The International Road Transport Union (IRU), policymakers and industry stakeholders met at a conference on 9 October to discuss the next two decades of road freight transport.
The conference decided to establish a ‘reflection group’, which will bring together industry experts to examine technical and design aspects of future commercial vehicles, as well as considering the entire transport system such as the infrastructure that will need to be in place to support the new vehicles.
In addition, the IRU announced the establishment of an ‘Innovation Lab’ to introduce best practice in the sector and support the development of the transport system.
The conference also looked at the IRU’s ‘Three I’ strategy for sustainable development based on Innovation, Incentives and Infrastructure. To this end, the conference examined alternative fuels and electricity, and the practicalities of operating with them, including refuelling infrastructure and power supply issues.
Other new operating methods and technology-based applications were highlighted, including concepts for the ‘platooning’ of vehicles, driverless vehicles, and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS).
IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, commented, “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.”
No date has yet been set for the first meeting of the new reflection group.