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IRU lays out path for transport system of the future

Date: 13/11/2014

The International Road Transport Union (IRU), policymakers and industry stakeholders have outlined actions to lay the groundwork for an innovative transport system to be developed over the next 20 years optimally benefitting all EU citizens and businesses. Spearheaded by the road transport industry, these next steps – including the creation of a reflection group and Innovation Lab – were identified in Brussels today at the 4th IRU/EU Road Transport Conference on “The Future of Road Transport – Innovation & Efficiency”.

The reflection group will bring together key industry stakeholders and policymakers to examine not only the technical or design aspects of future commercial road vehicles, but also the entire transport system of the future. In addition, the IRU announced the establishment of a new Innovation Lab to foster innovation and best practices in the sector and effectively support the sustainable development of the transport system.

IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, highlighted, “This gathering has stirred concrete and creative ideas that we will take up further in the reflection group. It is high time that stakeholders define how commercial road vehicles should look and operate to optimally integrate into the wider transport system of the future while guaranteeing greater efficiency of the entire transport supply chain. The IRU is willing and prepared to take on the challenges of creating this roadmap in cooperation with all transport stakeholders.”

The IRU has worked hard to foster innovation in road transport along its 3 “i” strategy for sustainable development based on innovation, incentives and infrastructure. To this end, the conference examined innovative propulsion methods for road transport, such as alternative fuels and electricity, and the practicalities of operating with such fuels, including refuelling infrastructure and power supply possibilities.

Other innovative operating methods and technology-based applications were highlighted, including concepts for the ‘platooning’ of vehicles, driverless vehicles, and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS).

The conference also showcased entrants for the new IRU Award for Best EU Road Transport Operator 2014, who have created novel, efficiency improving operating methods and environmental schemes, once again demonstrating the excellence and pioneering taking place every day within the road transport sector.

Mr de Pretto concluded, “The IRU is fully committed to making the EU transport system and road transport worldwide even more efficient and sustainable through new technology and innovation. It is not only a priority; it is a must for the immediate and long term future. I think we can all agree that road transport plays a major role in driving tourism, mobility and trade. Those who do not embrace innovation will fail and we cannot afford to make this grave error lest we be held accountable for our actions or even worse, inactions.”

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