.

Conference Topics & Agenda

The main topics of the conference include:

Roll-Out and Management of E-Bus Fleets

  • Impact on Urban Bus Networks, City Authorities & Governance
  • Procurement Initiatives & Contracting

Electrifying the Transportation System

  • Electrification of Urban Bus Networks
  • Integrated Electric Bus Systems & Asset Management
  • Battery Development, Charging Technologies & Infrastructure

Autonomous Buses as Part of the Urban Transport Strategy

  • Integration with the traditional System
  • Autonomous Mobility & New Business Models
  • Mobility as a Service vs. Public Transport: Competition or Supplement?
  • International Best Practice Examples of Autonomous Bus Projects

The Future of Intelligent Buses: Connectivity & Digitalization

  • Connectivity: Effectively connecting Buses with infrastructure & surroundings
  • New Service Concepts and Customer Experience
  • Maintenance & Digitalization of Autonomous Buses

The agenda will boast of presentations given by internationally renowned experts and has been put together with the help of our conference chair Arno Kerkhof, Head of the Bus Devision at UITP (International Association of Public Transport) and our Supporting Experts:

  • Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner/Vice President, PwC Strategy& GmbH
  • Dr.-Ing. Rainer Witzig, Head of Product Strategy Bus, MAN Truck & Bus AG

Download Program PDF

Program of the Conference

28. November 2018


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address

Arno Kerkhof, Head of Bus Division, UITP, Belgium

I. Policy Framework, Roll-Out and Management of E-Bus Fleets


Implementation and Operation of Europe’s biggest Electric Bus Fleet

  • Transition to zero emission bus operation
  • Implementation of turnkey project, charging infrastructure and bus fleet
  • Operational experiences since April 2018
  • Lessons learned for tendering of zero emission public transport tenders

Ard Romers, Managing Director, VDL Bus & Coach, and Eric van Eijndhoven, Chief Commercial Officer, Transdev, both: The Netherlands


Electrification of entire Bus Fleets – Which Technology Bus Operators really demand

  • Market overview on current electric bus technology
  • Analysis of different use cases in Europe
  • Assessment of technical development needs vs. operational adjustments

Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Rogge, Managing Director, co-author: Dipl.-Ing. Philipp Sinhuber, both: ebusplan GmbH, Germany


 Networking & Coffee Break


Policy Issues on the Way to Zero Emission Buses

Els de Wit, Programme Manager, Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Watermanagement, The Netherlands


Zero-Emission urban Buses: Policy Framework and Climate Opportunities

  • EU climate perspectives: Long term outlook
  • Incentive mechanisms and regulations for zero emission cars, trucks and buses
  • Revision of the Clean Vehicle Directive
  • Climate benefits of electric buses
  • Financial challenges and opportunities

James Nix, Director Freight and Climate, co-author: Lucien Mathieu, Transport & E-Mobility Analyst, both: Transport & Environment (T&E), Belgium


Panel Discussion: Policy Making for the Urban Transport System - Priorities, Opportunities and Legacy Infrastructure

Moderator: Prof. Aristotelis Naniopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki   Panelists: Els de Wit, Programme Manager, Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Watermanagement, James Nix, Director Freight and Climate Transport & Environment (T&E)



II. Electrifying the Transportation System


How to effectively scale your electric Operation with Data-Insights

  • Combination of bus, chargeing stations and planning
  • How machine learning algorithms help your operation
  • In-depth insights in batteries

Freek Dielissen, CEO, ViriCiti, The Netherlands


The Future of E-Bus Mobility in the City of Cologne

  • Launch and experience of the first e-bus line in Cologne
  • Next steps to implement additional e-bus lines
  • What has to follow: Bus-depots, charging infrastructure, electric grids, etc.
  • Battery usage in charging stations for levelling and to avoid power peaks
  • Cities as a catalyser for e-mobility: The transition to renewable energy

Dipl.-Ing. Jörn Schwarze, Member of the Executive Board, Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG, Germany


Networking & Coffee Break


Total Solution for Green Transportation

  • Not only e-buses but a whole transportation solution
  • Solid power system technology: No worries about warranty
  • Proven technology – Global e-bus operational experiences since 2011 and largest e-bus quantities
  • Complete e-bus product line

Patrick Oosterveld, Deputy Sales Director, BYD Europe, The Netherlands


End of Conference Day One

 At the end of the first conference day we kindly invite you to use the relaxed and informal atmosphere for in-depth conversations with other participants and speakers.

29. November 2018

III. Autonomous Buses as Part of the Urban Transport Strategy


Getting autonomous driven Buses in Public Transport from Idea to Operation

  • Most probable use-cases for introduction of autonomous driven busses
  • Getting the necessary IT-processes up and running
  • How operation of bus fleets might change
  • Further impacts for customers of using driverless vehicles

Dirk Weißer, Head of Research, INIT GmbH, Germany and Anders Ställberg, Project Manager Autonomous Transport Solutions, Scania CV AB, Sweden


Autonomous Minibuses: The Future of Public Transport?

  • Aim of FABULOS project: Proof-of-concept for automated fleets of minibuses for last-mile public transport
  • Pre-commercial procurement to stimulate innovation: Why and how?
  • New shared mobility services to achieve local mobility policy goals – Case study Helmond
  • How to seamlessly integrate robot buses in existing public transport systems – Case study Helmond

Renske Martijnse-Hartikka M.Sc., European Project Coordinator for Smart Mobility and Automated Driving, Forum Virium, Finland and Marcel Unterberg, Policy Advisor Public Transport, Municipality of Helmond, The Netherlands


Networking & Coffee Break


Autonomous Vehicles within a Public Transport Strategy

  • How can autonomous (shared / electric) vehicles be integrated as part of an urban transport strategy?
  • Advantages of autonomous shuttles as first/last mile solutions
  • Current and future use cases for autonomous shuttles in public transport

Arnaud Rouault, VP Sales Europe, NAVYA, France


Panel Discussion: Can the Bus Sector adopt to the new Age of (Public) Transport?

Moderator: Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner/Vice President, PwC Strategy& GmbH

Robbert Lohmann
, Chief Commercial Officer, 2getthere
Dirk Weißer, Head of Research, INIT GmbH
Anders Ställberg, Project Manager Autonomous Transport Solutions, Scania
Jean-Baptiste Latil d’Albertas, Area Manager Benelux/UK, Navya



IV. The Future of intelligent Buses: Business Models, Connectivity & Digitalization


A collective Brain for driverless autonomous Shuttles

  • Sending the right mission to the right vehicles at the right time
  • Management of passenger information systems, road infrastructures and coherence with traditional driven buses
  • Integration of a data intelligence platform and machine learning
  • Service simulation, planning, and implementation

Luc Texier, Director Business Development Autonomous and On-Demand Mobility, Bestmile, Switzerland


Autonomous Fleet Management — The invisible, yet Key Component of autonomous Vehicles Operations

  • EasyMile’s EZ-10 shuttle and the requirements in terms of connectivity
  • Why a fleet management software is required and provided features
  • Architecting for high-availability, fault-tolerance and highly scalability
  • Maintaining other key properties such as cybersecurity and agility

Pejvan Beigui, CTO, Easymile, France


High-capacity automated Transit Systems: Platooning of automated People Movers

  • The concept of platooning: Technical backgrounds
  • The benefit of platooning: Transport capacity
  • Design concept for platooning functionality of automated people movers
  • First experimental results
  • Roll-out strategy for platooning of automated people movers

Jeroen Ploeg, PhD, Lead Cooperative Driving, co-authors: Redmer de Haan, MSc and Andrei Gherghescu, MSc, all: 2getthere, The Netherlands


Conference Chair‘s closing remarks


End of Conference

If you have any questions regarding the conference program or you want to become a speaker, please contact Leonie Bohnstedt.

Who should attend?

This conference will be of interest to professionals, management, experts and specialists working in  strategy, operations, development or engineering in the following areas:

  • Bus Manufacturing Industry & Shuttle OEMs 
  • Autonomous Mobility Solutions / E-mobility / New Mobility
  • Major Suppliers and Software Providers
  • Operators, Bus Company Owners & Fleet Management Service Suppliers 
  • Public Transit Authorities
  • Consultancies and Research
  • Start Ups

This event would is also of interest to Charging Infrastructure Suppliers, Battery Manufacturers and Energy Suppliers.

The Framework Program – 2 Conferences for the Price of 1

As a participant of the “Future of Buses” conference you will be able to attend the parallel international VDI conference “Charging Infrastructure for Electromobility” at no additional cost. The joint evening event on the first day of the conference is a perfect opportunity to establish new contacts and offers excellent networking opportunities. Attendants and presenters from both conferences will come together in a relaxed environment with food and drinks.
Also don’t miss to attend our international pre-conference workshops, taking place the day before the conference and profit from an attractive package Price when you book both, conference and workshop:

Book now

You want to engage with international experts from the bus sector in Amsterdam, a global leader in urban mobility? You would like to learn about new developments in autonomous and electric buses and their impact? You want to discuss your questions about how connectivity, fleet management, operations and bus use will change? You’re interested in how the entire strategic picture will develop for bus manufacturers, suppliers, operators and users? Then book your space at the VDI Future of Buses: Autonomous & Electric Buses conference now.

If you are a startup or public funded / state owned enterprise you might qualify for a special discounted rate. Please contact us directly.

Advisory Board

Dr.-Ing. Rainer MAN Truck & Bus AG / München

Dr. Gerhard Nowak PwC Strategy & Partner / München

Eventnumber: 01KO932

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Hotel Reservation

A limited number of rooms has been reserved for the benefit of the conference participants at the conference venue. Please use the reference "181127VDIW" when booking your room by phone (+31 20 655 3131) or e-mail.

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