H2020RTR18 Conference – Highlights

Gathering more than 240 participants, attending 75 project presentations over 1,5 day, the H2020RTR18 conference has been a real success in presenting the outcomes of ongoing and finalised projects under Horizon 2020 in road transport.

The different sessions gave the opportunity to the participants to exchange views on level of knowledge and developments achieved in the different technologies and the substance of further research that will be needed to meet road transport objectives.

Highlights of the parallel sessions are given below; a more detailed analysis of the different presentations will be available in the beginning of 2019.

Understanding human behaviour in road transport

Understanding and analysing human behaviour is an extremely complex issue in road transport, and one of the critical aspects for the achievement of our objective of zero fatalities. Synergies have been identified between ongoing projects: they develop new road users’ behavioural models coupled with road simulators and analyse the bias between simulation and real data from naturalistic driving. With the support of these tools, it will be possible to develop new standards, vehicles, infrastructure safety equipment and measures to influence the drivers in their decisions. The development of new psychological models is a further step towards better understanding of human decisions. They will help making more reliable behavioural predictions and intention recognition. Based on the latest results, better Human Machine Interfaces and a comprehensive list of critical conditions and scenarios will be developed.

Public transport research

For public transport research, more integration is needed into real urban mobility systems. Particular emphasis was placed on the potential of new buses and the need for more research to cover these areas. Several policy-driven projects, as well as large-scale demonstration activities, presented advancements in the deployment of sustainable urban mobility plans across Europe.

Green Vehicles: many important topics, many future challenges

The Green Vehicles partnership has been well represented and introduced an array of important topics related with all many future challenges. The results presented address all types of vehicles and introduced several innovative system approaches Results showed that predictive powertrain controls can further enhance energy efficiency of vehicles, in addition to the powertrain improvements, by digitally linking the vehicles and their surroundings. Co-design, modularisation, new standards and model-based controls to optimize engine performances of advanced ICEs and hybrid powertrains are key areas, aiming at providing vehicles emitting up to 20% less CO2 than their best current counterparts while performing substantially better that Euro 6 and keeping the cost at affordable levels. As regards the advanced ICEs area, the potential of known fuel economy-related technologies such as lean burn or variable compression ratio was questioned and discussed.

Similarly, new materials properties researched can help accelerate manufacturing processes and support the development of new approaches for the conceptual design of vehicles accounting for life cycle analysis.

Intermediate results in nano-particle measurements are very promising: the main technical challenge is to achieve sufficient accuracy for a broad range of particle sizes (from approx. 2 to 23 nanometres) and to ensure robust sampling of exhaust gases under real-world driving, but the focus should not be limited to solid particles only, as current regulations do.

Topics related to electromobility have also been covered: several projects dealing with batteries’ new materials and electrochemistry were presented; they face difficulties in reaching the expected energy efficiency targets. One of the main conclusions was the needs for Europe to develop a new supply chain; however, the way to establish it is not clear yet. Thermal management has a big potential for electric vehicles; several examples of successful projects (e.g., using Joule and Peltier effects for heating and cooling) improving electric vehicles’ range and comfort have been presented.

Exploiting the full potential of transport for more efficient logistics

The logistics sector was also well covered, targeting, in particular, increase of load factors and a reduction of empty trips in the supply chain. Horizontal collaboration and exploiting the full potential of different transport modes for end-to-end logistics have been identified as key to accelerating the path of innovation developments. The specificities of city logistics operations have also been discussed, leading to the conclusion that cities should develop Sustainable Urban Logistics Plans (SULPs) in a clear way and better complementarity with the Urban Mobility plans (SUMP)

Promote the results outside the research community

A general remark arose from the different parallel sessions: the dissemination of research outcomes should not be limited to experts and researchers. We need to make people aware of what technology brings to their daily life and improve the acceptance of new technologies.

It has been repeated several times that demonstration should get closer to real life; new technologies must be demonstrated in vehicles and the whole mobility system, closer to the market!

Sharing knowledge among the research community and highlighting the benefit to the daily life of transport users is the direction we will continue to drive to, also in next year’s H2020RTR conference!

You can also download the conference report to provide a comprehensive overview of the rich content presented during these two days’ conference.
It is structured into three main parts: a general introduction, a comprehensive summary of each session, and, as an annex, some information about the projects’ achievements at the time of the conference.

Past editions