Cegeka: “The future of mobility is comfort, comfort, comfort”
Cegeka, a provider of IT solutions, has expanded considerably from its home market Belgium into several other European countries. Benny Schaeken, Director Smart Cities, tells us what they are planning to do in the fields of mobility and smart cities.
Today, Cegeka has activities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Russia and Moldova, focusing on delivering tailor-made services in specialised fields like multi-cloud solutions, cloud orchestration, outsourcing, security and smart city developments.
How has Cegeka fared in the pandemic?
“Internally, we’ve always been used to working digitally and to working from home, so business continuity was never an issue and there wasn’t much of a difference between before and during the pandemic. We are digital and we have the required processes and tools.”
“If we look at the business, we have seen considerable growth in demand for digital workspaces. Not only is there stronger demand for digital workspaces, there’s also a need to do it securely. For a lot of companies, cybersecurity has become a top priority.”
“The pandemic can also help create awareness or acceptance of digital applications in the field of smart cities. Previously, people often preferred getting a paper ticket from a parking meter but today, fewer people object to a fully digital process.”
What can Cegeka offer smart cities?
“When talking about smart cities, the main thing is the comfort of the citizens. You’re not loyal to a company like Amazon, you’re loyal to the convenience it provides. The same thing applies to mobility: the future of mobility is comfort, comfort, comfort.”
“We have three pillars within smart cities. The first is quality of life, which is about smart parking, e-mobility, etc. Today, those are still very much separate silos but people want to make just one payment for both parking and charging, for instance. We can provide this invisible technology, meaning you need to do less yourself because the technology does it for you. The first steps from smart cities towards smart living.”
“The second is about supporting cities with digital tools for creating fast new insights on mobility, when they have the ambition to make changes on their Urban network. This can help cities draw up traffic plans, not by doing year-long studies but by using predictive mobility models that can tell you the impact of measures you want to implement instantly.”
“The third is safety, in particular safety of children on the way to school (Route2School), which we are partnering together with the University of Hasselt (IMOB).”
How important is parking for smart cities?
“Cities want to decrease the number of cars on the roads and to make way for more green spaces, to attract more cyclists etc. This also means fewer on-street parking spaces, which in turn means there’s a growing need for smart digital off-street parking. That’s what where we expect growth.”
How concrete are these applications at this time?
“Our solutions for smart parking Capacity and Route2School are already on the market today and our predictive mobility platform will follow in Q1 2021. We roll out in Belgium first but we do have the intention to bring these applications to other markets.”