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International Transport Forum releases study on commercial transport apps


LEIPZIG, Ger.—The International Transport Forum has released findings from its study on commercial transport apps. The ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board presented the findings at a press conference the morning of May 18 at the ITF annual summit.

José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum at the OECD, said there were many relevant questions to consider but that the report “doesn’t try to be a catalogue of ready-made measures for the governments” of the ITF’s 57 member countries.

Four principles emerged from the report that “should inform thinking around regulatory reform” of for-hire transport.

1)      Policy should enable innovations that contribute to policy objectives such as equitable access, safety and sustainability.

2)      The regulatory framework should be kept simple and uniform.

3)      Regulation approaches should be innovative and flexible.

4)      Perhaps the “biggest” outcome of the report, according to its author, Philippe Crist, a Transport Analyst at the ITF, is that there is a tremendous amount of data to be mined from app-based use of transport and that data-led regulation can improve benefits for all.

The ITF is also embarking on a study looking at managing the transition to driverless trucks. The ITF aims to release the study at the 2017 annual summit. The study has the support of the International Road Transport Union as well as manufacturers.

According to Viegas, driverless trucks will be a “massive game-changer”.

“This technology will (have) very quick penetration,” he said. It will be important for industry to know “what measures would facilitate” what will be an inevitable transition.

Viegas said the Corporate Partnership Board, created in 2013, allows the ITF to “enrich its capacity for good policy advice” through its consultation with companies, industries and governments and so that goals and strategies advocated in the reports are “applicable” ones.

Sharon Masterson, Manager, Corporate Partnership Board, Intl. Transport Forum, OECD, said that some 22 companies are CPB members, and that the CPB will launch 5 reports at this summit.

In terms of projects for 2016, other reports that will be released look at the impact of international sulphur regulations for ships, and at the capacity to grow transportation infrastructure needs for future trade growth. A report on decarbonizing transport will also be released at the summit, said the panel.