Highlights from the 4th International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations

Highlights from the 4th International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations

Under the theme “Innovation Advances Towards the Future of Managing Traffic”, the 4th International Symposium on Freeway and Tollway Operations was held in Vienna on 26-30 June. Hosted by Austriatech and co-organised by IRF and other leading US and EU organisations, the symposium offered a dynamic platform to exchange expertise among managers, traffic engineers, practitioners, and researchers. 

With over 400 experts in attendance, the symposium featured a diverse program with more than 40 sessions and workshops. An opportunity for participants to share their insights and collectively explore disruptive approaches towards making traffic management more efficient and sustainable. IRF President A. Benazzouz, IRF DG S. Zammataro and IRF Deputy DG G. Alcaraz were amongst the distinguished list of speakers and moderators discussing topics ranging from road user charges, automation, to data sharing and workforce development. By embracing innovation and collaboration, participants paved the way for transformative solutions that can enhance mobility, efficiency, and sustainability in increasingly complex transportation systems. 

On 29 June, IRF joined the ASECAP Sustainability Forum – hosted in the margins of ISFO. IRF President, Anouar Benazzouz, and a panel of esteemed speakers including Kristian Schmidt (European Commission), Hans-Jürgen Salmhofer (Austrian Ministry for Climate Action), Fernando De Maria (Autostrade per l’Italia), Gerhard Christiner (Austrian Power Grid) and Andrew Fremier (IBTTA) discussed: “Energy Transition: What are realistic scenarios for road decarbonisation?”. 

In his intervention, Mr Benazzouz highlighted “Our vision is that delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals depends on efficient multi-modal transport systems and services where roads play a central role. Effective road transport and road networks, and the associated services, are essential to ensure the sustainable mobility of people and goods and to ensure we leave no one behind”. He also recalled IRF’s commitment to Sustainability with the COP27 joint statement published with several other organisations from the sector in which they underline the need to act with pragmatism, ensure a just transition, and embrace innovation. 

Present at the ISFO event with a delegation of 16 US DoTs, AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) met bilaterally with IRF to discuss transportation challenges, emerging trends from around the world and to enhance collaboration between the two organisations. As an esteemed partner of IRF since decades, AASHTO received an IRF 75th Anniversary Award.

To conclude the week, IRF witnessed a significant milestone for one of its members, Oris, which signed a ground-breaking partnership agreement with UNIDO to  optimise large road infrastructure projects and the delivery of sustainable and inclusive rural roads. The MoU signifies a promising collaboration between UNIDO and Oris, and the IRF’s involvement highlights its instrumental role in facilitating meaningful partnerships and in fostering cooperation within the industry. 

Photo: Oris

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