Project news
Edit 03 June 2021
by Sofia Municipality

Sofia’s INNOAIR presented in the European Parliament

INNOAIR in European Parliament
The European Parliament's Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) organized a workshop on May 28, 2021, on Artificial Intelligence and Public Administration. The event aimed to discuss the use of artificial intelligence and algorithms in EU public services and to help MEPs promote digital solutions for public administration and find the right regulatory balance between them. Sofia Municipality was among the four European administrations invited to the hearing – representatives of the governments of Finland and Denmark and the National Research Institute in Poland – to share the context, specific parameters, what has been learned so far and the challenges of using artificial intelligence.

“The dynamics of public transport usage will continue to grow and Sofia Municipality demonstrated it has the vision to manage these challenges. Sofia presented its project INNOAIR on equal footing with initiatives from Finland, Denmark and Poland – a proof that the ideas and innovations in the Bulgarian capital city are in no way inferior to those in other European cities” said Mrs. Eva Maydell, MEP and member of the AIDA committee.

Ivan Nikolov, Director of the Transport Directorate of Sofia Municipality, and Sevdalina Voynova, Program Director at Sofia Development Association, presented the use of artificial intelligence in the introduction of the innovative electric urban transport service on demand. This service is being developed within the INNOAIR project; the first Bulgarian project funded by the EU initiative Urban Innovative Actions. With the help of big data and artificial intelligence, traditional bus routes and timetables in some urban areas will be replaced by a proactive service, with electric minibuses running on flexible routes and timetables according to the demand for the service. Speakers also shared some lessons learned so far – the need to radically improve data management, capacity building within the administration to work with artificial intelligence, the need to analyze social and economic effects, etc.

  1. MEPs and their teams showed significant interest in what Sofia had to share and further discussed how we could overcome resistance to change, what incentives we use to attract universities, and how we see the development of regulations. Possible incentives and a structured exchange of experience at European level were discussed.

You can see more about the workshop on the EP Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age website: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/aida-workshop-on-ai-and-public-administr/product-details/20210520CAN60988

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