Brussels, 06 June 2002
The European Commission will receive advice on strategic priorities in road transport from the new EU Road transport research advisory committee, the committee's vice-chairman, Helmut List, told CORDIS News at RTRAC's launch on 4 June.
RTRAC comprises 14 senior experts from car manufacturing companies, suppliers, the oil industry, research institutes and other relevant stakeholders. Rudi Kunze, chief technical officer from Ford Europe, will chair the committee. RTRAC's members will conduct a study leading to a vision for the year 2020, which will provide the basis for promoting various research actions.
'The goal of RTRAC is to create a vision for the long term future, to have a basis for advising the European Commission and all the stakeholders regarding the future of research,' said Mr List, who is chairman and CEO of AVL List and represents the Automotive research partners' association (EARPA) within the organisation. 'We will focus on the priorities at strategic and not operative level,' he added.
The members of the group want to reach a consensus enabling them to 'elaborate a vision for 2020,' Mr List told CORDIS News. He emphasised the importance of taking a holistic approach. 'We must consider the whole picture,' he said.
Road transport faces the challenge of reconciling increasing demands for personal mobility and freight transport and issues of sustainability, such as the environmental impact of emissions and noise, recycling and the supply of energy and fuel.
The establishment of RTRAC comes following the creation of similar groups for rail research (ERRAC) and aeronautics research (ACARE). Mr List believes that RTRAC was a later addition to the transport advisory groups because organisations such as EUCAR and EARPA already existed and were already effective in the sector. 'There was no void or lack of communication to the outside world,' he said.