road transport research

Taking transport into the future

For IRU, innovation is not limited to providing new services to the road transport sector, but fostering ways to make our entire industry work smarter.

Our passion for innovation helps us lead road transport into the future, and we do this through new technology, tools and apps, and committing to improvements in our four advocacy areas of Community, Economy, Safety and Sustainability.

More about innovation

Taking TIR digital

Totally secure, seamless and efficient, TIR, which stands for Transports Internationaux Routiers, came into force in 1949 and is managed by IRU. It's a tried and tested international transport system, which enables companies to transport goods between countries by seamlessly passing through multiple borders and customs. We’re now taking TIR into the future by introducing paperless systems in an online pilot scheme run between Turkey and Iran.


TIR-EPD is a web-based application that stands for ‘electronic pre-declaration’. It enables transport operators to declare their goods before they arrive at a customs point along their international journey. Safe and secure, TIR-EPD provides fleet operators with full confidentiality of their commercial data without having to use third parties. Finally, this online system substantially reduces costly waiting times required for customs declarations procedures at borders.

e-CMR: easy and efficient consignment notes for road transport

The e-CMR consignment note for road transport harmonizes contractual conditions for goods transported by road and helps facilitate goods transport overall. 


Route planners - greater efficiency, lower costs, lower emissions

Based on the market-leading route planning software product PTV Map&Guide, new route planners propose services that are fully tailored to local conditions and challenges and will be developed and globally promoted in cooperation with IRU members in each market. 

The new services enable transport operators, large and small, to become more efficient through better operational route planning, to lower costs and to lower carbon emissions.


Commercial Vehicle of the Future

An IRU initiative run in tandem with the University of Leuven, Belgium, this project studies the various types of vehicle requirements that would best suit a green vision of the future, and which can be achievable by 2030. Bringing together a wide range of partners, CVOF seeks to ensure efficiency gains across the transport chain, a reduction of CO2 emissions and increased safety in road transport.

UpTop - A stronger and smarter global taxi network

UpTop is IRU’s fast growing global taxi network, with over 500,000 taxis on five continents.

The UpTop global taxi network promotes legal, reliable, high quality and safe taxi services, supported by the latest smartphone technology.


Collaborative research projects

IRU research projects help fulfill our mission of bringing greater safety, sustainability, mobility and opportunity to the road transport industry. 

These projects are often at the forefront of developing new policies, services, training materials or other solutions that foster increased sustainability and safety of road transport. Learn more about IRU collaborative research projects here.