Insights and Highlights from the 2019 Smart City Expo World Congress

Published: November 26, 2019

We just got back from a very exciting three days in Barcelona, having attended the 2019 Smart City Expo World Congress. It was huge – with nearly 25,000 visitors, 1,000 exhibitors, and representation from over 700 cities. Clearly, this was the world’s biggest event for smart cities.

The event covered many essential topics and trending themes for the smart cities of today and tomorrow, including digital transformation, urban environment, and mobility and governance, among others.

What’s in store for urban mobility

Our focus – no surprise – was on mobility. This track covered some of the most topical themes among mobility professionals from all over the world, including: intelligent transport infrastructure and how to move towards less congested and safer cities; the mobility of tomorrow including self-driving vehicles, air mobility, hybrid vehicles, and connected vehicles; ride-sharing and on-demand mobility; sustainable mobility for low-carbon cities; seamless transportation; and planning cities around mass transit networks.

Some key insights and stats gathered during the event were:

  • Demand for urban mobility will triple by 2050
  • Some of the top megatrends impacting mobility include connectivity, AI, cloud, IoT, electric mobility, renewable energy, drones, and intelligent transport systems
  • “Cheap and easy” intermodal mobility, such as shared rides, is expected to increase trips by up to 50% by 2030

Looking out for “clean and shared” mobility

That last trend, “cheap and easy”, is one part of the “clean and shared” mobility model that will be particularly interesting to look out for in dense and congested cities that experience high air pollution, such as Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Madrid, and Rome. This model is characterized by electric mobility, limited car ownership, optimized shared mobility, and an expanded public transport network. This model is expected to accelerate exponentially around the globe, and take hold in such cities by 2030.

Promoting accessibility with Microsoft and Aira

At the show, we were also proud to announce our partnership with Microsoft and Aira to help make smart cities more inclusive.
Through its mobile app or smart glasses, Aira connects users to trained professionals, called Aira agents, who can see a users’ environment through their smartphone camera. This enables agents to describe objects, read signage, take and label photos, and more. Now, through this partnership, Aira agents can help users navigate public transit more effectively with better, real-time data.

Through the richness of Azure Maps, and its integration with the transit information, routing and navigation that Moovit provides via our rich Transit APIs, Aira agents can access efficient and reliable navigational tools to assist blind and low vision users. Aira agents can view and obtain information on multimodal trip planning, transit routes, and itineraries, and provide users with public transit guidance for their journey, to deliver the optimal user experience.
We are very proud of this latest milestone in our efforts to make mobility accessible to everyone.
People who are blind or have low vision deserve the same opportunities and access to public transportation as it is the lifeline to jobs, education, healthcare, and touches all aspects of people’s lives.

Meeting with Michigan Mobility Challenge winners

We were also excited to see NAVYA on the expo floor of Smart City Expo World Congress, the autonomous vehicles company that won the Michigan Mobility Challenge, together with Moovit last month. Moovit was selected by the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, to create the first MaaS app that provides users in the Detroit area with the ability to plan trips, get directions, and book rides with autonomous vehicles during the upcoming 2020 North American International Auto Show. Moovit’s white label app will include Moovit’s trip planner, as well as connect data feeds from autonomous vehicle fleets from five companies including Continental, NAVYA, Yandex, Local Motors by LMI, and AutoGuardian by Smart Cone.


To learn more about how Moovit can help your city with smart urban mobility, reach out to us at


moovit team standing in front of moovit booth     autonomous vehicle moovit and aira at smart city expo

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