News - ERTRAC 2015 Annual Conference took place on 3rd March 2015


Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

ERTRAC 2015 Annual Conference took place on 3rd March 2015

Infrastructures, urban mobility and freight session led by Ruud Smit of Rijkswaterstaat was one of three key sessions of conference.


Some 200 automotive and road transport researchers gathered at yesterday’s annual ERTRAC conference, which was opened by Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni, acting Chairman of ERTRAC and EGVIA. "Road transport today offers major opportunities for innovation, which are also opportunities for job creation and competitiveness in Europe", said Paola-Galloni, who is Corporate Vice-President for Sustainable Development of the automotive supplier VALEO. He was joined in the Introduction session by Manuela Soares, Director, Transport Directorate of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission (EC), who outlined the EC's perspective of the current priorities and challenges for automotive and road transport research.  

ERTRAC, as the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, provides a unique platform to develop a vision for road transport research in Europe. At the conference, ERTRAC’s Working Groups presented the research needs identified in continuous work. Stakeholders from industry, researchers and representatives of national and local authorities are collaborating in ERTRAC to identify the research needs related to the three topics of Powertrains (engines, fuels, and electrification), Connectivity and automated driving and Infrastructures, urban mobility and freight that were on the agenda:

In these three strategic sessions, the following ERTRAC Working Group leaders and invited high-level speakers from industry and the European Commission exchanged information and ideas on the research and innovation priorities:

Powertrains (engines, fuels, and electrification)
Chaired by Zissis Samaras, ERTRAC Vice-Chairman, Professor and Head of LAT Lab of Applied Thermodynamics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thessaloniki Aristotle University, the session included presentations by: 

Connectivity and automated driving
Chaired by Dr. Alessandro Coda, co-Chair iMobility Forum WG Automation, ERTRAC Connectivity and Automated Driving Task Force Leader, the session included presentations by:

Infrastructures, urban mobility and freight
Chaired by Ruud Smit, Rijkwaterstaat, ERTRAC Vice-Chairman for Member States and Infrastructure and Innovation Manager Europe for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the session included presentations by:

  • Karen Vancluysen, ERTRAC Urban Mobility Working Group Leader and POLIS Executive Director
  • Anders Berger,ERTRAC Long Distance Freight Transport Working Group Leader and Volvo Group Trucks Technology, Director Technology & Project Planning Transport Solutions & Services
  • Keir Fitch, European Commission, DG Transport & Mobility, Head of Unit Research & Innovative Transport Systems

The presentations of this session are combined in one file, download here.

The meeting was concluded by Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni, as well as Neville Jackson, ERTRAC Vice-Chairman and Ricardo Chief Technology & Innovation Officer and Liam Breslin, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Head of Unit Surface Transport.

Innovative vehicles such as electric cars were exhibited at the conference and could be tested in short drives through Brussels.

New roadmaps published on automated driving and urban freight
The ERTRAC conference also marked the official release of its latest research roadmaps on urban freight and automated driving. The roadmaps will contribute to the definition of research programmes involving cities, industry, retail, logistics service providers, supported by Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

Jointly drafted by ERTRAC and ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe), the urban freight roadmap lists the research priorities related to urban freight delivery, returns and urban logistics to improve the efficiency, sustainability and security of this activity. 

A draft of the ERTRAC roadmap addressing automated driving, a globally recognised field of road transport innovation, is also revealed today. A new ERTRAC task force was created to gather experts from industry, research institutes, and national and local public authorities to address definitions and roadmaps in order to develop, test and deploy automated driving solutions.

Access the electronic versions here:
ERTRAC roadmap on urban freight
ERTRAC draft roadmap on automated driving


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