The initiative aims to promote solutions to improve road safety and drastically reduce the number of motorbike accidents. A committee of experts will evaluate the technical quality of the submitted works and select the winning solutions, which will be implemented in Barcelona that same year.
Last January, Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with the 2030 Agenda Commissioner, BIT Habitat, and Fira de Barcelona, launched a challenge to find solutions to help combat motorbike accidents. Forty-six companies answered the call20 different countries.
The initiative aims at businesses, startups, universities, and innovation centres to obtain urban solutions to reduce motorbike accidents, one of the most vulnerable groups in the mobility pyramid. The project includes Tomorrow Mobility show organised by: Fira and EIT Urban Mobility (European Union initiative).
An international challenge
The challenge has been promoted internationally via tomorrow mobility/smart city expo communication tools and the Action offices located in various countries resulting in 63% of the 46 companies that have submitted proposals being international.
Specifically, 3 bids were submitted from Germany; 1 from Belgium; 1 from Canada; 2 from South Korea; 2 from Denmark; 2 from the United States; 2 from France; 2 from Greece; 1 from Indonesia; 2 from Israel; 1 from the Netherlands; 2 from the United Kingdom; 1 from Russia; 1 from Singapore; 1 from Sweden; 1 from Switzerland; 1 from Turkey; 2 from China; and 1 from Japan. The rest, 17 in total, come from Spain. Specifically: 12 were from Catalonia, 3 from Madrid, 1 from Andalusia and 1 from the Basque Country.
The urban challenge
The urban challenge formula solves urban problems and the complex city needs that require innovative solutions. It aims to attract talent, companies, and economic activity in general and generate new business opportunities.
With all of the projects submitted, an expert committee will evaluate the technical quality of the work and select the winning solutions to be implemented in Barcelona later this year. The projects will also gain international exposure by participating in the next edition of Tomorrow.Mobility, which will be held in conjunction with Smart City Expo World Congress at Fira de Barcelona in November.
The financial endowment for the challenge is 200,000 euros, which corresponds to a maximum of 80% of the total amount of the winning solutions. The successful proposals will have an implementation time of eighteen months, with a pilot phase of at least six months and deployment in a real environment.
Furthermore, the winning project must achieve quantifiable motorbike and third-party safety results that are sustainable over time. Similarly, its innovative and distinct component will be valued in both the methodologies and resources employed and the execution.
A vulnerable population
Barcelona is one of the European cities with the highest concentration of motorcycles and mopeds, accounting for 33% of all vehicles. Motorbikes and mopeds accounted for 31.7% of vehicles in the city’s traffic accidents in 2022, 15 of the 23 people killed in traffic accidents were motorcyclists, and 1 was a moped driver. The accident rate is thus a negative aspect that must be addressed and has become one of the most significant challenges in terms of road safety.
Barcelona Innova Lab Mobility
The accident challenge results from a collaboration agreement signed in December by Barcelona City Council and the DGT to work together to understand the motorbike sector better and reduce motorbike accidents in the city.
It is also part of an initiative Barcelona Innova Lab Mobility promoted by the Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda with the support of BIT HABITAT to promote and facilitate the implementation of pilot tests and new projects in the field of smart and sustainable urban mobility to diversify the city’s economy and consolidate Barcelona as the capital of mobility innovation in southern Europe.