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Giving folding bikes the push they need

BIKE INTERMODAL, an EU-funded research project, combines two or more modes of transportation, in this case, cycling with public commuting or driving.

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Testing traffic ideas to ease city congestion

Cities are by definition concentrations of activity, and there should be no big surprise when they get congested and traffic grinds to a halt. But how can modern urban planners manage traffic so that people and goods can move freely, while keeping emissions low at the same time? A European Union (EU)-funded research project is finding answers by testing innovative solutions for more efficient and sustainable transport of cargo.

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Revolution in rail technology promises to boost EU competitiveness.

The successful testing of a 1.5 km-long freight train by an EU-funded project shows that Europe is on the right track when it comes to cost efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly solutions to the competitive demands of the 21st century.

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Containers get a redesign to pack more in: Tellibox

Shipping containers are crucial for European and global trade and yet concerns about capacity and efficiency and potential environmental drawbacks have led for calls for a redesign. Tellibox, an EU funded project, has done exactly that, successfully demonstrating the MegaSwapBox – a 100 metre-cubed container that can be loaded from three sides and is compatible with multiple transport modes.

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Are in-vehicle technologies improving road safety?

As technology advances, vehicle manufacturers are incorporating more and more gadgets such as cell phones, satellite navigators and in-car video systems into vehicles. But what are the effects of these in-vehicle technologies (IVTs) on road safety? Ten European research partners are trying to determine how safe they really are.

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Nice - A new era for the internal combustion engine

A new internal combustion engine addresses the drawbacks of petrol and diesel designs. As a result, it cuts both fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The project, NICE, was supported by the European Commission.

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Driverless Heathrow pods demonstrate the unimaginable

London Heathrow airport has recently introduced driverless pods to connect Terminal 5 with its car parks, replacing a regular bus service. A hit with travellers and techies alike, these pods are being introduced on the road with support from the European Commission’s Framework Programme for research.

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Towards a common European train

Rail interoperability is needed to ensure that the European trains of tomorrow will enjoy the same freedom of travel as the EU’s citizens do today. This is why the European Commission funded the MODTRAIN research project, which worked on standardising the numerous components that make up a train, as well as the interfaces between them.

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Going beyond ‘niche’: innovative public transport for the masses

The EU-supported ‘Niches+’ project recently held its final conference, which included the prize ceremony for the Osmose Awards, honouring local and regional authorities that have introduced new measures for sustainable urban transport.

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Innovative concepts of urban mobility

The Civitas Mimosa European project, working together with the citizens towards a new and innovative concept of urban mobility, is identifying where traffic congestion can be handled more effectively and how pollution can be reduced in the city center

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How are we reducing greenhouse gas emissions from urban mobility?

Forty percent of all road transport CO2 emissions come from urban mobility, according to the European Commission. Many projects aim to reduce greenhouse emissions while simultaneously improving mobility

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Making progress on public transport accessibility

EU-funded research projects, including 'Mediate' and 'Access2All' are finding new ways to get the disabled, elderly and other 'transport vulnerable' citizens into the public transport system. In doing so, they are making it easier for everyone to enjoy more efficient mobility.

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Matthew Turner: “Reduced weight, aerodynamics and fully recyclable composites to make freight transport greener”

A new composite material made of plastics, 75% lighter but almost as strong as steel, was created within the EU research project CLEANMOULD. Matthew Turner, composite engineer at EPL Composite Solutions, an independent research centre in Leicestershire, is the project coordinator

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The Plastic Trailer: a green revolution in transport

An aerodynamic shaped plastic truck trailer that is as solid as one made from steel but weighs 1200 kg less: Composite Engineers from an independent research centre in Loughborough, UK, succeeded in the development of a new material that could save up to 15 percent of fuel in freight transport

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Cars without drivers – not science fiction

During the recent 'car-free' day in Brussels, an event organised each year in conjunction with European Mobility Week, members of the public got a chance to try out the latest 'cybercars' – small autonomous vehicles for public transport.

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Werner Schönewolf: “The last mile is the most expensive in the logistic world. We want to overcome this last mile with a micro-carrier”

Freight delivery services have their own challenges when operating in the inner cities. The logistic experts working on the European funded FIDEUS project have taken this problem as a central issue for a complete redesign of the urban freight logistics by REBECCA PARSONS (Aug ’10)

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Solid ground for pedestrians on footbridges

Bringing walkers into the urban transport fold, 'YEAR 2010' award winner Sifiso Nhleko has developed an innovative and inexpensive method for testing the structural integrity of footbridges before they are built.

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'VIAJEO' for more efficient travel, transport planning

The newly launched EU-funded VIAJEO project will design, demonstrate and implement an IT-based open platform to collect and process data for travel information and transport planning in cities in Europe, China and Brazil.

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'CONCERTOUR' – transport for tourism

The CONCERTOUR project, developing new strategies and solutions for sustainable tourism, has held its final conference in Rome. Participants from across Europe discussed results and looked towards further research linking tourism and transport.

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‘iTREN 2030’ joining the dots

More than 45 experts from the European Commission, national governments, industry and the researcher community met in Brussels on 27 November 2007 for the iTREN-2030 project workshop. Among the questions they asked was how to predict the combined effects of EU-wide policies on energy, transport, economy and the environment.

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‘FELICITAS’ for heavy-duty transport powertrains

The FELICITAS Integrated Project is focusing on the development of fuel cell (FC) drive trains capable of meeting the exacting demands of heavy-duty transport for road, rail and marine applications.

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CITYMOBIL: advanced road transport for the urban environment

Partners in the EU-funded CITYMOBIL project presented their work at the Podcar City International PRT conference on 1-2 October 2007 in Uppsala, Sweden.

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‘EURO-TRANS’ hits the ground running

The EU-funded EURO-TRANS initiative is promoting and supporting the participation of small and medium size enterprises in European surface transport research projects. Partners met at a launch meeting in Brussels on 16 January 2007 to discuss actions and objectives.

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‘GLOBAL VIEW’ bringing railway world closer together

The Specific Support Action GLOBAL VIEW is disseminating the results of selected EU projects and learning from similar projects in India, China and Russia, identifying needs and priorities for joint international rail research projects.

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Coordination Action for the European Strategic Agenda of Research on Intermodalism and Logistics

Intermodal transport will supply more capacity, but this can only be achieved with a coordinated innovation agenda and various activities. Thus, it is necessary to bring together people with decision-making capabilities to influence the planning of research and technology programmes, hence the European Intermodal Research Advisory Council (EIRAC).

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Coordinating Noise Transportation Research and Engineering Solutions

CANTOR brings together a number of the major European academic/research institutes in acoustic research, and engages a series of experts from government agencies and the vehicle manufacturing industry chain (from system to component level for both road and rail), to focus on a way of improving vehicle noise performance.

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Integration of Two-component Ceramic Injection Moulding for Large-scale Production of Novel Multifunctional Ceramic Components for Automotive and Railway Applications

The aim of the project is the integration of the two-component ceramic injection moulding (2C-CIM) as a low-cost and large series production technique into the development of complex shaped ceramic components for automotive and railway applications, offering a high degree of structural and functional integrity.

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Container Handling in Intermodal Nodes - Optimal and Secure!

Transport operators currently face several challenges, which are driven by commercial, legal/security and technical factors. CHINOS will support operators to exploit these challenges in the best possible way by employing innovative IT technology solutions such as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This combination of commercial and security issues in one approach makes CHINOS quite unique.

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Developing Lightweight Modules for Transport Systems featuring Efficient Production and Life-cycle Benefits at Structural and Functional Integrity using Risk-based Design

DE-LIGHT Transport aims to develop new solutions, methods and tools for the design, production, integration and testing of complex modular lightweight structures in ships, intermodal transport containers and railway vehicles. Focus is given to the development of multi-material modules with a higher degree of pre-outfitting, as compared to the optimization of structural components which was mainly done in previous projects. Results will be used and demonstrated in large scale prototypes for six application cases.

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Fast Transhipment Equipment and Novel Methods for Rail Cargo in Europe

The project FastRCargo aims at developing the fastest transhipment system with the potential of a significant impact on rail innovations for 2010 and beyond. The system tranships standardised intermodal transport units between standardised rail wagons and trucks below active power lines.

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Fuel-cell Powertrains and Clustering in Heavy-duty Transports

FELICITAS aims to develop fuel-cell systems that are capable of meeting the demands of heavy-duty transport for road, rail and marine applications. These systems will be highly efficient, power-dense, durable, robust and reliable.

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Human Oriented Sustainable Transport mean

The HOST project aims at developing a multipurpose transport mean. Due to the modularity of the chassis and powertrains, HOST is capable of being equipped with a variety of bodies, providing new services for mobility and goods displacement in towns, and organising urban motorised traffic in a more rational way.

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Integrated Standard Transport Unit for Self-guided Freight Container Transportation Systems on Rail

The ISTU STREP project investigates, develops and demonstrates a cost-effective integrated propulsion unit and individual self-driven, two-container, cost-improved rail platform wagons for freight container transport between ports and cargo distribution centres. The new motor concept, integrating all the major propulsion features, is a key technology suited for the designed harbour vehicle called ISTU.

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Logistics-based Ship Design

LOGBASED develops methods/tools to provide designers, shipbuilders and ship operators with better guidance to develop effective ship designs for business opportunities relating to intermodal transportation solutions. Four ship designs will be developed on this basis and measured for their competitiveness.

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Modular Urban-guided Rail Systems

The main target of the MODURBAN project is to design, develop and test an innovative and open common core system architecture and its key interfaces, in preparation for the next generations of urban-guided public transport systems.

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Quiet City Transport

This project will develop an integrated technology infrastructure for the efficient control of ambient noise from road and rail. The activity supports the European noise policy to eliminate harmful effects of noise exposure and decrease levels of transport noise, especially in urban areas, deriving solutions that will ensure compliance with the constraints of legislative limits.

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Reduction of Cycle and Cost

The RC2 project goal is to reduce manufacturing costs and production lead time. RC2 will deliver not only an innovative manufacturing process based on the combination of rapid prototyping with the most suitable finishing but also

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Design of an Innovative System for the Drive and Control of Port Cranes for Safe Remote Operation

This project focuses on port cranes to increase their performance and safety and human operator working conditions, thus eliminating the gap between theoretical and real productivity (lifts/hour) of cranes. The core problem of crane productivity is the loss of efficiency from the human operator due to the stressful working conditions inside the crane cabin. SECURCRANE will develop a remote crane control, and an innovative anti-sway device, providing the operator with all information physically ‘sensed and seen’ in his position onboard so that a 3D television image supplies the driver at a remote site with the same information/functions as he had from the crane cabin seat.

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Scenarios for the Transport System and Energy Supply and their Potential Effects

The aim of this project is to develop, compare and assess possible scenarios for the transport system and energy supply of the future, taking into account the state of the art of relevant research and such criteria as the autonomy and security of energy supplies, effects on the environment and economy, and the interactions between transport and land use.

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Supervised Implementation of Sustainable Urban Transport Concepts

The main goal of TRANSPOWER is to supervise the implementation of sustainable urban transport. TRANSPOWER provides municipal and regional decision-makers with properly evaluated scientific information about best practices and relevant experience in order to implement sustainable, cost-effective, environmentally friendly and efficient urban transport concepts.

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Development of new intermodal loading units and dedicated adaptors for the trimodal transport of bulk materials in Europe

This project targets the development of new intermodal loading units (container plus adapter) including devices such as the ISO bulk container, roll-off container, capable adaptors and mobile fixtures suitable for the trimodal transport of bulk and packaged goods on road, railway and inland waterways.

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Design of Universal Accessibility Systems for Public Transport

This project wants to promote the networking and coordination of R&D activities in the field of universal design of accessibility systems for public transport with a comprehensive group of stakeholders who have a view to achieving equality of access to public transport in the EU.

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Advanced Noise Reduction Systems

Further efficient reduction of transport noise requires intensive research. CALM II aims at coordinating European research for advanced transport noise mitigation, in particular facilitating interdisciplinary networking and dissemination of knowledge, and at further development of the CALM strategic research plan. All transport modes are concerned: road, rail, waterborne and aeronautic together with outdoor equipements.

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Coordination Action of Ports for integration Of Efficient Innovations and development of adequate Research, development and innovation Activities

CAPOEIRA will concentrate on maximizing the opportunities for successfull research, development and innovation (RDI) in the field of freight transport activities in ports. These issues will be addressed as three separate topics: seaport interface, land-port interface, and port information and communication. Recommendations for future RDI projects for European ports will be developed through workshops by bringing together the main stakeholders from European ports: port associations, technology platforms, research projects and advisory councils.

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Coordination of CONcepts for NEw Collective Transport

The scope of this proposal is flexible collective mobility services (FCMS). This covers all forms of intermediate transport which may be classified as flexible and collective. The use of urban collective transport for passenger traffic and small goods traffic has important potential from the viewpoint of environment and city logistics. There are considerable possibilities to reduce (gasoline-fuelled) private traffic, save operating costs and increase the level of service experienced by the passenger whilst also encouraging the promotion of small alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

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European Research Forum for Urban Mobility

This project aims to help match the demand and supply side of EU research in the field of urban mobility, better assess the research needs of the sector, and validate (by stakeholder consultation) the research priorities for urban mobility, bearing in mind EU and national research programmes, notably the Seventh Framework Programme.

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Freight Innovative Delivery in European Urban Spaces

The aim of the project is to provide a complementary set of vehicle solutions to support an innovative approach to the organisation of urban freight transport, in line with political strategies to safeguard the liveability of cities, while being compatible with efficient logistics. Urban freight delivery is both a contributor to and a victim of the growing congestion in urban areas, which exposes the population to noise, pollution and nuisance. The target of FIDEUS is to contribute to the economic livelihood of business and retail activities located in the city in a practical way, with policies oriented towards more sustainable mobility.

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New and Innovative Concepts for Helping European Transport Sustainability

NICHES will facilitate the coordination of the research activities of academic institutions, industry, mobility operators and transport authorities regarding key urban transport innovations that lack broad deployment. NICHES aims to stimulate a wide debate between relevant stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines across the EU and Accession Countries in order to promote the most promising new concepts, initiatives and projects from their current ‘niches’ (sic) position to a ‘mainstream’ urban transport policy application.

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Coordination Action on Advanced Sandwich Structures in the Transportation Industry

SAND.CORe aims to foster the application of innovative sandwich structures in European transport systems, particularly in the maritime and rail sectors. This will be done by:

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Sustainable Construction of Underground Transport Infrastructures

The SCOUT project develops a new environmentally friendly concept of ‘cut-and-cover’ tunnels, based on a holistic approach that combines the generalisation of the observational method, optimisation of design, breakthrough construction equipment and new applications of composite materials.

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Quieter Surface Transport in Urban Areas

SILENCE develops an integrated system of methodologies and technologies for the efficient control of urban traffic noise. This takes into account the overall needs of city authorities with respect to noise creation from individual traffic (on road) and mass transport (on rail and road). A holistic treatment is made of all traffic noise facets: urban noise scenarios, individual noise sources, infrastructure, traffic management, noise perception and annoyance.

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Sustainability Impact Assessment of Strategies Integrating Transport, Technology and Energy Scenarios

Both transport and energy systems contribute to an ever-increasing quality of human life. On the other hand, adverse environmental impacts and insecurity of fossil energy sources and supplies constitute major risks for sustainable development. TRIAS develops and assesses integrated scenarios to adapt the transport-energy system to make it more sustainable in the future.

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Full steam ahead – Transport Research in support of EU maritime policy

Research plays a vital role in boosting the competitiveness of the European maritime sector, but supporting an all-embracing maritime policy means facing some formidable challenges. A new brochure, ‘Marine related research and the future European Maritime Policy’, outlines the opportunities and breadth of research required.

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‘CREATING’ shifting cargo from road to water

The EU-funded CREATING project brings together 29 partners from nine European countries, including nearly all countries bordering the Rhine and Danube rivers. Its goal is to reinvigorate waterborne freight traffic through innovative solutions, releasing some of the pressure on European roads.

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Land transport research: putting Europe’s railway infrastructure on the right track

The European Commission is promoting a coordinated research strategy for Europe’s extensive railway systems. Officials say investment at both national and EU levels and by public and private organisations is crucial.

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MODURBAN – next generation urban rail systems

Partners representing major rail integrators, suppliers, operators, research centres and the Union of the European Railway Industries (UNIFE) met in Brussels on 27 January 2005 for the kick-off meeting of EU Integrated Project MODURBAN (Modular urban guided rail systems).

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‘INTRANSNET’ – building co-operation between transport researchers

An efficient transport network, including air, road, marine and rail systems, is a crucial prerequisite for Europe’s economic growth. This means maintaining good communications between the various actors involved in transport research, from basic physical research and engineering on land transport and intelligent traffic systems through to seat comfort modelling for trains and planes.

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