The world’s road network has taken thousands of years to develop. The ‘generations’ of road have, however, been few; emerging from the track to the paved road, then the smooth road and onto the continuous road (motorway). The Forever Open Road programme aims to create the next generation of road; one which is adaptable, automated, and resilient. It will demonstrate how to build and maintain roads where new technology can be easily accommodated and that are resilient to climate change. It will take the best of existing and future technologies, fill the gaps to produce a solution suitable for all types of road, whether urban, rural or motorway.
The Forever Open Road concept forms the flagship research programme of the Forum of European Highway Research Laboratories. Technology trials that support the concept are already underway, and planned research will lead to large-scale demonstration projects showing how the next generation road will work. This Paper describes the Forever Open Road concept and its programme of research. It calls for future research funding to deliver a comprehensive strategy that creates a next generation of road that can be adopted across Europe, rather than continue with the current ‘hit-or-miss’ approach to research.

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