Engineering, manufacturing and construction

"Transport intermodality" task force to develop priorities for research projects

On an initiative of Mrs. Cresson, Commissioner for research and development, Mr. Bangemann, Commissioner for industry, telecommunications and information technologies, and Mr. Kinnock, Commissioner for transport, the European Commission has set up six task forces to develop in...

On an initiative of Mrs. Cresson, Commissioner for research and development, Mr. Bangemann, Commissioner for industry, telecommunications and information technologies, and Mr. Kinnock, Commissioner for transport, the European Commission has set up six task forces to develop industrial common research projects in order to reinforce European competitiveness.

This article examines the task force which focuses on transport intermodality:

The considerable increase in recent years of the volume in goods and passenger traffic and the growing demand for speed, safety and environmental protection have led to the development of the concept of intermodal transport. This term embraces all the systems, apparatus and technologies necessary for integrating transport by road, rail, air and sea and to ensure optimal transfer of goods and passengers from one mode of transport to another. Transport intermodality necessitates numerous developments in standardization, telecommunications, telematics and research in a wide range of areas.

The development of intermodal transport is of particular importance to Europe. To ensure that the internal market functions efficiently, the various networks which exist must be interconnected to ensure that goods and passengers can circulate easily in optimal conditions from one end of Europe to the other. The development of trans-European networks is a high priority of the European Union and is designed to ensure multimodality.

While initiatives to promote transport intermodality have been taken at the national level, there is no European intermodal industry, nor any intermodal organization at the European level.

The task force will work to develop technologies, systems, innovative concepts and strategies to improve intermodal transport operations. Problems in changing from one mode of transport to another at airports, ports, terminals and stations will be considered but attention will also be paid to other aspects of intermodal systems, such as transfer technologies and computer-aided systems. The action plan will cover questions linked to infrastructure and networks, standardization, harmonization and regulation, environmental issues and legal and institutional issues.

The task force will identify needs and priorities and then prepare an inventory of research and technological development, innovatory and demonstration activities to be undertaken at the European Union level. Particular attention will be paid to technological bottle-necks in each mode of transport and the best means of ensuring interconnection and interoperability.

The task force began work in May. A management structure has been established, consisting of one group for goods transport and one for passenger transport. These groups are made up of representatives of all the relevant services at the Commission, members of other task forces dealing with transport issues, manufacturers of transport equipment, transport-related vehicles and computer systems, as well as representatives of transport operators and users.

Action programme for the remainder of 1995:

- June: consultations with representatives of industry, users and interest groups and organizations, following which tasks and priorities will be drawn up.

For details on the five other task forces, please see the relevant record on the RTD-News database (identified by its RCN number):

- Multimedia educational software (RCN 4288);
- The car of the future (RCN 4289);
- The new generation of aeroplanes (RCN 4290);
- Vaccines and virus-based diseases (RCN 4291);
- The train of the future (RCN 4292).

last modification: 2017-08-07 17:15:01



Study in Poland