- Safe & Inclusive Transport
- Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods
- Efficient & Resilient Systems
- Collaborative Digitalisation
Participants are encouraged to discuss the following sub-themes, which are intended to provide a structure for a thorough discussion of the challenges facing the transport sector and the multi-disciplinary ways in which these are being addressed.
Safe & Inclusive Transport
The coming decade will see green and digital transitions within the European transport sector, and social engagement and acceptance will be key for these changes to successfully take effect. There is an imperative to place the user at the heart of policies and solutions proposed to deliver a more inclusive transport system. A better understanding of behavioural drivers will lead to more sustainable and efficient modal choices with improved safety performance. These transitions will also be an enabler for economic growth, supporting the single market and international co-operation. This will create new employment opportunities, and the evolving transport sector will create markets for new skills and training. Papers are invited in the following areas:
1.1 Transport Safety
Our transport systems are becoming increasingly digitalised, and this is occurring in a time when society expects our mobility services to continuously improve. Advances in areas such as passive, active & tertiary safety, human-machine interfaces & technological integration and autonomous vehicle risk assessment must ensure very high safety levels for a more inclusive & safer transport system.
1.2 Future Workforce & Skills
1.3 People-Centred & Inclusive Transport
1.4 Transport Policy
Sustainable Mobility of People & Goods
Today transport represents about 25% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and addressing this is a core element of the European Green Deal. Goals have been set of at least a 55% reduction in transport-related GHGs by 2030 and 90% by 2050. This must also be accompanied by reduced environmental impact and associated loss of biodiversity.
The path to sustainable mobility requires multi-disciplinary research and innovation across all sectors of society. Our transport systems must foster cohesion, reduce regional disparities, and improve connectivity and access to the internal market for all. There is a need for greener mobility of people and goods, supported by zero-emissions vehicles and systems.
2.1 Urban, Regional & Rural Transport
2.2 Zero Emissions Transport
2.3 Impact on Health & the Environment
2.4 Logistics & Sustainable Transport
Supply chain emissions are a challenge for all sectors and solutions are needed to support the transition to zero emissions logistics. Interconnectivity between long-distance and ‘first and last mile’ connections is critical for efficient freight transport, as are advances in freight intermodality, load optimisation processes and energy-efficient fleets.
Efficient & Resilient Systems
This required resilience will also link to energy supply and access to raw materials, as our transport systems move from fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives. There is a clear need to apply circular economy principles to all elements of the transport system. Finally, strategic autonomy of the European transport sector will become key in a world of a changing geopolitical context.
3.1 Resilient Infrastructure
Creating resilient, multi-modal infrastructure is essential for society, and it must now respond to a diverse range of hazards. Key to their continued functioning is predictive maintenance and autonomous monitoring offers new ways forward. In other cases, the use of nature-based solutions or advanced materials offer alternative approaches to deploy and manage infrastructure.
3.2 Resilient Networks & Operations
In recent years transport infrastructures and networks have been subjected to increased threats that pose severe challenges on the way infrastructure and networks are managed and operated. Moreover, the fast development in IT technology and widescale application across transport operations and management is on one side enabling a digital transformation, and on the other hand increasing the threats the transport network might be exposed to. In this sense how to find a balance among the introduction of innovative IT-based technologies and solutions (e.g. digital twins, AI-based inspections, etc.) and the new threats (e.g. cyber and man-made in terms of sabotages and intentional actions) that from their massive use might arise is a key topic to be further elaborated and discussed.
3.3 Circular Economy & Life Cycle Assessments
The circular economy is a core element of the European Green Deal and an essential component in our efforts to reduce pressure on natural resources. Successful implementation requires the application of circular economy principles to all steps in the value chain, for all components of the transport system (vehicles, batteries, fuels, infrastructure etc). Innovative sustainable procurement processes are increasingly required, and life cycle assessments will play a key role in their use.
3.4 Transport Energy Transition
Energy is a critical element for a resilient transport system, and the transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources of energy is a major technical challenge. Significant hurdles will include sufficient charging & refuelling infrastructures and advances in battery technology for electric vehicles, the development of sustainable alternative fuels such as hydrogen and other technological advances in waterborne, aviation and in high-speed rail across Europe.
Digitalisation is a key driver of change in the transport sector and will lead to efficiencies in all modes, through solutions such as Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), automated mobility, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) etc. The digital transition will place data sharing as a key requirement for Europe to achieve efficient connectivity, leading to open questions on governance, cyber security and open science. Digital infrastructure (5G and beyond) will be a key enabler, as will the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies.
4.1 Digital Transition
Digitalisation is driving the transition to smart mobility, enabled by advances in AI, the internet of things (IoT) and data science. This is opening up new possibilities as digital twins and blockchain can support more efficient logistics operations, and new solutions for mobility of people.
4.2 Transport Data Sharing
The sharing of data is opening up new opportunities for business and society to utilise the large amounts of data generated across modes and sectors (including energy). Public authorities & businesses need access to data for planning & monitoring. This requires new solutions to address issues of data governance and European data regulations seek to create a single market for data that will work with GDPR requirements and the future European mobility data space. This approach is in agreement with the principles of open science, while cybersecurity remains an ongoing challenge.
4.3 Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility
Advances in autonomous mobility are having transformative effects in all transport modes. Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) exploits the connectivity between road vehicles / bikes / aircraft / trains / vessels and with infrastructure, seeking to address traffic safety and reduce both congestion and GHG emissions. In related fields, we are also seeing advances in urban air mobility, and automated terminal operations, new mobility services and logistics.
4.4 Digital Transport Infrastructure
The digital transition will place significant emphasis on the supporting digital infrastructure, with connectivity to 5G a key issue. This connectivity underpins smart infrastructure, enabling sensor-based monitoring, digital twins and the physical internet. The advent of 6G will have a transformative effect for future transport systems.