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Drive Sweden on site at the European Road Transport Research Conference

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Inclusion, the need for easy-to-use digital services, technology that matches needs and an impact on the labor market as the transport system changes were some of the topics discussed at the Road Transport Research conference. Drive Sweden was represented by Rodrigue Al Fahel – take part of his takeaways here!

Drive Sweden is following the developments in Europe primarily with a focus on the areas that concern digitized, connected and shared mobility solutions for a sustainable transport system. In mid-February, the European Commission arranged the Road Transport Research Conference with the aim of presenting the latest from EU-funded research projects in road transport.

Drive Sweden was on site and took part in an agenda with roughly 60 projects covering inclusion, air quality and materials as well as electrification, batteries and autonomous vehicles.

Here are some reflections from Drive Sweden's international manager, Rodrigue Alfahel, who attended the conference.

The transition to a sustainable transport system is challenging and complicated. Many jobs will disappear, but the hope is that even more can be created. Research, education and competence development are at the core of getting where we want to be. The development needs to take place on several fronts and there must be synergies between them.

During the conference, it was highlighted that there has to be a clearer connection between needs and technology development.

"As the technology is not yet fully developed and adapted to needs, it is still uncertain what role self-driving vehicles will have in changing to a sustainable transport system. This indicates that we have to develop and innovate on several fronts", says Rodrigue.

Instead, it could be seen that through projects such as City Changer Cargo Bike and Handshake, there is an increasing focus on promoting the use of bicycles and cargo bikes.

At the conference, it also emerged that the transport systems need to become more inclusive, which, among other things, the projects DIGNITY, TRIPS and INDIMO reminded us of. In order for everyone to be able to use digital solutions, they need to be simplified and adapted to different groups, for example people with different disabilities. There is much to be done here to ensure that mobility services are designed so that everyone can make use of them.