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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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More quality, not more weight, may make vehicles safer, U-M researcher says

A University of Michigan physicist and a research scientist are questioning the belief that bigger and heavier vehicles are automatically safer than other cars and trucks. U-M physicist Marc Ross and Tom Wenzel, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), recently released a report which shows that vehicle quality is actually a better predictor of safety - both for the driver and for other drivers - than weight. The two will discuss their results at a briefi 26.07.2002 | nachricht Read more

ASU researcher puts recalled Firestone tires to good use

New field studies produce environment-friendly results An Arizona State University researcher is making good use of some of the 14 million Firestone tires that were recalled two years ago. The tires were used on Ford Explorers and recalled after reports of tread separation. How to dispose of all those used tires without causing serious environmental hazards once had state officials scratching their heads, but Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Han Zhu believes has the answe 26.07.2002 | nachricht Read more

One-sided view on Public transport

When solving problems in the public transport sector, the standpoint taken is often too one-sided. These types of problems need an interdisciplinary approach. This is the conclusion of Wijnand Veeneman, who will defend his thesis at TU Delft on Monday 24 June. He researched four different cases in Switzerland, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands. Veeneman: “An integral, gradual approach is needed.” Scientists have many useful ideas about better public transport. Veeneman: “The content of the 21.06.2002 | nachricht Read more

France launches in Valenciennes a new research program on transport safety

France launches in Valenciennes a 6,4 million euro research program on transport safety. It reinforces the international position of Nord-Pas de Calais and the University of Valenciennes. The scientific council of the New Research Action “Safety in Transport Systems”, which came together at the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambrésis on the 31st of January 2002, has just validated and launched a program composed of 7 projects stretched out until 2006. 6,4 million euros will b 25.02.2002 | nachricht Read more

Origami solves road map riddle

Match up folds to fight stubborn paper. No road journey is complete without a wrestle with the map. Now a US computer scientist has worked out why the map usually wins. Erik Demaine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge has come up with an origami algorithm that predicts when a stubborn street plan will be re-foldable. "It’s the meeting of paper folding and computer science," he says. The rules governing whether a sheet of paper divided into a g 19.02.2002 | nachricht Read more

New computerised system will enable wheelchair users to easily navigate town centres

A computerised navigation system has been developed to enable wheelchair users to select the most accessible routes around a town centre. It means a journey can be planned that avoids obstacles like cobbled streets, steep areas and steps. The work has been carried out by a team led by Professor Hugh Matthews, at University College Northampton, with funding from the Swindon based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The ‘Wheelyroute’ system, believed to be the first 18.02.2002 | nachricht Read more

Air traffic tussles up annoyance

Controversies over new airport runways make locals more noise-sensitive. Public controversy surrounding the impending building of a runway may make locals much more sensitive to increased aircraft noise than planners predict. A new study warns that it could be easy to underestimate the impact of changes such as those proposed for Britain’s Heathrow Airport. A new runway began operating at Vancouver International Airport in 1996 after highly publicized local objection to 30.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Improving mobility in the city through research

Every citizen dreams of spending less time in traffic jams, away from polluted air, while continuing to enjoy the same level of mobility and quality of life as today. On Thursday, 31 January, Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin will participate in the conference “Towards Sustainable Urban Mobility” jointly organised by the European Commission and the European Parliament. The objective of this Conference is to present a network of ten projects in the field of land use and transport funded unde 30.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Noise quietens driving

Sensors and loudspeakers reduce in-car racket. Tired of shouting to your passenger as you drive, striving to make your voice heard over the rumble of the car? Help is on the way, in the form of strategically placed sensors and loudspeakers. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Taejon have developed a prototype system that shaves up to 6 decibels off the typical motoring noise of around 60 decibels. That’s more than any other co 28.01.2002 | nachricht Read more

Perforating aircraft wings with minute holes could make for more efficient flying

One way to make aeroplanes fly more efficiently is to drill millions of tiny holes in the leading edges of the wings. Like the dimples on a golf ball this has the effect of reducing drag. However, producing these holes on a manufacturing scale is not yet commercially feasible. Researchers at Heriot-Watt University, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the aerospace company BAE SYSTEMS, have carried out a series of fundamental studies on drilling such holes 14.01.2002 | nachricht Read more
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