In the period 2019-2022, Autostrade per l'Italia underwent a radical, ongoing process of transformation, affecting all areas of business and especially the way infrastructure is monitored, managed and maintained. Since December 2019, the motorway operator has completely overhauled its network surveillance systems. These activities were entrusted to Bureau Veritas, Proger, Tecno Piemonte and Tecnolab - specialist independent assessors of international standing - via a European public tender. Since February 2020, highly advanced tunnel monitoring and surveillance standards have also been introduced, borrowing best practices from the French government's CETU (Le Centre d'Etudes des Tunnels). In general, the innovations ASPI has introduced regarding the surveillance and maintenance of infrastructure (bridges, viaducts and tunnels) have contributed to an overall improvement in the safety of the entire motorway sector, as they have been incorporated - and further improved - in the industry's technical regulations (SOURCE ITALIAN-ONLY ). ASPI's new Financial Plan, which has been approved by the Government, sets aside €7 billion for the maintenance and upgrade of network infrastructure until the end of the concession. Most of the motorway operator's management has been changed. Twenty-three of the 31 former ASPI employees under investigation in the Morandi road bridge case have been dismissed for violating the company's ethical rules, while the remaining eight employees have been reassigned to other positions within the motorway group. A new team of technical professionals with experience at large international companies has also been hired. In Liguria, ASPI has substantially compensated for all the direct damage caused in advance, with due and particular attention paid to victims' families (SOURCE ITALIAN-ONLY answer to question no. 4). As part of a settlement agreement reached with the Government, ASPI has allocated €3.4 billion to be used for infrastructure development and mobility services in Genoa and the Liguria region, as confirmed by a ministerial decree issued by the Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility on 30 March 2022. ASPI has also submitted a plea bargain request to the ongoing Morandi road bridge proceedings in Genoa, which has been accepted by the investigating authority, with regard to administrative liability under Legislative Decree 231. Finally, implementation of the new business plan also commits the company to the technological development of sustainable mobility services, including, for example, electrification of the motorway network in accordance with EU regulations.
Autostrade per l'Italia was sold to the consortium composed by CDP (51%), Blackstone (24.5%) and Macquarie (24.5%) on May 5 2022.
Facts and figures regarding the main activities
- More than 19,000 inspections of bridges, viaducts and tunnels were carried out in one year, bringing the resources allocated to maintenance to more than €680 million in 2020, and around €800 million in 2021. This monitoring was carried out in accordance with engineering techniques and new standards, which were subsequently redefined and issued at sector level by the Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, partly thanks to ASPI's participation in the technical working groups set up to revise the infrastructure safety guidelines.
- Adoption of a new infrastructure monitoring system, based on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. The new monitoring platform, developed by Movyon, IBM and Fincantieri NexTech, relies on IBM's artificial intelligence and the use of drones, IoT and 3D digital modelling by Fincantieri NexTech. This radical innovation of the surveillance and monitoring of over 4,500 infrastructure assets across ASPI's motorway network greatly increases the efficiency and transparency of these processes.
- A new organisational set-up involving the transformation or creation of new subsidiaries (Tecne, Free To X, Amplia, Movyon, Elgea) closely oversees individual aspects of the business plan.
- Substantial investment has been made in sustainable mobility, including the installation of rapid charging stations for electric vehicles (Free To X) and an increase in renewable energy production (Elgea), as well as in technological innovation, to provide digital services to road users and enhance the safety and comfort of travel (Free To X).
- A major recruitment drive which, over the next three years, will lead to the hire of more than 2,900 engineers, technicians and researchers.