Brussels-funded Aeroflex project sets out future vision

ESTA has been supporting the European Commission-funded Aeroflex project which has been working on new technologies and concepts to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of long-distance heavy freight vehicles by up to 33 percent.

The project – which received 9.5 million euros in EC funding through the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation – started in 2017 and had its final meeting at the end of September.

A key element of the Aeroflex project is the introduction of Intelligent Access Policies – ensuring the right truck with the right cargo at the right time on the right road – which dovetail with ESTA’s long-standing call for the development of pan-European heavy transport corridors for abnormal loads.

The Aeroflex organisers are now in the process of organising follow-up demonstration projects to build on their success to date and the help drive the necessary regulatory reform and investment.

The Aeroflex consortium involved 23 organisations from 8 European countries and included truck and trailer manufacturers, academics, engineers and technology companies. A briefing on the Aeroflex project will be available shortly in the Library section of ESTA’s website.

ESTA was represented as part of the Aeroflex Sounding Board – representatives of authorities, associations, policy makers and companies who advised and helped to guide the process – by Section Transport Vice-President Iffet Türken.

Türken, who is also an Executive Board Member of semi-trailer manufacturer Kässbohrer, said: “This is a hugely important project for everyone involved in the European transport and logistics sectors and has involved close and effective cooperation between a wide range of companies and organisations.

“As Aeroflex has already shown, making our industry more sustainable will involve a great deal of new thinking and innovation – which must be backed up by essential political and regulatory support.

“What is more, its work has great potential benefits for ESTA members and the abnormal transport sector – for example through the drive for effective pan-European regulations and increased and focussed investment in infrastructure.”

She added: “Everyone involved is looking forward to the next steps and building on the progress made so far.”