3rd International VDI Conference - Future of Buses

  • 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

SAVE THE DATE - On October 28- 29, 2020 , the 3rd international VDI “Future of Buses” conference is coming to Munich! 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!

We are currently preparing the final program for you. You will soon be able to download it here. Meanwhile have a look at 2019’s focus topics:

  • Electrification & Charging – Field Experiences from Operator & OEM Perspectives
  • Regulation & Policy Framework in the new Mobility Age
  • New Business Models & holistic Mobility Systems
  • Requirements for next Generation Buses
  • Autonomous, smart & connected Bus Systems as Part of Public Transport

The conference will be supported by experts:

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

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

Program 2019:

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Registration & Welcome Coffee


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address

I. Electrification, Charging & alternative Fuels –  Field Experiences from Operator & OEM Perspectives


The Future of E-Buses – Lessons learned from Luxembourg’s E-Mobility Test-Bed

  • Understanding differences: One optimal solution for all bus operators needs does not exist
  • Future charging: It‘s all about flexibility and robustness
  • Depot automation: First step towards the self-driving bus

Dr. Marcin Seredynski, Head of Innovation and Research, Volvo Bus Corporation – E-Bus Competence Center, Luxembourg


The Future of electric and on-demand Buses

  • On the road to full electrification
  • Joint-venture services in on demand mobility services
  • Alphaba - The first commercial self-driving bus tested on public road

Hallie Liao, Head of International Development, Shenzhen Bus Group, China


On the Route to Emission-Free Bus Operation: Challenges, Lessons Learned & Impulses from the Field

  • Challenges when transforming bus fleets from diesel to electric vehicles
  • Lessons learned
  • Impulses and recommendations from the sytem operators point of view

Dr.-Ing. Markus Dietmannsberger, Project Manager Electric Buses, Hamburger Hochbahn AG, Germany


Implementation of electric Public Transport in cold Climate

  • Contract models and main learnings after 100 e-buses on the road
  • Considerations for further electrification including hydrogen scenarios
  • Way forward: Cost level, charging in public spaces and other challenges

Jon Stenslet, Manager Vehicles & Depots, Ruter As, Norway



II. Implementation of Charging Infrastructure for E-Buses


Charging Infrastructure for E-Buses: Experiences of a Bus Company

  • Implementing a charging infrastructure for electric bus lines
  • Technical characteristics of the electric charging infrastructure
  • Reference regulations and standardization processes

Josep Ariño, Electrical Engineer, Management Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects, TMB, Spain


ASSURED: Boosting the Integration of urban commercial electric Vehicles with high power fast-charging Infrastructure

  • Drivers of market evolution of clean e-buses
  • Contribution of e-bus fleets to improve PT services
  • Key technological innovations and enablers
  • Current project progress: Contribution to interoperability and standardisation

Hans Bekkers, Business Development Manager Public Transport, VDL Bus & Coach, The Netherlands


Interactive World Café Session

We invite you to directly engage with other experts. Discuss and identify challenges, needs and solutions while focus is on you – choose your favourite topics and bring in your own experiences!

  • The next level of urban mobility, Traton
  • Hydrogen & fuel cell vs. electro, Shenzhen Bus Group
  • Validation and testing of automated buses & shuttles, Transpolis
  • DRT as today‘s forerunner into the autonomous future, IOKI

Networking & Coffee Break


Slot reserved for IVECO

Jean-Marc Boucheret, Sustainable Mobility Manager, Iveco Bus, France

III. Regulation & Policy Framework in the new Mobility Age


The European Commission’s Role in the Future of Buses

Robert Missen, Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport, Head of Unit Innovation & Research, European Commission, Belgium


Bus & Coach Transport in a new Mobility Era

  • Decarbonisation: The coach of the future
  • Digitalisation: Data sharing, new market entrants, MaaS and regulatory response
  • Bus and coach transport in smart cities

Rémi Lebeda, Senior Manager, IRU, Brussels


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, November 28, 2019

IV. New Business Models & holistic Mobility Systems


Future of Buses: Smarter and greener Mobility for Everyone

  • The characteristics of the Flixbus business model
  • The mobility ecosystem and innovation
  • Future operation strategy

Stefan Tontsch, Vice President Operations, FlixMobility GmbH, Germany


Insights from existing On-Demand Ridepooling Services worldwide

  • Empirical insights how to launch and scale an on-demand transit system successfully
  • Key learnings from over 60 million provided on-demand ridepooling trips
  • Software-as-a-service and transportation-as-a-service
  • Ridepooling – Valuable addition or strong competition for traditional PT?

Jan Lüdtke, Head of Strategic Partnerships, ViaVan, Germany


Networking & Coffee Break

V. Requirements for next Generation Buses


What is Public Transportation expecting from City Buses?

  • A new architecture to optimize usage of new technologies
  • A new way of operating
  • A new object integrated in the city

Benjamin Bailly, Head of electric Bus, Alstom, France


Next Generation active Safety Systems for City Buses – The Foundation for Automated Driving

  • Active safety systems in city buses
  • Brake assistance in dynamic urban traffic situations
  • Protection of bicyclists and pedestrians

René Bruintjes, Development Engineer, Daimler Buses, EvoBus GmbH, Germany


Together facing the Future: User-centered Product Management

  • Why the evolution of mobility raises new challenges
  • How MAN focuses users to understand and solve challenges
  • How the user-centered approach is integrated in product management and products

Dr. Michael Roth, Product Strategy, MAN Truck & Bus SE, Germany



VI. Towards 100% Autonomous?! Smart & connected Bus Systems as Part of Public Transport


Autonomous Driving – Changing Next Generation Mobility

  • Global trends and disruption in mobility
  • Market segments and opportunities arising through AD
  • Approach on next generation mobility

Anja Petrich, Autonomous Mobility Systems, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Germany


HEAT - Hamburg Electric Autonomous Transportation

  • Project Overview: What and why?
  • Requirements for automated driving from an Operator’s perspective
  • Current development, main challenges and lessons learned

Natalie Rodriguez, Senior Project Manager, co-author: Katrin Schwager, Business Developer, both: Hamburger Hochbahn AG, Germany


The Virtual Infrastructure: A Necessity for future autonomous Transportation

  • Virtual infrastructure as the current missing link in the AV ecosystem
  • Virtual infrastructure provides the road code for AVs
  • Allowing multiple manufacturers to operate on the same platform
  • AV‘s or vehicles following virtual infrastructure?

Mohammed Hikmet, Executive Chairman, HMI Technologies, New Zealand


Networking & Coffee Break


What can and can’t AI do for Public Transport?

  • AI in transport – Data driven planning
  • AI for real-time transport
  • Separating myth from reality about AI

Volker Aderhold, General Manager DACH, co-author: Amos Haggiag, CEO and Co-founder, both: Optibus, Germany / Israel


Trust Me: Multimodal Uses on AV & EV Buses

  • Findings on multimodal interaction topics
  • How does voice technology influence trust in AV buses?
  • How does stress and uncertainty influence AV and EV use?
  • What information needs to be communicated to the users?

Dr. Carie Cunningham, Senior UX Researcher, Nuance, USA


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.The evening event on the first conference day is a perfect networking opportunity to establish new contacts. Connect with experts, business partners, specialists and investors from the international bus industry. After the last session of the day, we will come together in a relaxed environment to enjoy food, drinks and interesting talks.

Accompanying and complementing the conference we also offer an international Workshop(topic still to be announced)  taking place on  October 27 at the same venue.

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 in Munich, a global leader in urban mobility? 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


München Airport Marriott Hotel*

Alois-Steinecker-Str. 20,
85354 Freising
+49 8161/966-0 to website


1.840,– € plus 19% 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.

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.

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