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Digitalisation & Decarbonisation: towards the future European Transport System - Outcome of ERTRAC's annual conference 2017


15 Mar 2017


Climate & Environment

Brussels - ERTRAC just held its annual conference on the topic of Digitalisation and Decarbonisation: towards the future European Transport System. The event was hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU: 250 participants were welcomed in this exceptional location by its Director Ms. Barbara Schretter. The conference started with speeches from high-level representatives of the European institutions: 

  • Markus Ferber, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President of the ECON Committee;
  • Nikolaus von Peter, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc
  • and Clara de la Torre, Director for Transport Research at the European Commission DG Research & Innovation.


Several key messages were given by industry and public authorities through out the event:

Vision for a Sustainable Mobility in 2050

The long-term Vision of ERTRAC for 2050 was presented, with an important objective for sustainability: reaching 100% renewable energy for transport. Urban areas should become emissions free, and charging infrastructures made available everywhere needed for electrified vehicles. Alternative fuels must also be deployed, in particular to support long-distance and commercial transportation. It is only thanks to a system approach of decarbonisation - improving together vehicles, energies, infrastructure and services - that the European objective of CO2 reduction could be achieved (-60% compared to 1990).

Efficiency and Resiliency of the Transport System

Transport systems, infrastructures and traffic management will evolve towards high efficiency services, enabling minimized congestion and resilience to disturbances: integration across modes and standardisation are key goals in order to reach a user-centric system providing door-to-door mobility for people and goods. While traditional ownership is expected to decrease, shared mobility services are expected to grow, with accessibility, convenience and affordability being key criteria for the development of this next generation of mobility.

Digitalisation: an enabler for improved mobility

Digitalisation will support the deployment of Mobility as a Service. Users will benefit from multi-modal mobility offers including trip planning, pricing and payment. Connectivity everywhere, including communication between vehicles and infrastructure, will allow to optimize traffic flows and support the objective of near zero accidents. Automation of vehicles will be progressive but on the long-term will change the transport system completely, enabling very high levels of safety, efficiency and resilience.

 supporting the event





ERTRAC is the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council. It is the European technology platform which brings together road transport stakeholders to develop a common vision for road transport research in Europe.