||Envisioning Europe in 2020 from the threshold of this new millennium has made us keenly aware
of both the hopes for our new and expanding European Community and the challenges confronting our
society and environment. Road transport is woven throughout these hopes and challenges. It links us
to each other, to our schools, employment and leisure activities. Freight transport is the lifeblood of our
economy. The road transport industry provides employment across several sectors, and it is a source of
both new technologies and manufacturing innovation. However, road transport also faces unprecedented
challenges as demands for both personal mobility and goods transport continue to grow. At the same
time, preservation of our natural environment is a growing challenge, energy supply is of heightened
concern, and global competitive pressures demand ever increasing efficiencies.
For the past two years, research managers, technical experts and public authorities associated with
the European road transport sector have been discussing these challenges and the possibilities for
moving forward. We have reached three conclusions:
• Significant social, economic and environmental benefits can both be gained through improved knowledge
and continued investment in research in the road transport industry.
• Both technical and non-technical research domains are key to finding solutions and making soundly
based investment decisions for improving road transport within an intermodal system.
• The solutions required for our society can only be achieved through a multi-disciplinary, systems
approach to research activities and the subsequent development and implementation by the private and
public sectors at the European and national levels.
The members of ERTRAC invite you to utilize this first Strategic Research Agenda, which presents the
elements of ERTRAC’s Vision for 2020, and the expectations and targets for research in order to achieve
this vision. It outlines detailed descriptions of the research areas and roadmaps of the path forward
towards reaching the necessary objectives.