INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS & ADVANCED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
EETS FOR FLEETS
INSIDE The crossover potential for Europe’s Electronic Toll Service and fleet management
ELECTRIC VEHICLES STOP THINKING, START DOING: Electric Vehicle adoption should be part of a holistic, digital view of smart cities
MaaS LIFE ON MaaS: The Mobility as a Service conversation continues to hold our collective attention
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES THE CENTURY OF SELF: Are cities really prepared for autonomous vehicles?!
• ELECTRIC VEHICLES • INCLUSIVE MOBILITY • BIG DATA • ITEN • VOICE RECOGNITION • ITS EUROPEAN CONGRESS
THE VIEW Foreword Thinking - Kevin Borras
The European Electronic Toll Service might just have another string to its bow...
I was once given a very memorable example of the correct way to include the word “utilise” in a sentence by, somewhat surprisingly, my doctor. We were discussing falling standards in written and spoken English and I said the one of my bugbears was the mis-use of “utilise”. “I’ve got the perfect example,” he said. “It came to me this morning when I had a patient who kept getting ear infections and we eventually worked out why.” This wasn’t how I had expected my appointment to pan out but, like a cheap sausage, I was all ears. “It turned out he’d been... this is unpleasant... regularly cleaning his ears with his car key. Hence the ear infections but that’s a great definition: you use your car key to start the engine, you utilise it to clean your ears.”
“Some of the thinking that went into those reworkings and retrofittings just blew our minds”
It’s not the most savoury of anecdotes, admittedly, but it leads me nicely into a brief discussion about things that are used for purposes other than for which they are designed. I remember a client meeting about six or seven years ago where the innovation director was telling me that about a third of all innovative upgrades to their existing product range came about as a result of customers “utilising” a product or modifying it, telling the company what they’d done (and how they’d done it) and that it had the desired effect and then, where possible, that new version becoming an actual item in their product range. It wasn’t actively encouraged but if it works, it works, was the thinking behind that.
“The innovation director was telling me that about a third of all innovative upgrades to their existing product range came about as a result of customers “utilising” a product or modifying it”
“Some of the thinking that went into those reworkings and retrofittings just blew our minds,” my client said. “We just wouldn’t have thought about doing what they did but if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it’s pretty much nailed on that it’s a duck.” The cover story for this issue reminded me of those stories. The European Electronic Toll Service does what it says on the tin, but the idea of using it for the purposes of fleet management? Well, now you come to mention it – of course! It’s even a new idea, as Norbert Schindler’s article will tell you, but for Europe, at least, it could well be the (relatively) simple answer to a potentially very difficult set of questions.
Kevin Borras is editor-in-chief of Thinking Highways and content editor of H3B Connected. firstname.lastname@example.org; h3bconnected.com
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