Berlin Conference Addresses The Future Of The Road Industry
How will the roads of the future look? What materials will be used? These questions were addressed at a recent conference called ‘Prepare The Asphalt Industry For The Future.’ Held in Berlin, the event was organised by Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E). At Premier Surfacing, we believe it’s important to be a part of the conversation about where the road materials industry is heading, which is why we feel it’s worth summarising the conference.

A lack of certainty

Key topics that were discussed at the event covered vehicle impact, new road technology and industry challenges. Guillaume Bastien, commercial and business development director for Colas Europe said “we are facing a great revolution. There is no other way than to go with data and new technologies and go as fast as we can.” A point was made about vehicle manufacturers not being interested in involving the asphalt industry. This has lead road researchers to come up with a variety of ‘what if’ scenarios. A theme that most agree on is the belief that car ownership will decrease. Pavement materials team leader at Highways England, Arash Khojinian said “we’re moving towards zero ownership.”

Looking into future road materials

Another important discussion involved the type of road materials that could be used in future. Speakers highlighted that new technology wasn’t being adopted more readily. According to Rudi Bull-Wasser, Head of Germany’s Federal Highway Research Institute, a challenge comes from clients being risk-averse. Sergei Miller of TU-Twente in the Netherlands said “the asphalt industry mainly operates based on condition and custom. That’s quite dangerous in terms of blocking innovation. Off-the-shelf systems are going to be challenging the machine manufacturers.” Alternative road materials are being trialled across the world. In China, solar-powered roads are being built, while Italian manufacturers are working on kinetic surfaces. The conference brought up a lot of valid points about the nature of the road industry. Our team are committed to helping develop a more environmentally sustainable future. To find out more about our services, get in touch on 01952 840 838.
Published: September 2018

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