TRA 2024 Programme Overview

Each day we will have a high-level Plenary session featuring government, political, industry, and academic leaders at the forefront of their fields. The topics for discussion for each Plenary will reflect the theme of the day. The format will support the speakers in sharing their insight and expertise with the majority of the TRA2024 conference attendees. Our list of confirmed speakers increases week on week so please visit the speakers page to view the current list and check in regularly, as we continue to add additional names.

The plenary sessions will be supported by a number of strategic sessions addressing specific issues of critical importance. A full description of these sessions is now available below. We have identified 13 high quality speaker line-ups and will be announcing these over the coming weeks.

A new initiative for this years TRA is that we will have a number of host round table sessions that address key topics such as governance, the environment and innovation.

Over the four days of the conference we will deliver over 100 scientific and technical sessions. We have had an excellent response to our call for papers and these sessions will showcase the current state of the art in transport and mobility research. The design of the sessions will follow the 16 conference sub-themes and the timing of these will be distributed over the course of the week. We are also designing a high-quality poster presentation venue and each presenter will be allocated a specific presentation time. This venue will be located at the entrance to the plenary hall and will ensure high visibility for all poster presenters.

The TRA conference will also feature a number of special sessions that address topics of particular interest to the transport research community. These sessions will be designed by key stakeholders and will offer current research projects the opportunity to address topics that may not be covered in the programme.

As with other TRAs, the heart of the conference is the exhibition hall and this will allow sponsoring companies, researchers associations, etc to engage with the conference delegates. The exhibition area will also include a stage to promote engagement, as well as an innovation zone where the latest research will be demonstrated.

In addition to the above, the conference will also feature a large number of side events, such as the EU Road Safety Conference. There will also be a large outdoor demonstration area and several technical tours organised.

Plenary Sessions

These will address the primary themes of the conference, with a different focus on each day. Plenary Sessions will feature high-level speakers that will give their insights and debate the issues in an open forum.

Day 1: Safe and Inclusive Transport

  • Placing the user at the heart of policies and solutions to deliver more inclusive transport systems​
  • Enhancing our understanding of behavioural drivers​
  • Delivering sustainable and efficient modal choices with improved safety performance​
  • Transitioning to enable economic growth, supporting the single market and international co-operation​
  • Creating new employment opportunities, markets, skills, and training​

Day 2: Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods

  • Addressing and the European Green Deal, delivering a 55% reduction in transport-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2030 and 90% by 2050​
  • Implementing multi-disciplinary research and innovation across all sectors of society to deliver sustainable mobility ​
  • Fostering cohesion, reducing regional disparities, and improving connectivity and access to the internal market for all​
  • Discussing environmental impacts and loss of biodiversity ​
  • Supporting greener mobility of people and goods via zero-emissions’ vehicles and systems​

Day 3: Efficient and Resilient Infrastructure

  • Scaling green and digital transport systems to meet the increasing demands​
  • Building in resilience to withstand and recover from disruptions​
  • Making use of new innovations to support appropriate management and investments, linking energy supply and access to raw materials as our transport systems move from fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives​
  • Applying circular economy principles across all elements of the transport system​
  • Supporting the strategic autonomy of the European transport sector in a world of changing geopolitics regulation and conflict​

Day 4: Collaborative Digitalisation​

  • Utilising digitalisation as a key driver of change leading to efficiencies in all modes and the adoption of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)​
  • Automating mobility​
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS)​
  • Accelerating the digital transition to data sharing and efficient European connectivity, ​
  • Addressing governance, cyber security and open science and digital infrastructure (5G and beyond) ​
    Discussing the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies​
Strategic Sessions

The Strategic Sessions are designed to support the plenary sessions, and each day 3 strategic sessions will be delivered in parallel. These sessions will address major innovation fields and convey policy messages and key industrial issues.

Strategic Session 1-1: From Research to Evidence-based Transport Safety Strategies – Towards Vision Zero

Description: This session addresses the persistent challenge of traffic collisions causing fatalities and injuries in the EU. Current transport safety policies are not always evidence-based, leading to inefficiencies and high societal costs. This session aims to highlight examples and initiatives demonstrating the potential for improving the link between research and policymaking. It advocates for a proactive Safe System Approach, leveraging virtual testing and simulation to predict the effectiveness of safety measures. Attendees will gain insights into developing and implementing evidence-based transport safety policies, understanding the role of dedicated research, and identifying new approaches. The key takeaways emphasize the possibility of enhancing the efficiency of transport safety policies, the necessity for dedicated research, cross-country learning opportunities, and the importance of safety considerations in all transport policy measures.


Strategic Session 1-2: Future Workforce & Skills

Description: This session addresses the multifaceted employment challenges and opportunities arising from the transitions occurring in the transport sector. Key issues include the impact of this transition on employment, skill requirements, and the attractiveness of the industry. The session explores strategies to attract more individuals to the transport sector, increase diversity, bridge gender and age gaps, and address issues related to race and disability. It also delves into the need for a diverse skill set, including soft skills, and the challenges and opportunities presented by the complex future of the transport sector. The session emphasizes the necessity for a collaborative effort between industry, the public sector, and academia, aiming to tackle issues such as retraining the existing workforce, promoting social skills, and preparing for the complexities of the evolving industry. Attendees can expect hands-on recommendations, good practice examples, and insights into filling the gaps between industry demand and educational offerings. The session targets a broad audience, including experts, and aims to provide strategic insights and transformative examples in the context of the changing transport landscape.


Strategic Session 1-3: People Centred & Inclusive Mobility

Description: This session addresses the need for more people-centred and inclusive mobility, seeking to clarify these terms and present successful examples. The discussion will explore the user and provider perspectives, focusing on inclusive services and the provision of services that are people-centric. The session aims to take stock of positive examples to identify driving forces and development processes, fostering a moderated discussion on characteristics of solutions for achieving people-centred and inclusive mobility. Topics include considerations for under-serviced groups, low-income users, transport poverty, gender inclusivity, accessibility for disabled individuals, and user perspectives in transport system planning. The potential for guidelines for future endeavours will be explored. Attendees can expect insights into successful implementations, discussions on the role of research and feasibility aspects. The session aims to inspire attendees with examples showcasing the improvement of inclusiveness and people-centricity in mobility and the effects of such initiatives. Take-away messages include the recognition of the reasons for enhancing inclusiveness and people-centricity, along with inspirational examples, and potential guidelines and additional research that could accelerate further implementation.


Strategic Session 2-1: Future Urban and Suburban Mobility Services

Description: This session addresses the challenge and opportunity of integrating new and shared mobility services into urban and peri-urban areas to support the ambitious objectives of the Green Deal and the Smart & Sustainable Mobility Strategy. European cities and regions are aiming to reduce the reliance on private cars in their mobility ecosystems, and the session explores the need for high-quality, sustainable alternatives that complement mass transit and cater to diverse citizen needs. The emergence of new mobility services such as shared micromobility, carsharing, and ride-hailing presents opportunities, but effective governance frameworks and intermodal solutions are crucial to maximize benefits and address potential negative impacts. The discussion focuses on deploying innovative business models and public-private partnerships to extend the reach of these services to suburban areas, where car dependence is higher. Attendees can expect insights into the current and potential roles of new mobility services in sustainable urban and peri-urban mobility, emphasizing the importance of governance models, integration with public transport, and collaborative approaches for financial viability and public policy outcomes. The take-away messages include the key framework conditions necessary for new mobility services to positively contribute to sustainable urban and peri-urban mobility.


Strategic Session 2-2: Zero-emission mobility, health, and the environment: benefits and future challenges

Description: This session underscores the critical role of zero-emission mobility in securing a healthier future for Europe, not only for the planet but for the well-being of its citizens. The harmful impacts of air and noise pollution caused by transport emissions, including premature deaths, respiratory issues, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health problems, are highlighted. The European Environment Agency identifies noise as a significant environmental health factor, impacting 20% of the EU population. Transport emissions, the sole sector with increasing greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to air quality problems, climate effects, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.

A sustainable mobility future necessitates a safe, clean, environmentally friendly, efficient, quiet, and affordable transport system. The session emphasizes the importance of improving technologies, transitioning to eco-friendly transport modes, and optimizing or minimizing unnecessary trips. While aviation and waterborne transport aim for net-zero emissions, challenges persist, particularly in localized pollution near airports and ports. Road transport is moving toward zero-emission, but challenges related to non-exhaust particle emissions from brakes and tires remain. Rail transport, considered the greenest mode, also faces challenges related to particles and noise. The session advocates for intensified research and innovation activities across all transport modes to achieve the EU’s policy goals of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and significant reductions in air pollutants. The discussion will explore the health impacts of transport and the benefits of a complete shift to zero-emission mobility for EU citizens, outlining key research and innovation challenges that need addressing to support positive developments and maintain Europe’s leadership in mobility innovation, production, and services.


Strategic Session 2-3: Logistics Decarbonisation Champions: accelerating the decarbonisation of freight transport

Description: This session addresses the challenge of reducing, drastically and in the short term, greenhouse gas emissions from freight transport, while transport demand is projected to more than double by 2050. Despite optimistic scenarios for increased rail and inland waterways transport, road transport remains dominant. The market is showing a demand for sustainable products, prompting key supply chain players to embark on decarbonization efforts. The session emphasizes the need for urgent, large-scale adoption of existing low-carbon technologies and innovative solutions to achieve a targeted 55% emission reduction by 2030. Champions in freight transport decarbonization will discuss strategies, priority areas, and actionable solutions to accelerate sustainability. The focus is on real-world implementation of available innovative solutions, enablers for logistics decarbonization, barriers to scaling sustainable offerings, and short and long-term initiatives to meet EU Green Deal targets. Attendees, including users, transport representatives, and researchers, will gain insights into ongoing decarbonization efforts, successful strategies, and the crucial role of policy and industry support.


Strategic Session 3-1: The Resilient Transport Network: Enhancing and Maintaining Europe’s Infrastructure to Cope with Decarbonization and Climate Change

Description: This session addresses the challenge of evolving resilience in the transport system amid changing dynamics. It explores the use and planning of current and future European transport infrastructure in response to factors like automation, electrification, and hydrogen adoption, emphasizing decarbonization and climate change impacts. The convergence of transport, energy, and digital infrastructure networks is considered, along with challenges related to technological development and implementation, alternative fuel infrastructure, and regulatory impact on decarbonization and resilience. Key bottlenecks in the land transport system, such as bridges and tunnels, are highlighted, and strategic and operational perspectives on coping with these issues are presented. Representatives from EU and Member States, transport operators, and the construction sector share insights, providing a comprehensive view of evolving resilience in the context of decarbonization and climate adaptation. Attendees will gain key takeaways regarding current initiatives, policy contributions, stakeholder perspectives, and financial mechanisms supporting the transition to net-zero and climate-neutral transport infrastructures.


Strategic Session 3-2: Circular Economy ecosystems for EU transport

Description: This session delves into the theme of Circular Economy (CE) business models in the transport sector, exploring opportunities, challenges, and boundaries. The discussion focuses on mode-specific aspects related to data, materials, design, and End-of-Life (EoL), aiming to identify commonalities, differences, and potential actions. The session is divided into presentations by speakers, each lasting 10 minutes, and a panel discussion that incorporates audience input. Attendees will benefit by learning more about CE business models, exchanging knowledge and experiences, and gaining insights into research needs and policy requirements within the transport sector. Key take-away messages include priorities for addressing challenges and hurdles, emphasizing the crucial role of implementation for competitiveness and resource sovereignty. Harmonization within and across modes is identified as a necessity, along with the need to increase acceptance of CE approaches and requirements in the transport industry.


Strategic Session 3-3: Electrification of Surface Transport

Description: This session addresses the intricate relationship between energy and resilient transport, emphasizing the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable sources as a major challenge. The clean energy and transport transitions are interdependent, requiring a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050 to achieve climate neutrality. Key hurdles include the development of charging infrastructures and smart grids. The discussion will include the European Green Deal’s focus on secure and affordable EU energy supply, an integrated and digitalized energy market, and renewable energy sources.

The session highlights the deep structural changes needed for the mobility and energy transitions, emphasizing societal choices and engagement from governments, the private sector, citizens, and civil society. Electrification, especially in road transport, is a strong and irreversible trend, but challenges persist in sectors like waterborne and aviation. The European Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) aims to ensure sufficient infrastructure, playing a crucial role in fostering growth and development of alternative fuel vehicle, also laying down common technical specifications and requirements.

The session also explores the role of smart charging technology and its challenges. Electric Vehicles batteries have the potential to serve as power grid storage, enabling greater deployment of renewable electricity and providing back-up power in case of emergency. Public transport land and networks can also host renewable energy facilities such as road and track side PV generation connected directly into electric supply or charging infrastructure. Overall, it discusses the challenges, implications, and needed infrastructures for future energy needs and the transition to resilient and efficient zero-emission mobility in Europe – keeping a user-centric approach.


Strategic Session 3-4: Sustainable Alternative Fuels

Description: The session aims to explore the challenges and opportunities of sustainable alternative fuels (SAF) for waterborne and aviation transport, with a focus on the technology, infrastructure and policy aspects. Waterborne and aviation are the hardest to decarbonize transport modes, heavily relying on SAF to achieve the goals of green transition and, at the same time, facing the limited availability and high cost of these fuels. The focus on both transport modes aims to address the shared and individual challenges and solutions of both sectors, focusing on the new technologies on the European and global horizon. The speakers will include representatives from fuel suppliers, end-users, civil society and the European Commission, as well as possibly from the infrastructure sector. The session will cover a range of SAF technologies, such as hydrogen, from a technologically neutral perspective, and will address the policy developments of FuelEU Maritime, ReFuelEU Aviation, EU ETS, RED and AFIR. The session will also consider the long-term vision of 2050, as well as the mid-term targets of for both sectors.


Strategic Session 4-1: Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility: What Next for New Mobility Services?

Description: This session focuses on Connected Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) developments since the 2018 communication, addressing transport megatrends and the strategy for future mobility. It emphasizes the co-evolution of technology and social innovation, cross-sector collaboration, governance issues, security, and privacy considerations to support new mobility services. The session recognizes the shift from a historically predominant technology perspective to a broader context that includes institutional challenges like fragmentation, intermodality, data openness, and regulation. Attendees can expect discussions on the political relevance of CCAM, its contribution to sustainability and safety, and the readiness of regulatory frameworks and governance mechanisms. The key takeaways will include insights into commonalities in research, innovation, and measures needed to bring multimodal CCAM services closer to deployment.


Strategic Session 4-2: Human-Machine Interaction in a multimodal context

Description: Personalisation is a keystone for a new mobility culture. It is just as relevant for tailored information to assist the next step of a journey by public transport as it is for driver-assistance systems in vehicles. Essential features include comprehensible and reliable information at the right time, sensory support, scenario analysis, communication with the different users, and interaction with the other types of stakeholders affected by the trip s. In short, prediction mechanisms and support services need to be implemented into a very technology-oriented transport sector that faces many challenges. This includes incorporating cognitive knowledge. Regardless of where these systems are used they will change the behaviour of users. For example, from a maritime perspective it may introduce new distraction risks, for rail, digital ticketing can help to build a new mobility culture, and for road transport effective communication between motorized vehicles and vulnerable road users will be critical.

The idea for this Strategic session is to discuss the essentials in Human-Machine-Interaction from a transport perspective and the need for new type of interfaces and the next steps to follow. This session starts with an introduction and is followed by a moderated panel discussion.


Strategic Session 4-3: How to Achieve Transport Data Sharing?

Description: This session addresses inefficiencies in the movement of people and goods caused by paper-based documents, fragmented information, and system silos. Policies and regulations, such as eFTI regulation, the Common European Mobility data space, and the Single European Sky framework, aim to address these challenges. However, diverse market structures, international transport, and a lack of standardized rules hinder data sharing. The session focuses on technological innovations for real-time information sharing, acknowledging varying digitalization maturity levels in the market. The key objective is to discuss how to achieve integrated, interoperable, and harmonized approaches, emphasizing the need for common datasets, governance for data sharing, and agreed-upon data and business models.

Scientific and Technical Sessions

On each day there will be a number of scientific & technical sessions featuring presentations from conference delegates. The call for abstracts is currently closed (the deadline was 29 May 2023) and full papers were due on 11 October 2023.

Accepted papers will be presented by the authors either as podium or poster presentations, and the sessions will be designed to support the 16 conference sub-themes. Please also note that for TRA2024 we are also accepting short papers (2 pages maximum). These are intended to promote industry participation and will lead to a poster presentation at the conference.

Special Sessions
The special sessions are organised to allow a forum for researchers to discuss key research issues and the format will typically include podium presentations and/or panel discussions. These sessions are intended to be flexible and will support activities that may not fit within the other session types.

The TRA VISIONS awards are a core part of the TRA conference and provides us with an opportunity to recognise research excellence. At each conference awards will be presented to the best young and senior researchers; there is also a lifetime achievement award. Further information on how to enter these competitions is available on the TRA Visions page.

Conference Exhibitions

A core element of every TRA conference is the Conference Exhibition, and TRA2024 will provide a large space for stakeholders and companies to showcase their work. This area will also feature a stage that will allow exhibitors the opportunity to speak directly to the conference attendees and the exhibition offers superb networking opportunities



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