Automotive industry forum 2018

On Wednesday, April 25 the annual “Auto nozares forums” or Vehicle industry forum took place in Riga Motor Museum.  Local car industry members listened to Latvian and foreign experts about different problems and possible solutions in the near future.

The topics, discussed in the forum, doesn’t change a lot from year to year. But this time, the organizers earned a praise for inviting multiple foreign experts so we could learn from their experience. 

The forum traditionally was opened by Uldis Augulis, Minister of Transport. He emphasized ministry’s top priority – safety on the road. Especially, Vision Zero,  a road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.

Silvo Korez is a Policy Advisor at AustriaTech, a company that rebuilds Austria’s largest cities into smart cities. He says that his company works like Wayne Greztky: “We are not going where the puck is, we are goint where the puck will be.” The transport and vehicles is not the biggest problem in the cities, it is just one problem besides demography, climate, urbanisation etc. The cities and car companies must use their resources more effectively to reduce costs. 

The infrastructure is a problem for Austria and it’s a problem also for Latvia. As a CSDD representative Pauls Beinarovičs said, 70 new electric stations will be built until the middle of summer.  The station will have a place for a one car, and a full charge will take from 30 to 90 minutes. 

Among speakers were two car sharing companies. One private in Lithuania, the company grows but still is unprofitable. The other in Denmark is funded by the local government. It’s also unprofitable, but the profit is not the priority, but mobility and ecology.

Latvian car journalist Pauls Timrots was the last speaker and probably the most honest one. He admitted that topic’s discussed in the forum are not Latvia’s main problems. Those future things – car sharing, electromobiles, autonomous vehicles  etc – will come, but we have urgent problems to discuss. Conditions of our roads or our old car park, the oldest in EU with 13,5 average age. Maybe it’s not that bad to buy those 2-4 year old diesel cars from Germany? 

Anyway, the future withour cars is unimaginable, people will drive them!