Today, on 27 April 2018, BTC City Ljubljana hosted the Future Day. The event was organised by the BTC Company and the AV Living Lab in the scope of the Ten-T Days conference, hosted by mag. Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport. The event was attended by high-ranking national and foreign political representatives and business leaders, who were given the chance to test autonomous driving with the electric vehicle Navya for the first time ever in Slovenia. They also admired different new future mobility features introduced by our business partners, as well as the advantages of the EliPay system, which provides a modern and progressive form of crypto payment in the physical world.
The Ten-T Days conference, the largest and most significant European event in the domain of smart, sustainable, and safe mobility, concluded after three days with a demonstration of autonomous driving in BTC City Ljubljana. At the so-called Future Day, visitors were able to take a ride with the autonomous shuttle Navya for the first time in Slovenia. The official event opening also marked the opening of the AV Living Lab – a living learning environment for the development of modern technologies in BTC City Ljubljana. In the scope of the event, the BTC Company, the AV Living Lab, and Navya signed a letter of intent on the autonomous transport in the area of BTC City Ljubljana and cooperation on projects in the domain of the digital transformation of driving. In addition, the BTC Company, the AV Living Lab, SURAAA (Smart Urban Region Austria Alps Adriatic, Austria), and the Provincial Government of Carinthia also signed a letter of intent on cooperation pertaining to different domains and developmental projects (development of autonomous driving, startups and business models, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data processing, etc.). Navya and SURAAA have become official partners of the AV Living Lab ecosystem.
The event was attended by eminent business leaders and political representatives from Slovenia and abroad. The hosts of the event, Jože Mermal, President of the BTC Management Board, and Daniel Avdagič, managing Director of the AV Living Lab, were joined by mag. Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Boris Koprivnikar, Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, dr. Peter Gašperšič, Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Slovenia, Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, Birgit Hütter, Head of autonomous driving development and system integration at Magna Steyr, and dr. Maik Böres, Head of the Mobility of the Future team at the BMW Group.
Visitors got acquainted with vehicles by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, companies that are intensively developing autonomous driving systems. Other companies, which have implemented the most modern technologies into their development and the upgrade of their business models, were also present at the event, for example Telekom Slovenije. The Telekom Slovenije Network is today the technologically most advanced network in Slovenia and as such already prepared for services related to the internet of things and smart cities. Telekom Slovenije presented the opportunities brought about by the fifth generation of mobile connectivity (5G). Today, this technologically most advanced network is already prepared for services related to the internet of things and smart cities. Smart cities and communities are some of the most important domains of use of the future 5G network, with which Telekom Slovenije will provide ultrafast and even more reliable and safe services.
At the exhibition area, Zavarovalnica Triglav presented safe mobility, Petrol electric mobility, Magna Steyr the establishment of a data environment with advanced technologies for autonomous vehicles, and Eligma the new payment system Elipay, which enables payment with cryptocurrencies in the physical world. EliPay presents one of the key functionalities of the Eligma platform, based on artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. In the middle of April, this payment system was tested and presented for the first time in BTC City Ljubljana. Currently, the system allows test payments, deposits, and transfers with BitCoin and BitCoin Cash cryptocurrencies. Other cryptocurrencies will also become available in the future. It is expected that by the end of 2018, transactions with cryptocurrencies will be made possible with over 100 BTC City Ljubljana product and service vendors.
The Future Day in BTC City Ljubljana also saw presentations by our partners Origin Trail, Cargo X, and NERVteh and the event was further enhanced by activities intended for our youngest visitors in the kids’ corner.
This event testifies that BTC City Ljubljana provides advanced infrastructure that is suitable for testing technologies for the mobility of the future. “Per some estimates, autonomous vehicles will completely take over the wheel of mobility in about twenty years. To ensure this happens, it is absolutely necessary to provide a safe and realistic learning environment for the development of technologies in the domain of mobility. In cooperation with the AV Living Lab, the BTC Company wants to position our innovative smart city – BTC City Ljubljana, which has been investing in extensive, cutting-edge infrastructure with its visitors and business partners in mind for decades – on the world map of such testing grounds,” said Jože Mermal, President of the BTC Management Board.
Daniel Avdagič, Managing Director of the AV Living Lab, explains: “The AV Living Lab, as we named our learning environment for the development of modern solutions and technologies located in BTC City Ljubljana, is unique due to its diversity and dynamics. The area spans 475,000 m2, has 11 km of roads, 14 roundabouts, and 8,500 parking spaces. It boasts 21 million visitors per year and as many as 40 thousand vehicles per day. The area provides a charging station for electric vehicles, a gas station, bus stops, cycling paths, the rent-a-bike system BicikeLJ, as well as a parking garage and over 450 shops. The entire ecosystem presents an opportunity for developers who want to develop advanced technologies and manage the development of mobility in the future.”
Mag. Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport: “Autonomous vehicles could fundamentally change our current ownership models, they have the potential to provide an efficient multimodal transport network and improve public transport. However, before vehicles can function fully autonomously, we have to ensure the safety of all passengers and road users.”
Boris Koprivnikar, Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia: “Few domains are affected by digital transformation as comprehensively as mobility. Power sources, ownership models, and lately forms of driving are all changing. As a prerequisite, these changes demand a mature, stable and well-developed information-rich environment, since they are becoming an indispensable part of a broader digital ecosystem. Slovenia has firmly supported these concepts, since they are in compliance with the principles of a green reference country and follow the basic objective of every responsible government – to improve the quality of life of their people.”
The car industry is only one of the domains for which advanced solutions and technologies will be developed in the AV Living Lab. In search of new business models and breakthrough models, the BTC Company has activated a rich and extensive system of street, telecommunication, energy, and innovation infrastructure in BTC City Ljubljana, known as the BTC City Living Lab. This developmental orientation, based on technological progress, has encouraged the BTC Company to establish the BTC DIGIT Business Unit for IT and the digitisation of business, which will enable the company to more easily tackle technical, business, scientific, and other challenges. The company is also active in the formation of strategic partnerships with technology moguls as well as startups, universities, institutes, and others. In 2015 it co-founded the ABC Accelerator, in 2017 Eligma, and at the start of 2018 the AV Living Lab.
Through strategic connections, investments in infrastructure, and the implementation of advanced technological solutions, the BTC Company has enabled the transformation of BTC City Ljubljana from an innovative to a smart city, which develops smart logistics and seeks solutions for further sustainable development. It puts strong emphasis on the creation of energy savings, its own energy production from renewable sources, and the reduction of carbon emissions. At the intersection of business, technological, sustainable and socially responsible opportunities lies BTC City Ljubljana, gaining the energy to remain one of the largest business, shopping, entertainment, recreational and cultural centres in Europe, and developing the potential to establish itself as a globally renowned learning environment for the development of advanced solutions from different domains.
Maja Oven, Director of Market Communication and Public Relations
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Špela Rode, AV Living Lab Marketing Director
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Future Day in BTC City Ljubljana
PHOTO: Studio Bomba