Following recent vehicle emission scandals, confidence in sustainable mobility has taken a big hit. But research and development (R&D) could help the European transport sector get back on track and stay ahead of international competition, according to Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union.
The race is on to design a clean engine that can be retrofitted into existing vehicles, and a low-emission, highly fuel efficient engine of the future, after the EU launched two prizes worth a combined EUR 5 million in a bid to improve Europe’s air quality and restore faith in the European automotive sector.
The successful arrival in Rotterdam of six convoys of connected smart trucks from different points across Europe shows that cross-border truck platooning is feasible and operational challenges can be overcome, according to Steve Phillips, Secretary General of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR), which helped to organise the challenge.
The EU’s new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) panel will deliver its first official advice to the European Commission – on how to close the gap between vehicle CO2 emission levels in the real world and those detected under test conditions – within six months, according to Dr Henrik C. Wegener, Chief Academic Officer at the Technical University of Denmark, and chair of the SAM High Level Group.
Driverless cars may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but according to Dr Jean-Luc Di Paola-Galloni, co-chairman of the European Road Transport Advisory Council (ERTRAC), they could be on our roads in just four years’ time, and so the EU needs to regulate that.
The European Commission has launched plans for the next research funding programme.