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Improved transport infrastructure performance – Innovative digital tools and solutions to monitor and improve the management and operation of transport infrastructure

Innovative digital tools and solutions will allow to upgrade transport infrastructure ensuring an improved performance and safety, together with a reduction of emissions and better inclusiveness.


Increasing the performance of multi-modal transport infrastructure can be achieved through improving the efficiency of the assets and by the cross-modal data management. Digital solutions are key to reduce drastically disruptions in traffic flows, increase transport efficiency and lower its dependency on fossil fuels.

Transport infrastructure needs to be capable of harvesting the benefits from digitalisation at management and operations levels, as well as in relation with the user. Digitalisation can support the achievement of sustainability targets and provide a better service to infrastructure end users, including enhanced public transport services. Digital technologies, such as big data, the Internet of Things, Digital Twins, together with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques provide a great potential for developing mobility solutions.

The integration between transport infrastructure and digital technologies will help achieve personalised seamless passenger and freight journeys transport across different transport modes. This integration will consider safety and security starting from the design phase, while simultaneously automating and accelerating the decision process at every level from maintenance to traffic management.

Special attention should be given to the accessibility of new digital tools from persons with disabilities and older persons, in order to ensure that this segment of the population is also able to participate fully and benefit from digital progress. As set by the Green Deal, priorities should be given for projects allowing modal shift from road to more sustainable mode such rail and inland waterways.

Proposals will have to address all of the following points:

  • Improve performance of transport infrastructure and increase multimodality with the use of, for example: IoT, edge computing and decentralised artificial intelligence, or other digital tools in view of its potential to facilitate real-time decision-making, improve safety and to save bandwidth and energy. Develop solutions for self-monitoring, self-reporting, non-intrusive/non-destructive inspection and testing methods, including advanced predictive modelling and structural safety assessment.
  • Demonstrate ability to process internal and external raw data, such as sensor data, into smart data and related cloud architecture that can be deployed to optimize infrastructure management processes
  • Building on the common European mobility data space and the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF), facilitate the seamless use and provision of data and information to the end user across the transport infrastructure network and logistic chain, with a view to progress advancing towards smart mobility concepts for passengers and freight.
  • Enhance prediction of demand from individual behaviours, enabling appropriate modal capacity and demand management.
  • Propose digital solutions contributing to a more inclusive, comfortable, accessible and flexible infrastructures and multi-modal services.
  • Include at least three pilot demonstrations of the proposed solutions in operational environment (minimum at TRL7) on land and inland waterways transport infrastructure.
  • Evaluate the qualitative and quantitative impact of the proposed measures with a clear baseline for each pilot demonstration.

For rail infrastructure the solutions will need to be harmonised with the EU-RailRAIL Programme projects implementing the Flagship Area 1, 3 and 5[1]. Proposals should consider results from previous calls on infrastructure maintenance, digitalisation, and on edge-IoT, and focus on validation of innovative solutions (i.e. robotics, IoT, edge computing and AI).

If the activities proposed involve the use and/or development of AI-based systems and/or techniques, the technical and social robustness of the proposed systems is to be described in the proposal.

    Convocatoria Activa StartUps


    Safe, Resilient Transport and Smart Mobility services for passengers and goods (2023/24)

    This Destination includes activities addressing safe and smart mobility services for passengers and goods.

    Europe needs to manage the transformation of supply-based transport into safe, resilient and sustainable transport and demand-driven, smart mobility services for passengers and goods. Suitable research and innovation will enable significant safety, environmental, economic and social benefits by reducing accidents caused by human error, decreasing traffic congestion, reducing energy consumption and emissions of vehicles, increasing efficiency and productivity of freight transport operations. To succeed in this transformation, Europe’s ageing (and not always sustainable) transport infrastructure needs to be prepared for enabling cleaner and smarter operations.

    Europe needs also to maintain a high-level of transport safety for its citizens. Resilience should be built in the transport systems to prevent, mitigate and recover from disruptions. Research and innovation will underpin the three safety pillars: technologies, regulations and human factors.

    This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):

    • C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
    • A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[ ‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.

    It covers the following impact areas:

    • Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
    • Smart and sustainable transport.

    The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute to “Safe, seamless, smart, inclusive, resilient and sustainable mobility systems for people and goods thanks to user-centric technologies and services including digital technologies and advanced satellite navigation services”, notably through:

    • Accelerating the implementation of innovative connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM) technologies and systems for passengers and goods (more detailed information below).
    • Further developing a multimodal transport system through sustainable and smart long-haul and urban freight transport and logistics, upgraded and resilient physical and digital infrastructures for smarter vehicles and operations, for optimised system-wide network efficiency (more detailed information below).
    • Drastically decreasing the number of transport accidents, incidents and fatalities towards the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 even in road transportation (Vision Zero) and increase the resilience of transport systems (more detailed information below).

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