Transport service providers should gain a basic understanding of their customers before embracing the technologies for better user experiences, cautioned panelists of the second plenary session of the 26th Intelligent Transport System (ITS) World Congress here Wednesday.
Under the theme of Promoting Innovative Mobility Services, they pointed out to the audience that technologies are only means to satisfy people's demands, while understanding people's demands are of the fundamental importance.
Henrik Hololei, director general for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, acknowledged that social acceptance is important for the development of innovative mobility service.
"We have to get the whole society on board, if new services are met with strong resistance, they can't move forward," he noted.
While people in the same country differ, countries and regions also differ in their acceptance of technology using, Hololei pointed out.
In his opinion, regulators should review their policies and try to address the public's concerns regarding the safety and stability of the new transport services.
Roger Millar, Secretary at Washington State Department of Transportation of the United States, cited Copenhagen which hosted last year's ITS World Congress as an example.
People in Copenhagen prefer to ride bicycles, which has left less room for other transport vehicles, he said.
"Passengers as the end users want to be comfortable, happy and to live a meaningful life, if we can provide something toward this goal, it's successful; otherwise it's not."
Lina Lim, chief transport planner and Group Director of Policy and Planning of the Land Transport Authority of Singapore agreed.
To roll out transport projects for the public, the fundament is to understand the needs of the society which are constantly evolving, she said. The next is to bring the techniques to fit in, trying to make transport convenient and at a low-cost for the commuters.
The 26th Intelligent Transport System World Congress kicked off here on Monday and will run until Friday. It is expected to attract some 10,000 participants during the five-day event. Altogether three plenaries will be held during the congress together with a dozen of sessions.