2016 EUPAVE Christmas Dinner Debate

“The role of transport infrastructure for road safety & automated connected and electric vehicles”

 

Brussels, 7 December 2016 - EUPAVE celebrated yesterday its traditional Christmas dinner debate with guest of honour Matthew Baldwin, Deputy-Director General DG MOVE of the European Commission, on the topic of “The role of transport infrastructure for road safety & automated connected and electric vehicles”.

Mr. Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General DG MOVE, the European Commission

 

Stéphane Nicoud, President of EUPAVE, opened the debate, by mentioning the main activities of the association during 2016 and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the association in 2017. He launched a new EUPAVE position paper on “Connected, autonomous and electric vehicles - Concrete infrastructure can pave the way”.

Mr. Stéphane Nicoud, EUPAVE President

 

He stressed the benefits of concrete infrastructure, and explained how pavement smoothness and durability combined with low maintenance can facilitate connected, autonomous and electric vehicles, as laid out in the paper.

President Nicoud called for an effort from industry, suppliers and policy-makers to address the challenges ahead.

Deputy-DG Baldwin started by recalling the impressive figures of transport and mobility in the EU economy but also emphasised the need to continuously improve on CO2 emissions and safety. He mentioned the communication released by the European Commission last July on low-emission mobility and, in particular, the new C-ITS (Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems) communication adopted on 30 November as part of the “Winter Package”. He also announced a new legal framework by 2018, new initiatives on fuel reduction for heavy vehicles, alternative fuels and safety. He stressed that with regard to safety the question is not only “whether accidents will happen” but how to mitigate their consequences, e.g. by building forgiving roads.
 

Mr. Baldwin then asked the attendance on how infrastructure can play a role in this new scenario.

A lively debate followed around the role concrete could play in addressing those issues: safety, decarbonisation, sustainability and noise.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Baldwin called on EUPAVE to be proactive, to approach multi-sectorial fora like technological platforms and to open a dialogue with all interested stakeholders in order to take advantages of the opportunities ahead.