ECTP committed to success of TRA2018

The European Construction, built environment and energy efficient building  Technology Platform (ECTP) is a leading membership organisation promoting and influencing the future of the Built Environment. First founded in 2004, ECTP gathers 160 Member organisations from across the construction sector and other sectors from the whole supply chain of the Built Environment. ECTP is today one of the 38 European Technology Platforms (ETPs), which are industry-led stakeholder fora recognised by the European Commission as key actors in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness. We spoke with Dr. Miguel José Segarra Martínez, ECTP Vice President (Chair of the Infrastructure and Mobility Committee) and Head of R&D and Innovation at DRAGADOS, about the Transport Research Arena 2018 (TRA 2018) in Vienna.


What does “A Digital Era for Transport” mean to you?

Many tend to think that the word digital, when applied to Transport, refers mainly to the rolling stock (e.g. vehicles, trains, ships or aircraft), whereas at the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) we see more profound changes.

Firstly, in the way infrastructure for the different transport modes will be built by the use of digital technologies. The sector is still undergoing the digitalisation of its production processes in a more complex environment than manufacturing.

Secondly, in the level of services to be provided by the infrastructure (what we call High Level Service Transport Infrastructure or HLSI) to vehicles. For instance, the generation of infrastructure management data to provide positioning services in areas without GNSS coverage (e.g. the GALILEO space infrastructure that will provide potential advantages and will foster “digitalised” services), to furnish structural data about the road condition, pinpoint fallen objects on the road or areas of damaged pavements, make information related to traffic restrictions or detours available, provide a better user experience in concessions or public infrastructure, etc.

Thirdly, in the way infrastructure is maintained, technologies as Big Data and IoT together with Artificial Intelligence (AI) can deliver more efficient management of the infrastructure and its maintenance, support and guidance to the user through the process of asset management to reduce costs and increase productivity. It should also serve to implement innovative maintenance methods based on actual infrastructure condition, less invasive and  disrupting to traffic so the automated traffic flow would not be disturbed.

Fourth, in the way the future upgrades to transport infrastructure will be envisioned, virtual and augmented reality along with Big Data, IoT and AI can be used to build digital replicas of infrastructure fed with real live data that can be studied and modified to understand the future demands to the infrastructure and the requirements to be met, allowing the asset to be optimised, extending its service life and aiding decision making and planning for future use. 


From your point of view, what makes TRA 2018 unique?

ECTP is a horizontal platform in relation to the other transport platforms that are dedicated to one mode of transport. The members of ECTP achieve research on and delivery of infrastructure for all modes of transport in all modal and cross-modal ways, as well as for logistics. Therefore, TRA provides a unique arena in which all stakeholders can interact, bringing together industry and researchers alike. It is an unusual scenario in which we can meet and discuss with all modes of transport over the period of a few days.

At a platform level, another interesting aspect is not only what happens during the TRA, but what happens during the two years of preparation of the TRA. The TRA Management, Programme and Organising Committee meetings provide a second arena of exchange between the different Technology Platforms to understand the interests, demands and needs of each other.


What do you expect from TRA 2018?

For ECTP, TRA means a long term effort. We are committed to the success of TRA 2018 and that of the subsequent TRAs. What we expect from this effort is to jointly define how the transport (infrastructure) of the future will be when seen from a given point in time. Naturally, there are several different transport-related organisations with many converging and some diverging objectives. TRA is a good place to discover all the possibilities for defining the future and continue discussing how transport must look like to serve our societal needs.

Dr. Miguel José Segarra Martínez, ECTP Vice President (Chair of the Infrastructure and Mobility Committee) and Head of R&D and Innovation at DRAGADOS

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Last updated : 11/01/2018