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The personal touch

Richard Butter Intertraffic’s Richard Butter reveals the show highlights to watch for in Amsterdam (and around the world) over the next 12 months. Look out for him if you’re at an Intertraffic event – he’s always happy to chat with old friends, and make new ones

Intertraffic Amsterdam is back! How will 2018 be different from 2016?
After the success of 2016, our 2018 edition will be much bigger. We expect it to grow by around 20%. It will be the best way to get a fully comprehensive overview of the traffic technology and related automotive industry, all under one roof. We are expecting close to 800 exhibitors in Amsterdam.

We will also launch a new startup event for smart mobility: ITSUP! will give startups the opportunity to pitch innovative solutions and connect with suitable partners. Because the event has partly been made possible by sponsors, startups pay a participation fee of only €495 (US$580).

Hall 8, meanwhile, will be totally dedicated to the growing topic of smart mobility, reflecting the transformations happening in traffic technology and automotive industry, whereby cooperation and connections are key. The latest products and services, mobility projects, trends and innovations related to smart, safe and sustainable mobility will be on display. The hall will feature numerous stands, two theaters and an indoor demonstration area.

What are you, personally, most looking forward to in Amsterdam?
Firstly, meeting old friends again on the show floor. We do meet a lot of participants in between the Amsterdam shows, at our events in Mexico, Istanbul and China, but to see them all again in Amsterdam is always a pleasure. And, of course, I’m looking forward to the launch of the startup event, ITSUP. We have worked hard to bring it alive and are confident it will bring startups, traditional participants and visitors another level of innovation and may lead to new types of cooperation.

What makes Amsterdam the ideal location for the event?
For me, Amsterdam is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world. RAI Amsterdam is easy to access via the highways and it takes only a few minutes to get to and from Schiphol Airport. Furthermore, the Dutch government is looking at new technologies to solve challenges in the area of transport, the environment and safety. The Netherlands wants to take the lead in new initiatives like the Internet of Things and connectivity, and the country is a unique testing ground for smart mobility solutions. That’s why the government is supporting development in many ways, from providing testing facilities to adjusting rules and regulations.

It’s all part of what makes Intertraffic Amsterdam the largest, most prominent traffic technology innovation platform in the world.

How is the industry changing?
The industry is evolving rapidly. Several disruptive technologies are entering our traffic technology industry. Connectivity, electrification, Mobility-as-a-Service and autonomous driving are the significant ones, in my opinion. The latter is stimulating unexpected collaborations between telecommunications, IT and auto manufacturers. They are all fighting for the next big thing.

What will be the biggest challenges for the industry over the next two years?
The European Commission is really stimulating the development of autonomous driving, which should lower the number of casualties and lead to less congestion. So the car of the future will literally be the ‘driver’ of the industry. OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, ICT, telcos and big data will all come together in the car. Interesting times, because these developments offer us all big opportunities.

Intertraffic Mexico is now in its second year. In what ways has the event grown?
In 2016 the inaugural Intertraffic Mexico show was a landmark event in a new dawn for Mexican transportation, becoming a runaway success, and attracting more exhibitors and visitors than even the most optimistic predictions. No surprises, then, that the event is back again this year, bigger and better than before.

What should attendees particularly look out for at Intertraffic Mexico 2017?
Alongside the exhibition hall, there will be keynote addresses in the venue’s auditorium from some inspiring and visionary speakers. One speaker whom we are particularly looking forward to is Diana Zhou, market strategy manager for Hyperloop One – the only company in the world to have built a full-system prototype for Hyperloop, the futuristic airline-speed train concept.

What other Intertraffic events should we be adding to our diaries?
Besides Intertraffic Amsterdam, we’re really looking forward to our inaugural show in Indonesia from October 31 – November 2, 2018. It’s a new show organized with trade show experts at Tarsus and will be co-located with the existing Indonesia Infrastructure Week. It is a great opportunity because of the huge infrastructure agenda. The Indonesian government plans to spend more than US$400bn on infrastructure before 2021. Also planned for 2018 are Intertraffic China (May 28-30) and the third edition of Intertraffic Mexico (November 13-15).

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The Intertraffic brand hosts a major traffic event every other year in Amsterdam and it boasts four very successful satellite shows – one held every two years in Istanbul, Turkey and Mexico, and the other taking place annually in China, alternating between Shanghai and Beijing. In 2018, Intertraffic will host its first show in Indonesia! For more information about the events, visit www.intertraffic.com.