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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 Plan to Connect Petrol Stations to Natural Gas Supply to Fuel Hydrogen Powered Cars

Researchers at the University of Warwick’s Warwick Process Technology Group are leading a programme called “Hydrofueler” to develop technology to connect petrol stations to the normal natural gas supply to fuel hydrogen powered vehicles. The 2.8 million euro EC funded three year research programme has already drawn interest from Exxon Mobil, and BMW. One of the problems with using hydrogen powered cars is how do you keep their fuel cells supplied with a ready source of hydrogen? The Warwick 14.02.2003 | nachricht Read more

A New Tool to Help Keep Roads Ice- and Snow-Free

Testing Begins This Winter The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are testing a Web-based system for weather forecasting and winter road treatment that could soon save lives, cut costs, and help keep millions of drivers on the move. Highway officials and road crews in Des Moines and Ames, Iowa, will test the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) February 3 to April 4. Motor vehicle accidents involving bad weather 27.01.2003 | nachricht Read more

A bright idea: Roadside beacons warn motorists of danger ahead

Fog-related pileups such as last month’s 71-car collision in Texas could become a thing of the past with roadside "smart beacons" that use the latest wireless technology to sense wrecks and warn motorists of danger ahead. So say three University of Florida engineering researchers who this month applied for a patent on the concept for the beacons, which would be placed at regular intervals on roadside rights of way and would flash red or yellow lights to indicate a hazard ahead. 16.01.2003 | nachricht Read more

On track for better rail transport in Europe: the EU Strategic Rail Research Agenda

Today in Brussels the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC) presented a comprehensive Strategic Rail Research Agenda (SRRA), which identifies key scientific and technological priorities for both passenger and freight rail transport over the next 20 years. ERRAC was created one year ago in Cologne, initiated by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. It is the first time that a long-term plan for rail research and technological development has been jointly devised a 18.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Engineering the road to safer streetlighting

An innovative engineering project could lead to fewer night-time accidents on badly lit roads. It is developing a revolutionary way of assessing whether roads are equipped with appropriate levels of streetlighting. The new assessment system is quicker, cheaper and more comprehensive than methods previously used. It can also help local authorities avoid the cost of unnecessary streetlight replacement. The project is being carried out by engineers at Queen’s Univers 10.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Sinking boats raise automatic alarm up to space

At best, a yachtsman far out to sea experiences an exhilarating solitude to equal any space traveller. But too much isolation at sea can give rise to loneliness, disorientation and multiple dangers. A new ESA-developed technology enables boat crews to check their positions, stay in constant contact with shore, receive urgent emergency warnings, and enable friends and family to remotely track them on the internet. If a boat becomes dangerously water-logged or its power system is o 14.11.2002 | nachricht Read more

Foggy road

What happens if fog comes on roads? First of all, visibility falls down, so the risk for a car accident increases, especially on highways. Scientists from Central Aerological Observatory have constructed a special electrostatic filter, which eliminates the fog at a distance up to 10 meters. The filter looks like a metal frame with a precipitation electrode - thin metal plates, separated with high-voltage isolators. It also has a corona-forming electrode of a twisted wire. The unit is grounded with a 18.10.2002 | nachricht Read more

ESA is helping to make road transport more effective

Space is the usual business of a space agency, so it may come as a surprise that the European Space Agency (ESA) is giving some attention to road transport. The agency is designing and building the satellites that will make up the space segment of Galileo, Europe`s own global satellite navigation system. When Galileo becomes fully operational in 2008, road vehicles fitted with special receivers will be able to use signals broadcast by the satellites to determine their positions with u 02.10.2002 | nachricht Read more

Car jack lifts another major award

Last night an innovative ‘airbag’ car jack developed in conjunction with engineers from Sheffield Hallam University won yet another major national award, when Leeroy Brown beat off stiff competition to scoop the coveted Consumer Award at the BBC’s Tomorrows World Awards, in association with NESTA. He collected the £5000 prize at a glittering awards ceremony, held at London’s Television Centre. Leeroy had secured his place at the awards by winning his round of BBC ONE’s Best Inventions, broa 26.09.2002 | nachricht Read more

Delft researcher develops design-rules for transport networks

Large changes unnecessary for multimodal transport Multimodal transport is not in need of redesigned networks, rather of well designed ones. This is one of the conclusions from the PhD research of Rob van Nes, who will defend his thesis on Wednesday 25 September at TU Delft. “A highway with too many on and off ramps actually becomes a main road. This might be handy, but it is not effective.” Van Nes, who carried out his research at TRAIL research school, laid the theoretical foundati 25.09.2002 | nachricht Read more
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