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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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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...

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