EXCLUSIVE: HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands helps open Intertraffic Amsterdam with focus on startups


Intertraffic Amsterdam had a royal guest today (March 20) as HRH Prince Constantijn van Oranje, of the Netherlands, spoke eloquently at the opening ceremony (at the Amsterdam RAI exhibition center, above) on the relevance of technological innovations in tackling societal challenges.

Before Prince Constantijn took the stage master of ceremonies Carlo van de Weijer, director of the Smart Mobility Technical University of Eindhoven, opened by congratulating the Intertraffic team on encouraging innovation in the sector with its world class events, before introducing the Netherlands’ new minister for Infrastructure & Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen.

Mrs van Nieuwenhuizen (above) used the opportunity to lay out her plans for improving transportation in the Netherlands, focusing not only on improving infrastructure but fostering smart solutions and improving communications networks. In a lighthearted moment, regarding 5G roll-out, she said she would “pursue extra gigabits like a gigabitch”. And closed with a hope that she might attend the next Intertraffic Amsterdam in a “self flying car”

Mr Pieter Litjens (above), alderman, Traffic & Transport of Amsterdam, then talked about the progress Amsterdam is making toward becoming a smart city and also highlighted the beginning of a new trial taking place in the city where volunteers are giving up their private cars to test MaaS (Mobility as a Service).

Erik Jonnaert, secretary general ACEA (above), was next on the stage and spoke about challenges for the automotive industry and, interestingly, focused on the need to establish universal standards for truck platooning, that will allow multi-brand platoons to be established.

Prince Constantijn (above) was then introduced and he particularly highlighted Intertraffic Amsterdam’s new ITSUP hall for startups, before hosting a panel discussion with representatives from three new startups bringing revolutionary ideas to the market.

Whereas earlier in the opening ceremony the need for innovative solutions that might even seem ‘stupid’ at first was mentioned, the prince was keen to point out that it wasn’t the solutions themselves that should be viewed as stupid, but the transportation system that we have today. “These startups are providing pragmatic solutions for a stupid transport system,” he said.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).