In order to achieve its aim of delivering tools by 2020, FEHRL has developed a multi-faceted vision for FOR.
1. FOR will involve the whole range of stakeholders: research organisations, industry, manufacturers, infrastructure owners, infrastructure managers, end users… It will also bring together public and private sector organisations with expertise in road design, travel behaviour, road safety, intelligent transport systems, vehicle manufacture, environmental impact and product manufacturing. Comprehensive involvement of the whole “road chain” in research projects will ensure that efficient projects are selected and that industrialisation and implementation issues are embedded in every research project right from the start.
2. FOR will aim to avoid unnecessary duplication of research. Research projects will need to detail what their added value will be. FOR will start with existing technologies and asses how they are implemented.
3. FOR will join forces across Europe. Forever Open Road will encourage multi-national engagement and collaboration, and stimulate research across the different countries bringing cost savings and benefits for all.
4. FOR will encourage a systems approach, which is to integrate into end products various components from diverse technological domains.
5. FOR will recognise the role of road transport within the transport systems and the need for seamless interaction and interfaces between the modes. The outcomes of FOR will benefit other modes and in turn FOR will benefit from those modes.
6. FOR will acknowledge the diversity of the existing European road networks and will deliver tools for new roads as well as tools for the upgrading and maintenance of the existing network.
7. FOR will maintain continuity of its aim and vision as it collaborates with various partners and various funding mechanisms, each operating with their own frameworks and timelines. This will ensure that the focus remains on enabling the delivery the Forever Open Road.
8. FOR will bring together a wide range of funding and programming instruments selected and, were necessary, developed to in order to maximise the deliverables of FOR. It will link with existing national initiatives such as the “5th generation road” in France or “Road of the 21st century” in Germany. FOR will build on their work and act as the multi-national binding element.
9. FOR will put an emphasis ensuring implementation with demonstration projects and full-scale trials being a key element. These are recognized as being able to bring together the whole array of stakeholders and to expose the usefulness to society of the tools that FOR will develop.
FEHRL is confident that this clear and comprehensive approach will enable the transport community to achieve the FOR aim.
FOR formed the core of FEHRL’s 5th Strategic European Road Research Programme (SERRP V) from 2011 – 2016 and the key elements of FOR were also prominent in the most recent version of SERRP, covering a reduced timeframe of 2017 – 2020 to reflect the high pace of development of automation and digitalisation.