The European Road Transport Research Advisory Committee (ERTRAC) developed a common vision for European transport. It also coordinated the implementation of the results found by the research in order to improve competitiveness.
The project addressed many different topics on the subject, including mobility, infrastructure, environment, energy, safety, security, design and production systems. The first module titled Mobility, Transport and Infrastructure studied the need to provide for quick mobility of goods and people. It tackled high-priority issues related to road transport and citizens' needs, in addition to managing Europe's formidable road network.
While safety has improved substantially in the last 30 years, the section on safety and security worked on accident prevention, accident impact mitigation and road transport systems security. Other crucial issues tackled by the project included the reduction of vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the quest for more efficient energy use. This involved studying the impact of vehicles on communities, air quality and natural habitats as well.
In parallel, the design and production part of the project investigated new technologies to improve sustainability, quality of life and the transport sector's competitiveness. Project recommendations include modernising standards for accident prevention, design, maintenance, new fuels, powertrains and communication technologies among others. Adaptation of the legal framework to facilitate new public private partnerships (PPPs), services and technologies was also recommended.
Lastly the project pointed out that it is customers who ultimately decide on what technology to adopt, rather than engineers and policymakers. Apart from upcoming technologies, intensive research and studying consumer habits, joint efforts of individuals, companies and public bodies will all contribute to achieving the Ertrac vision for 2020.
The project was funded under the European Commission's Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems: thematic priority 6 under the Focusing and Integrating Community Research programme 2002-2006, obtaining a budget of € 800 000. The project ran from October 2003 to January 2006.