“Digitalizing the transport system in the Russian Federation”. Anton Zhuravlev, president of the Digital Era of Transport Association

“Digitalizing the transport system in the Russian Federation”. Anton Zhuravlev, president of the Digital Era of Transport Association

He was involved in the organization of events back in his student years. Later this occupation led to the establishment of the biggest in Russia forum focused on transport systems, then – to setting up the association that united keynote players of the transport industry in the country.

This is all about Anton Zhuravlev, the president of the Digital Era of Transport Association. On May 23, he will make a presentation about the digital infrastructure of highways. Meanwhile, we decided to find out how he started his career path and how he managed to do so much work to digitalize the transport industry.

“Started to host events being a student”

I have been organizing all types of events and activities since my student days. I was a chairman of the student union and a member of the central student committee.

Today I have over 10 years of experience in this field. I organize business events, conferences, forums, round tables, and other events. It happened that my focus areas are transport and IT fields.

While participating in projects as the organizer, in particular, as a curator of business programs, I inadvertently was getting into relevant topics and tasks of the transport market. In fact, I became a participant of this market. It was very interesting to observe the development of the transport field and feel myself involved in the process.

“With more of experience I realized the need for my own team”

I have been working at different companies and feel very grateful to all my colleagues and friends I encountered. Having more of experience, I arrived at the idea of gathering my own team. I wanted to realize my own initiatives. Thus, I founded Jcomm in 2013, the company that hosted business events for federal transport agencies and companies.

I believe that the key idea for business events is the relevancy of discussion topics. It is important to keep up with the time and the agenda should include only the latest issues and problems. Therefore, the main source of ideas in the work with Jcomm was deep market analysis.

“The ITS market needed a platform for networking – we had to create it”

In 2016, I acted as an initiator and organizer of the Intelligent Transport Systems of Russia International Forum and Exhibition.

The impulse to set up the forum was the fact that only local events on intelligent transport systems (ITS) had been organized in our country in the previous 10 years. However, there was no universal communications platform available in this field. And as the ITS market had been evolving rapidly in the previous 5 years, the relevancy of such a platform was evident. Official bodies such as the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Federal Road Agency supported the initiative.

“Either we are building a universal association or we are meeting at events only”

The Intelligent Transport Systems of Russia International Forum led to the foundation of the Digital Era of Transport Association in 2017. I had two options to choose from, either all market players are meeting at events only or we have to organize the systematic and consistent promotion of intelligent transport systems in our country. We had to choose the second, a more complex way.

“Packaged solutions hinder the development of a universal ITS”

The first difficulty was registering of our association in the Ministry of Justice – it took more time than we had expected. Then we started working with businesses and regions to develop a single implementation policy for ITS.

The most difficult thing in the whole system is to provide a single integration framework in a region. It is necessary in order to collect data from vehicles and infrastructure objects and to use this data in related systems. But the reality is that regions usually use packaged solutions that do not allow bringing all data together.

“We are gradually digitalizing our transport system”

Apart from the implementation of the ITS and work with regions, I develop three other projects: a hackathon, transport lectures, and a magazine called Intelligent transport systems in Russia.

The hackathon comprises a number of events focused on the development of solutions for secure and comfortable infrastructure on the roads. Participants discuss acute problems and tasks in the form of case studies that collaborating companies work on. Teams of participants choose case studies and develop their solutions.

The magazine is a keynote periodical on ITS in the country. Here you will find interviews with top executives, opinions of experts and major market players, reviews of the latest developments in the ITS field, relevant news, and results of past events.

Transport lectures represent a meetup for industry specialists both current and future (for students majoring in transportation). They take place once in three weeks, every third Thursday at 20:00, in a very authentic (in my opinion) place – Rizhsky railway station. Lecturers are top managers and members of transport administrations and enterprises, scientists and professionals of the transport industry, historians and researchers. This is the only scientific and practical event in the industry that is held regularly.

All these actions including the work with regions, businesses, and federal agencies will allow digitalizing our transport industry in the future.

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