Feeds

Europe must shift R&D from car gizmos to infrastructure, honks wonk

Trying to constipate people's 'movements' is WRONG

High performance access to file storage

Europe needs to focus on infrastructure and intelligent transport systems, one of the EU's top transport policy wonks said today, introducing the 13th EU Hitachi Science & Technology Forum in London.

According to Marcel Rommerts from the EU's Directorate General of Mobility and Transport, the bulk of transport research money in the EU is spent on developing new tech for cars. Rommerts asserted that research money would be better spent on projects that consider the transport system as a whole, rather than individual sections of it, and build up intelligent and resilient infrastructure systems.

Rommerts, who co-ordinates EU policy on transport research and innovation, said that the three big challenges facing Europe were high oil dependency, pollution and congestion. Rommerts was against governmental attempts to clamp down on mobility or reduce journeys as a way of easing the problem: "We should not think that we want to reduce the movements of people in our society," he said. He said that a better idea would be to look for ways for Europe to innovate and plan its way out of the problems.

Rommerts said said that 18 million jobs – or 8 per cent of jobs in the European Union – are linked to transport industry.

Aside from producing sexy new cars, the EU – and Europe's private sector transport companies – should focus on encouraging less obvious elements of transport, he said. One such method would be to look at alternative fuel distribution infrastructure and smart traffic management systems that can balance demand and capacity.

He added that although European companies are behind 40 per cent of the world's transport research investment, they were spreading this investment unevenly: while research and development in car manufacturing is strong (€17bn in 2008), Europe has much lower investment in rail (under €1bn) and low spend in infrastructure and transport management IT.

EU Transport investment graph, credit EU

Crucially Europe needs to be better at deploying research technology rather than simply developing it, said Rommerts:

"We have to keep an open mind, because new tech may come up, which we need to encourage."

Reducing dependence on oil is also a core consideration, he said:

"Transport in Europe depends 96 per cent on oil. Dependence on oil is a very important challenge..."

Citing the EU's ambition to reduce passenger transport emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, he added that and that oil costs were only likely to rise in the next few decades. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.