The 12th annual Michelin Challenge Bibendum is being held this week in Chengdu, China. The event brings together members of both the private and public sectors to examine sustainable mobility, with this year’s conference focusing on innovation in mobility at the heart of growth and urban well-being.
Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of Groupe Michelin, believes Challenge Bibendum expresses a commitment "to federating stakeholders in the mobility sector, with the goal of imagining and creating the mobility of the future."
The conference also features an exhibition area where companies and governments displayed their ideas for future transportation to enhance mobility. Although not a platform for selling tires, Michelin is using the event to showcase some of its tires, including the new Selfseal passenger tire for the European marketplace that will be launched next year.
"Promoting sustainable mobility at the global level is the slightly gargantuan goal of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum. But it's more than a dream or a utopia. Today, and every day, technological innovation is helping to improve the environmental, safety and cost performance of all means of transportation, whether individual or collective," Senard told attendees of the conference.
The conference is expected to have between 4,000 and 5,000 attendees, including car makers, OEMs, public and private sector operators, academics, research institute members, political officials and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
The international event provides a unique opportunity for participants to make the case for and experiment with new solutions to make mobility safer, cleaner, more connected and more accessible. Together, stakeholders commit themselves to promising programs and policies designed to respond to mobility challenges, which are part and parcel of social and economic development.
In response to societal demand, five areas of interest are being studied this year:
* setting ambitious CO2 reduction objectives worldwide.
* creating ultra-low emissions zones in cities.
* deploying door-to-door transport solutions.
* reinventing last-mile delivery logistics.
* promoting public and private investment.
Michelin has produced a Green Paper, a permanent platform dedicated to the mobility of the future. Its goal is for the paper to become a global benchmark in this area.
The Green Paper lays out five essential game changers that Michelin believes should be implemented in order to address current urban mobility challenges.
1. Setting ambitious CO2 emissions reduction targets.
2. Creating ultra-low emissions zones (ULEZs).
3. Reinventing last-mile delivery logistics.
4. Developing creative door-to-door transport solutions for people.
5. Mobilizing private investment for sustainable infrastructure.
The paper also describes five actionable levers for deploying game changers. These levers must be activated simultaneously in order to achieve the desired results according to Michelin.
1. Encourage the emergence of innovative ecosystems to support the development of new sustainable mobility products and services.
2. Support tomorrow’s winning technologies, such as electro-mobility solutions, information and communication technologies, intelligent transportation systems and large database management.
3. Facilitate the introduction of new economic instruments.
4. Introduce targeted public policies that support the emergence of new solutions.
5. Broadly deploy the proposed solutions.
Senard told the attendees that he hopes that worldwide political leaders will read the document and take action. "I don't know any government in the world that can ignore that paper," Senard said. "With this paper, we are changing the world, especially in the area of urban mobility."