3rd International VDI Conference - Future of Buses

The conference will take place online on November 3-4, 2020. You will receive a voucher of EUR 250 by booking the online conference.

  • Exchange ideas and discuss the new concepts and challenges the bus industry will need to overcome when faced with developments in e-mobility and automation
  • Learn about hurdles presented by electrifying transport systems and managing e-bus fleets and discuss the consequences for urban bus networks & city authorities 
  • Get insights from international best practice autonomous bus projects and be inspired by new business models and mobility solutions
  • Exchange experiences with other professionals from a wide variety of fields in and around buses, e-mobility and autonomous vehicles at interactive sessions
  • Profit from extensive networking opportunities during the breaks and at the evening reception
  • Get a free of charge admission to the parallel international VDI Conference – Alternative Powertrains for Commercial Vehicles
Future of Buses: Autonomous & Electric Buses | VDI Conference

On October 28- 29, 2020 , the 3rd international VDI “Future of Buses” conference will take place online! This event focuses on how the bus sector changes by adapting to an ever-evolving transport and mobility landscape and provides an interactive platform for open discussions with all relevant stakeholders from an international perspective.

Free of charge whitepaper download

Next Generation Active Safety Systems for City Buses
Author: Hannes Koch, Thomas Erhart, René Bruintjes; Daimler Buses EvoBus GmbH

Download now

A New Age of Public Transport?

With every disruption comes (business) opportunity: constant transition and change brings a variety of new business potential for the public transport sector. Rethinking traditional transport concepts and discussing new ideas and approaches will give the industry more impetus to prepare for the future. The need for new business models is at the top of the list of key challenges. Operators and manufacturers in particular have to move away from the certainty of traditional operations and embark upon a mission to become digital and technology driven mobility leaders. They need to set milestones in creating a new mobility mindset in the age of smart, electrified and autonomous transport solutions!

It’s all about Strategy and Technology

The international VDI “Future of Buses” conference is the ideal place to gain an overview of the rapid changes in the industry and to discuss key challenges, new concepts and emerging business opportunities. The event will look at the big picture and discuss the strategic needs of operators and manufacturers as well as the impact of autonomous and electric operations on local authorities, infrastructure and existing business models. We won’t leave out technical developments either: we will look at innovative technologies for advanced safety, driver assistance and comfort on the way to full autonomy and connectivity and discuss smart systems and the role of intermodal solutions and MaaS in the public transportation sector.

Conference Topics & Agenda

Participants will profit from innovative ideas, best practice examples, case studies, tech presentations and interactive discussion rounds!

2020’s focus topics will cover:

  • Potential of Autonomous & Smart Buses
  • New Business Models & New Technologies to improve Public Transport
  • Strategies for Future Buses & New Mobility
  • Connectivity & Safety
  • Public Acceptance & MaaS

Selection of confirmed speakers for 2020:

  • Håkan Agnevall,President, Volvo Buses, Sweden
  • Linus Ährlig, Technical Project Leader, SCANIA CV AB, Sweden
  • Dr. Dilip Kumar Limbu, Co-Founder & Director, MooVita, Singapore
  • Christoph Zeier, Head of New Mobility Concets, PostAuto AG, Switzerland
  • Dr. Andreas Mehlhorn, Vice President Mobility Consulting, Siemens Mobility, Germany
  • Paula Ruoff, Business Development Manager Germany, FAIRTIQ, Switzerland
  • Florian Petit, Founder, Blickfeld, Germany
  • Dr. Leilei Shinohara, Vice President of R&D and Co-partner, RoboSense, China
  • Harri Santamala, CEO, Sensible4, Finland

The conference will be supported by experts:

  • Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner, Bain & Company Germany Inc.
  • Dr.-Ing. Rainer Witzig, Head of Product Strategy Bus, MAN Truck & Bus AG
  • Steffen Schaefer, New Mobility / Smart Cities Advisor

If you have any questions regarding the conference program or you want to become a speaker at future events, please contact Annick Pauwels.

Download Program PDF

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address

Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner, Bain & Company, Germany


Say Hi & Meet your Peers!

Have your business cards on hand and discover who else is joining the event!

I. Autonomous & Smart Buses


Potential of Autonomous Buses – Now and in the Future

  • The future of public transport in an autonomous world
  • Stepwise approach to developping autonomous solutions
  • New autonomous bus applications like depot driving, bus stop docking and bustrains

Håkan Agnevall, President, Volvo Buses, Sweden


Taking Urban Transport to the NXT level

  • A vision of the future for transport in cities
  • A shapeshifting take on our company’s DNA, the modular system
  • A concept and a functional technology research platform

Linus Ährlig, Technical Project Leader Scania NXT, Scania CV AB, Sweden


The successful Implementation of Autonomous Transportation within an Existing Public Transport System

  • Necessary cooperation between all actors
  • Improve existing network through green innovation
  • It’s not a prototype or a design: real life use cases

Jean-Michel Boëz, Area Manager DACH – Autonomous Vehicle Leader & Specialist, Navya, France


Making Autonomous Driving Software Solutions a Reality: Experience and Lessons Learned from Singapore and Beyond

  • Deployed on six different Platforms, safe and comfortable rides for over 3000 passengers
  • What‘s needed to make vehicle “agnostic” safety-featured autonomous mobility solution for the urban environment
  • Each platform and its deployments are unique – Implementation, testing and initial recommendations

Dr. Dilip Kumar Limbu, Co-Founder & Director, MooVita, Singapore




Interactive World Café Session

We invite you to directly engage with other experts in small round table discussions. Together with the participations of the VDI conference “Alternative Powertrains for Commercial Vehicles“ identify challenges within your sector as well as problems, needs and solutions. Decide what exactly you would like to discuss and introduce your own experiences and cases.


  • The influence of alternative powertrain technologies and changing mobility habits, MAN Truck & Bus
  • The future of buses in the fully connected smart city, Vecctor GmbH / Kundtmann Datenmanagement & Technik
  • Urban mobility in the 21st century – from vision to reality, Siemens Mobility

Networking & Coffee Break

II. Public Acceptance & MaaS


Public Acceptance of Driverless Vehicles in Combination with OnDemand Services

  • Social acceptance only arises when the perceived individual advantages clearly outweigh the risks experienced
  • Which requirements have to be considered for the development and marketing of services with safe automated vehicles?
  • How safe is safe enough?

Christoph Zeier, Head of New Mobility Concepts, PostAuto AG, Switzerland


Urban Mobility in the 21st Century – from Vision to Reality

  • Mega-trends impacting mobility
  • Key pillars of a seamless and sustainable urban mobility systems, including buses
  • Good practices and lessons learned

Dr. Andreas Mehlhorn, Vice President Mobility Consulting, Siemens Mobility, Germany


The Role of Buses in the New Mobility Environment

  • How can buses tap into the market potentials created by digital technology?
  • What are the trends in urban mobility and how can buses position in this new ecosystem?
  • Who is the next generation of customers and what are their habits and preferences?

Marie Kress, Head of Research, Voyego Lab, Slovenia


Mobility as a Service



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.

Thursday, October 28, 2020


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair‘s Opening

Steffen Schaefer, New Mobility | Smart Cities Advisor, Germany

III. New Business Models & Technologies


Digital Innovations & Business Models and their Contribution to improving Public Transport

  • How technological change affects public transport
  • How new innovations and business models can advance public transport
  • How operators, OEMs and other stakeholders can improve public transport together

Dr.-Ing. Rainer Witzig, Head of Product Strategy Bus, MAN Truck & Bus AG, Germany


Combining Buses and New Technology to improve Traffic in Cities

  • Overload of the traffic network is a challenge that we tackle with joining the power of buses and new technologies
  • Extensive data analysis for traffic modeling & new concepts for more efficient transportation
  • Real time rerouting of large fleets and buses to reduce the traffic congestion

Nicole Magiera,Team Lead of Urban Mobility at Volkswagen Data: Lab, Head of Smart:City, Volkswagen Group, Germany


Seamless Mobile Ticketing meets Behavioral Customer Data Analysis

  • Hardware-free check-in-assisted-check-out ticketing
  • How GPS based ticketing solution works in a subway network
  • How aggregated behavioral customer data can inform route planning and timetable optimization for PTA‘s
  • Case-studies highlighting best practice from various live FAIRTIQ projects and implementations

Paula Ruoff, Business Development Manager Germany, FAIRTIQ, Switzerland


Networking & Coffee Break

IV. Connectivity & Safety


Connected LiDAR Bus for a Safe Autonomous Operation in Shared Space

  • Modern traffic concept „shared space“- Different users such as pedestrians, bicycles, cars and buses using the space together
  • Challenges of shared space for autonomous vehicles
  • Development of a LiDAR system that can adaptively capture areas of the environment with higher spatial and temporal resolution

Dr. sc. Florian Petit, Founder, Blickfeld, Germany


Smart LiDAR Sensor Powers Commercial Autonomous Buses

  • Why LiDAR is a MUST for autonomous driving
  • Status and trends of automotive LiDAR
  • Smart LiDAR sensor for commercial autonomous buses

Dr. Leilei Shinohara, Vice President of R&D and Co-partner, RoboSense, China


Panel Discussion: Autonomous Buses in Real Traffic? Challenges & Opportunities


  • Dr. sc. Florian Petit, Founder, Blickfeld, Germany
  • Christoph Zeier, Head of New Mobility Concepts / PostAuto AG / Switzerland
  • Jean-Michel Boëz, Autonomous Vehicle Leader & Specialist, Navya, France



Why to use Autonomous Rapid Transit?

  • Self-driving bus on dedicated lanes – speed to market
  • Video-based safety – safety first principle
  • Use cases – what we’ve learnt

tba, LILEE Systems, Taiwan

V. Strategies for Future Buses & New Mobility


Making Autonomous Buses Mainstream

  • GACHA – The only autonomous bus for all weather conditions
  • Commercialization of a platform-free autonomous driving system for buses
  • First use cases of highly autonomous busses

Harri Santamala, CEO, Sensible4, Finland


Strategy of Decarbonization Bus Fleet in Prague

  • Emission targets for bus operation in Prague (legal, national, local)
  • Alternative fuel and propulsion technologies analysis and approved strategy
  • Cost and benefit impacts of the approved strategy

Dipl. Ing. Jan Barchanek, Bus Operation Manager, Dopravní podnik hl. m. Prahy (Prague Public Transit Co., Inc.), Czech Republic


Increasing the Efficiency of Area and Line Based Buses through OnDemand Mobility

  • In the transport market, we address inefficiencies and a product that has remained unchanged since 1895: the bus
  • Digitalization enables an efficient matching of supply and demand
  • Demand-responsive transport (DRT) solutions increase the efficiency of existing transport systems and can be integrated into public transport

Amir Shehadeh, Business Development, ioki, Germany


Conference Chair‘s closing Remarks


End of Conference

Who should take part in this conference?

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

  • Bus manufacturing industry & shuttle OEMs 
  • Autonomous mobility solutions / e-mobility / new mobility / urban mobility
  • Major suppliers and software providers
  • Operators, bus company owners & fleet management service suppliers 
  • Public transit authorities
  • Consultancies and research
  • Start-ups

The event is also of interest to city authorities or those who are generally interested in what’s going on in the bus sector.

The Framework Program - Networking is Key

All participants are invited to attend the parallel international VDI Conference “Alternative Powertrains for Commercial Vehicles” at no additional cost.

Accompanying and complementing the conference we also offer an international Workshop “Adaptive Urban Transport: Sensing Occupancy and Predicting Demand” taking place on October 27.

Book both, the conference and the Workshop to benefit from a discounted package price.

Book now

You want to engage with international experts from the bus sector? You would like to learn about new developments in autonomous and electric buses and how the entire strategic and technical picture will develop for bus manufacturers, suppliers, operators and users? Then book your seats for the conference and workshop now!

If you are a startup or non-governmental organization you could qualify for a special discounted rate. Please contact us.

Are you interested in promoting your company and products at this international VDI conference? Contact Martina Slominski for more details.


Eventnumber: 01KO932

3rd International VDI Conference - Future of Buses

Form einer Online Konferenz,



+49 211/6214-201


1.840,– € plus VAT

Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

Book our package price and save
  • 3rd International VDI Conference - Future of Buses
    (Package price applies only for registrations with at least one additional event, e.g. conference and workshop)
  • 1.650,– € plus VAT
    1.840,– €
The day before
  • International VDI Workshop - Adaptive Urban ansport: Sensing Occupancy and Predicting Demand
    Workshop on 27.10.2020 in Form eines Online Spezialtags Details
  • 860,– € plus VAT
    950,– €

Overall price

You are saving:

1.840,– € plus VAT

Eventnumber: 01KO932

3rd International VDI Conference - Future of Buses


Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

In case of queries, you can reach us here

You can reach us at:



Logo Sensible 4 Ltd.

Are you missing something?

Do you need more information about this event? Then please feel free to send us a message.

Write a message

Other hotel partners: Book hotel for Conference at HRS