International Podcar City Conference comes to Antwerp, Belgium

Tenth annual event focuses on automated mobility on demand
September 19, 2016
San José, CA

The Tenth Annual International Podcar City Conference is set for Monday - Wednesday, September 19-21, at the University of Antwerp. It will address the importance of automated mobility on demand as they pertain to mobility, energy, cityscape, and livability. An audience of 100-150 is expected, including city planners, transit planners, consultants, architects, engineers, investors, developers, elected officials, and university students. Podcar City is organized by the International Institute of Sustainable Transportation (INIST) of California, the Advanced Transit Association and a Belgian partner, Crossroad. The event is sponsored by the Mineta Transportation Institute, Encitra, MasterCard, Kompass, 4Dialog, and 2getthere.

In parallel, the Podcar City design competition is being hosted. During this two day idea incubator, students and professionals are challenged to define innovating solutions for Antwerp’s mobility challenges. They will be inspired, assisted and challenged by local and international mobility experts and the conference attendants.

Information about the conference and the design competition is available at

“Podcars are similar to the driverless trains we see at airports and other facilities around the world,” said Christer Lindstrom of INIST. “But these are built as smaller cars for about six passengers. Initial systems are expected to fill the need for short trips or for connections between transit modes. We expect the technology to eventually evolve into larger systems. Elevated tracks will allow them to operate without impacting street traffic.”

The conference will kick off with a visit to the Autonomous Rivium Park Shuttle in Capelle a/d IJssel, Rotterdam. This visit will offer a perspective on the economic feasibility, technical challenges and operational reality of podcar systems using autonomously driving vehicles.

The Tuesday program begins with an introductory session by Vice Mayor Koen Kennis, introducing Antwerp’s mobility roadmap and the role Smart Automated Mobility on Demand can play in it.

Other speakers representing government, business, and professional organizations will come from across the US, France, Australia, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Poland, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Plenary sessions include:

  • State of the art from the industry around the world on autonomous transit systems
  • Mobility in Antwerp with a live virtual 4D model
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) & Automated Transit Networks: Operational
  • MaaS & Automated Transit Networks: Trends & Project Developments
  • Digital Payments
  • Sustainability / Energy / Climate
  • Safety & Security
  • Multimodality
  • City of Things / Enabling Technologies

Peter Van Laer, Managing Director Crossroad, is pleased to be part of the Podcar City Conference. “The initiative fits perfectly within our knowledge and experience on mobility services. Our public transport experts will be present to share their knowledge on the new way of moving people.”

The Mineta Transportation Institute in San José, California has been a long term supporter of new sustainable technologies that help address first and last mile challenges. “ATNs are designed to reduce congestion, improve mobility, and mitigate negative environmental impacts. Such technology is a viable alternative in California as we prepare for the advent of high-speed rail” says Karen Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute.

For information and to register, go to


The Institute for Sustainable Transportation (INIST) staff and partners have comprehensive skills and experience in the core disciplines needed to build mobility projects that dramatically improve quality of life – project management, general design, energy analysis, innovative transportation solutions, public outreach, and more. INIST does not compete with traditional consultancy studies. Rather, it provides conceptual designs in collaboration with students, professionals, and advisors. INIST establishes partnerships with top key professional organizations for best performance on all levels of a project – architects, developers, transit specialists, solar consultants, and virtual model providers.


ATRA is a diverse group of people brought together by the common realization that the transportation systems of the past can not meet the transportation needs of the future, or even the present. As non-profit corporation, ATRA’s purpose is to encourage the development and deployment of advanced transportation systems that will benefit society.


Crossroad is a Belgian organization specialized in helping service companies improve their service delivery. Crossroad help clients’ organization transform to the contemporary business challenges and make them adapt to the ‘digitalization and customer experience needs’.Our services are on the crossroads of human interactions & digital or technological systems.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University conducts independent, internationally recognized research and technology transfer in surface transportation policy and practice, along with transportation education and workforce development. Our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s transportation system. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of transportation, and public and private grants.


Media Contacts:
Christer Lindstrom
Partner, INIST

Hilary Nixon, Ph.D.
Mineta Transportation Institute Director of Research and Technology Transfer