Listen to Marije de Vreeze’s interview on Dutch radio station Omroep Wetering.
Yesterday evening Connekt launched the Dutch Mobility for Society Challenge during its annual Members’ Dinner in Delft. With this competition Connekt is inviting businesses, knowledge institutions, students and citizens to come up with creative ideas for mobility applications that could provide solutions to social problems.
Nico Anten, Managing Director of Connekt: “Our aim with this Challenge is to use mobility to create value and meaning. Thanks to new technology, we have an opportunity to enable even more people to make a valuable contribution to society. Sustainable technology is giving them the chance to participate in society or to play a role once again. Wouldn’t it be great if a person who does not hold a driving license due to a physical disability could travel around in an automatic delivery van and deliver parcels? If older people could remain independent and be less reliant on volunteer aid, their neighbors or a transport service like Valys? If a municipality could give everyone requiring home care the support they need easily using a self-driving car? Or if this technology could be used as an alternative to unprofitable bus services in rural areas? And what if we could offer cycling lessons in cities to give children more confidence?”
The relationship between mobility and well-being
Mobility and well-being are closely connected. This is because, first of all, being able to move around is a basic human need. Furthermore, technological developments such as self-driving vehicles are revolutionizing the fields of personal mobility and logistics. The social opportunities that these developments present are still greatly underestimated. Self-driving cars will not only lead to fewer accidents, better road capacity use and lower fuel consumption, but also, in particular, to greater freedom. Collectively, we spend 700 million hours every year commuting. Self-driving cars will free up time that we can use for recreation or to increase productivity.
They will also give independence to large sections of the population. Mobility will enable older people to continue to participate in society for longer: as many as 30% of the over-65s have difficulty getting out and about or climbing stairs. There are also 1.8 million people with a disability in the Netherlands: 11% of males and 15% of females over the age of 12 have a hearing, visual or other physical impairment.
The Dutch Mobility for Society Challenge
With the Dutch Mobility for Society Challenge, Connekt hopes to encourage the use of new technology in ways that will have a positive impact on society. Everyone is invited to send in ideas and concepts focusing on how new technologies can be applied to deliver a social impact. These ideas can range from ‘what ifs’ through to in-the-box or out-of-the-box ideas. The 5 categories defined for the Challenge are:
- Automated driving
- Mobility as a service
Connekt is organizing a launch for each of these categories, starting with the Logistics category at the Top Sector Logistics Conference on March 16 in Aalsmeer.
The winning entry in the Dutch Mobility for Society competition will be selected by an independent jury in June 2017. The winner will receive coaching from the jury, consultancy vouchers to develop the idea further and support from Connekt so that the idea can actually be put into practice.
Information for participants can be found at http://connekt.nl/initiatief/dutch-mobility-for-society-challenge/.