Impact mobility rEVolution was certainly full of exciting news about new technologies creating transport fit for the future. The event brought together over 2k people from all around the world, to listen to 150 speakers on three big stages discussing the most important issues and trends in mobility.

For those who couldn’t attend, we’ve prepared a series of posts summing up the highlights of the last week’s event. Today we’ll talk about what the President of Board of Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolis (GZM), Kazimierz Karolczak, was up to. And was he busy!

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), will play a crucial role in the future. That’s why the Metropolis GZM, the Civil Aviation Authority (ULC) and the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PAŻP) decided to create Central-European Drone Demonstrator (CEDD), a testing zone for drones located in Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia (GZM). It was signed during a joint press conference in Katowice, with Mikołaj Wild, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Infrastructure, in attendance. The Polish Development Fund (PFR), JSW Group,
Hawk-e, DroneRadar and the Institute of Aviation have already declared their willingness to become partners of the project. Poland is one of the first countries in which such a professional environment for testing is being developed.

CEDD will help to develop the unmanned aircraft market and satisfy the expected demand for UAV services, first in the GZM area, then in the whole country. It’s a place where anyone interested in this market – scientists, investors, local governments, manufacturers etc. – will be able not only to test the practical uses of drones but also to work out the conditions for future cooperation with other entities.

The first and the crucial step towards implementation of drones into urban ecosystem is creating
a functioning air transport and IT infrastructure for a safe and efficient UAV use. That’s why the support from ULC and PAŻP is invaluable as it guarantees legal and operational security as well as a constant cooperation with the market, in order to eliminate barriers for the developed solutions.

“I am glad that the Demonstrator will be created in Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia (GZM), a place that promotes innovation and new technologies,” said Kazimierz Karolczak. “Thanks to CEDD, we will be able to test autonomous drone systems under safe laboratory conditions as well as in field conditions – urban areas. The Metropolis is a natural place where such systems can be implemented. Supra-local projects are realised more easily here thanks to the legal regulations issued specifically to facilitate GZM’s work.”

Apart from signing the agreement, Kazimierz Karolczak really had a busy schedule. He took part in moderated discussions about the use of hydrogen in public transport or the newest trends – connected, shared and on-demand mobility. He was also present at Roundtables, talking about Poland’s potential in the production of EV batteries and the challenges of creating clean transport zones in cities.

But attending a conference doesn’t mean all work and no play. In the GZM zone you could follow GOPgear’s “concentric race with intermediate goals”, in which the participants put Katowice’s public transport to a mobility test. The finish line was at the event’s location, the International Conference Centre. The first team to reach it, while completing side quests, such as visiting a post office or a clinic, would win. However, the real goal of the race is to measure the effectiveness of public transport in everyday use. It’s a fantastic reflection of what Impact mobility rEVolution is trying to achieve.