FIA Mobility Newsletter | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

FIA Mobility Newsletter

08.04.20

As they are affected by the global health crisis, the FIA Mobility Division is continuing to support its Member Organisations and the actions they are taking to help face the COVID-19 crisis. 

In this complex period, the FIA’s priority is to assist its Member Clubs. To accompany them face the situation, that has resulted in a drop of activity for some, the FIA has decided to postpone the subscription payments for all its Members until the end of September.

If the current situation doesn’t allow for the FIA Community to gather physically, the Federation is committed to using digital tools to bring its Clubs together, allowing them to stay in touch and share valuable experience in this challenging context. 

One of the most successful examples is the FIA Stay Tuned initiative launched by the FIA University. This free-of-charge online programme open to all the Clubs will aim to give them the tools to turn current obstacles and upheavals into opportunities. Developed in collaboration with experts from Clubs and the ESADE Business School, this first-class programme will combine academic content and e-learning modules with opportunities to discuss and share best-practice. From 6 April to 8 May, the initiative will give registered participants access to 10 online sessions covering topics such as ‘Strategic planning under harsh conditions’, ‘Leading self and others’, ‘Effective communication’, and ‘Innovation’. To encourage Members to think ‘outside the box’ to better face a changed future, participants will also be invited to work together, exchange and share ideas on an ‘Innovation project’ they would like to launch in their Club. 

As significant uncertainty remains about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many of the Mobility events scheduled for this year, the FIA Mobility is closely motoring the situation and has started to study the possibility to hold some events on online platforms. For the Season 4 of the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest, FIA Mobility together with MassChallenge Switzerland, is activating a digital format set up for three regions, starting with the European edition of the contest scheduled to take place on 16 April. FIA Member Clubs will be invited to join the onlinejury to select the most innovative start-ups offering solutions in the area of urban mobility or smart cities, in particular in relation to connectivity and data in transport, new safety applications, multi-modal mobility and society-focused mobility services. 

To better accompany its Clubs in adapting to a severely disrupted mobility landscape, the FIA team is in touch with partners and experts of the FIA Smart Cities initiative’s ecosystem to start understanding the impact this crisis will have on mobility at large and its implications for Member Clubs as well as other major stakeholders. This content will be incorporated into the programme of the FIA Smart Cities Season 4, whose format will be adapted according to the evolving global situation. 

The FIA Mobility is also supporting its Clubs in regard to their travel and tourism activities. Indeed, the impact of the pandemic and lockdown measures is being severely felt across the sector. However, tourism has repeatedly demonstrated its resilience and ability to rebound and pull the general economic and social recovery. Thus, while accompanying its Clubs overcoming the current hardships and challenges, the FIA is working to give them the means to prepare for the future. To do so, the Federation aims to build Clubs’ capacity in the field of data collection and analysis with a series of workshop facilitated by specialised data scientist scheduled to take place in Q3 2020 as part of the phase III of the OTA revamp project. In order to further improve the access to relevant data and assess the behavioural changes that are affecting Clubs’ members, the FIA has also partnered with other international organisations to support the United Nation’s Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19 established by the UNECE. 

Clubs’ Initiatives to Face the Crisis

The FIA Mobility is also supporting the initiatives taken by many Clubs to help their members, governments and health professionals overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

AA Vietnam President Greig Craft has been particularly reactive with its decision to turn the AIP Foundation’s social enterprise helmet factory ‘Protec’ into an assembly line to produce masks for countries currently lacking such equipment.

Many Clubs continue to perform services considered essential with strengthened information channels. Call centres and online platforms are also useful to give members information about the measures taken by governments that directly affect them and answer questions they may have. For instance, the Royal Automobile Club of España (RACE) put into place a legal consultation service related to COVID-19 while the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) intensified its cooperation with the Ministry of Transport to deliver infomobility services, and provide support to Italians returning to Italy or having to travel through the service Viaggiare Sicuri – in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On another note, Canadian Automobile Association North and East Ontario, the Ottawa-based Club, is using its call centre to do wellness checks, which members can request for themselves or their loved ones.

To keep accompanying their members and motorists, Clubs have also strengthened their offer of online services. As an example, the Reial Automòbil Club de Catalunya (RACC) driving-school teachers are providing theory classes for free and accessible to all on the Instagram account @RACCautoescuela. The Club has also given free access to an on-line road safety game ‘Play&Learn’, aimed at children from 6 to 12.

Clubs are also supporting health services with many of them providing free services and breakdown assistance for health workers such as the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) or Touring Club Belgium (TCB). ACI has put the ventilators used for medical assistance included in the Club’s membership at the disposal of health authorities while RACC has made available to the authorities its headquarters in Barcelona and the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) has decided to donate 20% of the proceeds from online renewals of AAP Membership and Philippines International Driving Permits (PIDP) to medical institutions.

If you wish to learn more about FIA Clubs’ initiatives against COVID-19, please consult the dedicated news page that will be updated regularly.