The transition towards connected and automated mobility, also in a mixed environment with conventional vehicles/vessels requires effective network and traffic management solutions. For instance, bottlenecks across road, rail, air and water can result in system-wide capacity constraints, traffic jams and increased pollutant emissions. As a result, an advanced multi-modal transport system requires coordinated and organised traffic flows to dynamically optimise the entire transport network. Furthermore, integrated urban and inter-urban traffic management and mobility information systems contribute to optimising transport flows both through cities and in rural regions. This challenge calls for the design and optimisation of intelligent systems and operations, to monitor live traffic conditions and flow performance, to enable real-time traffic information sharing and network-wide optimisation processes, adapting flows and configurations, as well as to allow distribution of control actions to network users via connected/cooperative devices. Such an advanced network and traffic management capability should also enable new dynamic mobility services for passengers and freight.

Specific Challenge: Connected and automated driving systems for heavy commercial vehicles have great potential to bring a disruptive change to the trucking industry, fleet operators and the whole logistics sector. They can improve safety and efficiency of freight transport and make vehicle operations more comfortable. Fuel efficiency gains can be achieved through automated truck operations, such as platooning. Various automated trucks and truck platooning concepts are being tested in several countries. Positive impacts can be expected when highly automated systems will be used in logistics operations going from hub to hub including both operations in mixed traffic and in confined areas. 

There are a number of specific challenges that need to be addressed before connected, cooperative and automated driving technologies for heavy commercial vehicles can be widely deployed: vehicle technologies, driver/user interaction/collaboration, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, operational challenges in confined areas (ports,  logistics terminals, consolidation centres, truck parkings, etc.) and in mixed traffic on public roads.

Specific Challenge: A massive amount of data is already produced by the transport system and the trend is set to continue at an increasing pace. Optimal use of the available data is indispensable in order to advance towards an intelligent transport system that reduces congestion, environmental impact and increases safety. On the basic level, the challenge lies in ensuring that e.g. manufacturers, operators, or authorities can properly take advantage of the data produced for the improvement of their operations and services. Access to, reuse and storage of data is not only important for private companies active in the transport industry (business-to-business or B2B), but also for the public sector (business-to-government or B2G) for a more evidence-based decision making and a better public service delivery, such as transport safety or reduction of pollution from all transport modes.

It is of key importance to develop a clear understanding of the areas where data exchange and digitalisation are required for improved system effectiveness. In these areas, data to be used in transport models need to be defined and harmonised.

On a more advanced level, in order to provide connectivity across the various components of the multimodal transport system, enable innovation and emergence of new business models, we need solutions for safe and secure collection, storage and sharing of transport data (both operational and research) across various actors and different transport modes.

Cloud based solutions could provide a high level of integration and accessibility of transportation data across the system and be used for variety of purposes, including research, development and innovation. However a number of challenges will have to be tackled before a successful wide scale implementation of cloud solutions for transport can take place, such as data privacy and security, standardisation and competitiveness issues, data interoperability and accessibility, governance, etc.

Specific Challenge:  Europe's urban areas are struggling to develop themselves into well-connected multimodal and multi-usage nodes for smart and clean mobility. Multiple trends affect urban and inter-urban areas: urban growth, densification, digitalisation, increasing pressure from freight movements and a shift to a service-oriented economy. Moreover, many European cities and regions areas are committed to develop into zero-emission areas that are well connected with the TEN-T network.

New technologies and innovative measures are emerging, but they are not taken up at a scale that is necessary to meet our climate targets and European transport policy objectives. In many instances, the responsible authorities (often operating at different governance levels) cooperate with public and private stakeholders. But the full integration and implementation of new solutions lags behind because little information, data and tested, innovative solutions are available on their effectiveness and on how to overcome the barriers to successful implementation into older legacy systems and ageing infrastructures.

Scope: This topic is divided in 3 sub-topics


Specific Challenge: Ensuring the seamless integration and harmonisation of transport modes is essential to achieve a truly integrated freight transport and logistics system, which on the one hand, is able to manage efficiently the physical, information and financial flows and on the other hand, support less impacting and environmental sustainable logistics operations . Speeding up technological and organisational innovation uptake and adoption will support freight transport decarbonisation and competitiveness. To this purpose, the assessment of progress, gaps and barriers is necessary. It is also key to involve and engage the end users of multimodal end-to-end freight transport chains, as they are both the recipients of innovation (autonomous transport, electrification, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, robotic systems, further digitalisation, new transport modes, etc.) and the key actors  in charge of developing the business cases for new technologies uptake.