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Two new IRF programs focusing on sustainable pavements and connected roads are launched under the scope of this milestone agreement.

Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between IRF and Dubai RTA

October 29, 2017

What is being agreed?

The International Road Federation (IRF) and the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) have agreed to enter into a collaborative partnership to advance the international state of the art in two key road mobility disciplines:

  • Impact of connected & autonomous vehicles for city street planning, design & traffic management (known as the “IRF Global Alliance for Connected City Streets”)
  • Innovative processes and technologies for pavement design that enhance the durability, environmental sustainability, and energy efficiency of road infrastructure (known as the “IRF Center of Excellence on Energy & Environmental Sustainability in Pavement Design”).

This partnership enters into effect on the date of signature of this Memorandum of Understanding for a three-year period.

Why are these programs necessary?

  1. City streets are a durable asset whose lifespan typically extends to 30+ years. In other words, streets that are being designed and built today will serve an increasingly diversified range of vehicles and mobility services. To date, no global resources exist that address the impacts of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (driverless cars, platooned vehicles, self-driving bikes, etc.) on the design characteristics of street infrastructure and the associated traffic management functions?
  2. The way we design and build roads has changed little during the past several decades, despite significant advances in pavement research and a host of new societal expectations placed on road infrastructure such as weather resilience, mitigating GHG emissions and circular economy objectives. Many innovative processes and technologies show enormous potential for road agencies, however, their real-world impacts are limited through lack of awareness.

How will these programs operate in practice?

Under this agreement, two new IRF programs will be launched to serve the needs of road, automotive and mobility stakeholders on a worldwide basis. These programs will be tasked with developing a long-term vision and strategic agenda to fill current knowledge voids and achieve cross-industry consensus. Each program will develop:

  1. A “Technology Watch” (knowledge repository of relevant R&D activities and demonstration pilots)
  2. Proposals for demonstration pilots, studies & training courses
  3. Thematic Forums combined with meetings of the program partners.

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