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Trucks will be a solid pillar of the transportation sector in the future

Anyone who can interpret present day traffic signs will be able to understand one thing: despite ongoing environmental debates and heated discussions regarding tolls, the truck will be a solid pillar of the European freight transportation system for years to come.

It is an accepted fact that a cost-effective transport system is a defining characteristic of a highly-developed, modern society. The responsible carrier, as well the manner in which goods are transported, is incidental. More important is having a rapid, cost-effective and safe transport system .

Heated discussions on the topic of truck tolls occur on a regular basis within Europe. As an observer of the debates, one almost has the impression that the array of traffic signs serves to undermine the respective arguments instead of regulating truck traffic . Even if the actual development of the transportation sector seems to contradict current environmental debates at first glance, experts still predict the truck will play a large and important role in the European goods transportation system into the future.

Truck tolls a stumbling block?

Even if the abundance of additional traffic signs positioned at toll stations suggests otherwise, toll fees do not prevent more trucks from hitting the roads. In truth, Europe is moving in a different direction. Whether additional toll fees are assessed or not, truck manufacturers are focusing more on safety, profitability and the environment.

Despite the use of traffic signs to route commercial truck traffic over toll roads, carriers can find ways to offset the additional costs incurred by rising toll fees. The reduction of fuel consumption in trucks is regarded as a secret formula to compensate for this situation. Hence, traffic signs do not always reflect an accurate picture of tolls and truck traffic. The industry will continue to question the wisdom of toll fees, toll regulations and toll stations , much like the truck toll system in and of itself.

Simultaneously, there are indications of a trend toward increasingly larger trucks within Europe. With this in mind, the question still remains as to whether or not the traffic signs designed to limit heavy goods traffic are simply disregarding the long-term development of the truck.

Too many traffic signs?

In parallel, heated debates are just now developing in many countries regarding the usefulness of many traffic signs. Traffic signs that were ambitiously installed over the years in an effort to regulatetruck traffic and truck toll systems, are now being questioned, traffic sign by traffic sign. Critics are going so far as to refer to a "traffic sign jungle", while zealously pointing to an inconsistently regulated toll system for trucks. The discussions revolving around traffic signs and truck tolls must leave average EU citizens shaking their heads. Nevertheless, these traffic signs and truck toll systems actually mask substantial economic interests.

Both traffic signs and truck tolls are designed to regulate traffic on European roads. Still, not every traffic sign makes sense and not every truck toll that is levied can be viewed objectively. The fact is, an excess of traffic signs can be found in inner cities, where one traffic sign after is installed. And many of these traffic signs appear to be superfluous.

Drivers often have the impression that the installed traffic signs confuse than regulate the traffic. A solution unfortunately does not appear to be on the horizon.

Transportation and Logistics

This field deals with all spatial and time-related activities involved in bridging the gap between goods and people, including their restructuring. This begins with the supplier and follows each stage of the operational value chain to product delivery and concludes with product disposal and recycling.

innovations-report provides informative reports and articles on such topics as traffic telematics, toll collection, traffic management systems, route planning, high-speed rail (Transrapid), traffic infrastructures, air safety, transport technologies, transport logistics, production logistics and mobility.

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Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic

There's "Counting Crows," counting sheep, counting blessings and now researchers at Florida Atlantic University have their own version of "counting cars" -- literally -- in an attempt to improve traffic flow on South Florida's and our nation's overcrowded roads. And with more than 263 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States and more than 14 million registered vehicles in Florida alone, this is no small feat.

Ensuring that traffic moves smoothly and without a lot of manual intervention requires automated car counting techniques, which are often tedious and...

10.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

From parking garage to smart multi-purpose garage

What is the key to effectively managing urban parking garages? In a collaborative project dubbed Park_up, Fraunhofer IAO is working with partners to develop long-term solutions. As part of the project, the partners are exploring digital utilization concepts aimed at improving urban traffic and logistics flows as a way to relieve strain on people and the environment.

Cities face an ongoing challenge in their endeavors to provide adequate parking and to use parking spaces effectively. Park_up aims to develop new, digital...

19.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Efficient and intelligent: Drones get to grips with planning the delivery of goods

In 2013, Amazon was one of the first to declare the intention to work towards the automated delivery of goods by small autonomous helicopters. A multi-disciplinary research team at the Alpen-Adria-Universität assembled by Christian Bettstetter and Friederike Wall is due to deliver initial insights on the efficient operation of (self-organised) delivery of goods. Doctoral student Pasquale Grippa will present the results at the conference “Robotics: Science and Systems”, which is scheduled to take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from July 12th.

“We are analysing a system in which customers order goods that are stored in depots and the subsequent deliveries are made by drones”, Christian Bettstetter...

12.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Variable speed limits could reduce crashes, ease congestion in highway work zones

As the summer months approach, most people turn to thoughts of sunshine, outdoor barbecues and destination trips. Yet travelers often are greeted by detours, lane closures and delays for road repairs that generally are reserved for warmer weather.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have studied systems to alleviate inevitable backups and delays. Researchers found that using variable speed limits...

07.06.2017 | nachricht Read more

Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow

The presence of just a few autonomous vehicles can eliminate the stop-and-go driving of the human drivers in traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes, according to new research. The finding indicates that self-driving cars and related technology may be even closer to revolutionizing traffic control than previously thought.

"Our experiments show that with as few as 5 percent of vehicles being automated and carefully controlled, we can eliminate stop-and-go waves caused by human...

10.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits

Researchers designed a new tool for cities to optimize electric bus systems, which has now been used in Sweden’s first wireless charging bus system, launched in December.

The rollout of Sweden’s first wireless charging buses earlier this month was coupled with something the rest of the world could use – namely, a tool for cities...

09.01.2017 | nachricht Read more

Realistic training for extreme flight conditions

New simulation software improves helicopter pilot training

Missions at sea, in mountainous regions or close to skyscrapers are extremely risky for helicopter pilots. The turbulent air flows near oil rigs, ships, cliffs...

28.12.2016 | nachricht Read more

Laser rescue system for serious accidents

Better technology and modern materials increase the traffic safety and save human life. But they pose totally new challenges for the emergency personnel at the accident site. Because today, tools like hydraulic rescue cutters more and more often reach their limits. A mobile laser unit for rescue missions shall solve this problem. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), six project partners and eight associated partners have teamed up to develop this system.

In the past 25 years, the number of road traffic deaths has been drastically reduced, and the number of severely injured persons decreased significantly, too....

29.11.2016 | nachricht Read more

Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot

Success for BIBA student project | "Last Mile Assistant Robot" facilitates the parcel delivery | Final of the world-acclaimed "DHL robotics challenge" to be held on 17th November, 2016

A place on the podium of the "DHL Robotics Challenge 2016" is now safe for the student team from three faculties of the University of Bremen, Germany, as they...

19.10.2016 | nachricht Read more

Discovering electric mobility in a playful way

Case studies on user-friendly services and innovative business models

How can services help encourage the spread of electric mobility, and how can they be systematically developed? Using four case studies from Finland, Estonia,...

18.08.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

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While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

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