Leipzig. Indonesia seeks to learn from global best transport practices, as a senior government official met with counterparts from other nations at the International Transport Forum Summit 2014 in Leipzig, Germany.
The summit, which ends on Friday, brings transport ministers, decision-makers, businesspeople and academics to discuss global solutions for fast changing transport issues.
The ITF is an intergovernmental institution of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), focusing on finding solutions for global transportation issues.
Discussions during the summit focus on five main issues that will change the future of transport, namely changing technology, demographic change, shifting of economic balance, emerging lifestyles, and climate change.
Deputy Transport Minister Bambang Susantono told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday that Indonesia needs to adopt technology to resolve some of the problems the country faces.
“In all of those issues, we are about in the middle in term of progress,” Bambang said. “We are learning how to bypass the process that has been done by developed countries.”
One of those changes he said, is the rising use of technology among Indonesia’s youth, who are using mobile phones to organize carpooling.
ITF Summit 2014 discusses big data, which collect large and complex data sets from Internet traffic streams deriving from e-mails, social media posts, or uploads of multimedia content, as a driving force in dictating future transport needs.
This wealth of data can be used to better manage urban transport, reduce congestion and the burden on infrastructure, Bambang said.
Hans Michael Kloth, the ITF’s head of communications, told reporters on Wednesday that demographic change also impacts transportation with a greater number of people traveling.
The OECD estimates that the global population will reach 9 billion people in 2050, compared to 6 billion today.
“These people will require transport solutions for access to food, education, health care and jobs,” Kloth said.
Serving the needs of an aging population is another driver for a change in transport particularly regarding safety, Kloth said, with the world average age nine years older in 2050 than today.
The Road Safety Annual Report 2014 — published by the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group, an ITF working group — showed that fatalities among people aged 65 years and older among the working group’s European members exceeded 30 percent of the total number of accidents for the first time in 2012. In Japan this is even higher, with around 55 percent of all traffic fatalities involving elderly people.
The world economic center of gravity is shifting to Asia, with the continent expected to produce more than half the global output by 2050.
The world’s 10 largest container ports are in China and the Middle East. Shanghai alone handles more containers than the three biggest European ports combined, Kloth said.
That raises issues on how to make use of old ports in developed countries, while installing enough capacity in Asia.
Higher incomes, easier access to information, greater mobility, better education and innovative products will also impact people’s lifestyles and transport choices.
“The young in developed countries now prefer smartphones to cars. The opposite is happening in developing countries such as China or India, with more people buying cars,” Kloth said.
The ITF sponsored the Jakarta Globe’s trip to Leipzig.