News - FOREX WG meeting focuses on next steps for Forever Open Road

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

FOREX WG meeting focuses on next steps for Forever Open Road

Forever Open Road Expert Working Group meeting held in BASt near Cologne on 15 and 16th May 2012.


The Forever Open Road Expert Working Group (FOREX WG) held a two-day progress meeting at FEHRL member, the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), on 15th and 16th May. The first day started with a presentation of the Forever Open Road (FOR) concept to delegates from BASt by the Chairman of the FOREX Group, Bob Collis of TRL. This was followed by a presentation of the FOR elements by the element leaders, Stefan Höller (BASt), Nicolas Hautiere (IFSTTAR) and Markus Auerbach (BASt) for the Adaptable, Automated and Resilient elements, respectively.Following the presentations there was a tour of the BASt facilities.

The update of the elements consisted of the following:

  • Adaptable: this element forms the basis for the two other elements, e.g. providing in-built cabling channels ahead of the implementation of solutions from the Automated element. That way, the road can be upgraded without having to take it out of operations. BAST presented a test bed near Cologne on a complex intersection with a length of 1.1 km. available in 2013-2014. Information was also provided on the roadmap progress and recent workshops that have been held, including a specific one on asset managment.
  • Automated: the strategic vision for this element is based on a transition strategy that defines eight entities, including the user, traffic control centre, infrastructure and vehicle. This sets the demand for the technological systems, as well as the data required for each of the eight entities etc. A total of 18 topics were identified so far.
  • Resilient: there was an extensive overview of the milestones and related projects from Europe and the USA. Information was als provided on the projects under the strategic programme on climate change risks that BASt is managing for CEDR. Key issues are to do with asset information (what do we have) and uniform risk assesment  solutions(e.g. predict weather models, assessment criteria etc). The thing to keep in mind is that resilience is not just roads, as there is a strong interdependence between all transport modes, as well as power and communications systems.

The FOREX meeting itself was held on the second day and focused largely on the steps required to complete the roadmaps for the three elements so that they can be released for public consultation. Feedback was also provided on FOR at TRA2012 in Athens in April, where it was well received (including a mention in the presentation by Jan Hendrik Dronkers. Director-General of FEHRL member, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), in the Netherlands in the first Plenary session on the first day and the third Strategic session on Infrastructure for the 21st century led by Dr Hans Jeekel of RWS, as well as thenew infrastructure video launched at the FEHRL stand.

Discussion was also held on FOREX and FEHRL Institute involvement in bidding for projects in the CEDR and FP7 Sustainable Surface Transport calls, as well as the expansion of the FOR concept into other modes.


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