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Transport

30 June 2021

Saving railways from sand

In desert regions and sandy coastal areas, windblown sand can bury infrastructure such as railways, and cause problems such as train derailment, grinding down rails or wheels and wearing down coatings on the nose of high-speed locomotives. But knowing how best to protect tracks and trains from sand is tricky because there has been no reliable way of predicting how sand will behave – until now.
22 April 2021

Paris to Berlin in an hour by train? Here’s how it could happen.

The hyperloop is what you get when you take a magnetic levitation train and put it into an airless tube. The lack of resistance allows the train, in theory, to achieve unseen speeds, a concept that is edging closer and closer to reality – and could provide a greener alternative to short-haul air travel.
20 April 2021

Do you trust automated cars? If not, you’re not alone

Picture yourself speeding down the highway with no hands on the wheel, checking your emails while your car takes care of responding to what’s happening on the road. Would you trust your car to make the right decisions? If you have doubts, you’re not alone. 
13 April 2021

New materials to make ships more sustainable and less noisy for marine life

Ships have a significant environmental impact during building, operation and when they’re scrapped, but new approaches and composite materials to replace steel – still popular due to its strength and low cost – could make vessels more sustainable, recyclable, and less noisy for marine animals.
15 February 2021

How the ‘physical internet’ could revolutionise the way goods are moved

Shipping goods from furniture to food could be transformed by a new transport network called the ‘physical internet.’ It is built on similar principles to the internet, which revolutionised the way information flows around the word, including open access and global interconnectedness. Researchers hope to make it a reality by 2040, when a fully autonomous network should be in place.
10 February 2021

Back with a boom? Supersonic planes get ready for a quieter, greener comeback

Almost 20 years after Concorde was grounded, civilian supersonic aircraft seem ready to take off again. New technology is pushing a new generation of aircraft forward, but challenges remain, from regulations to plain old economics.
02 November 2020

How hybrid electric and fuel aircraft could green air travel

With air traffic set to increase 5% every year until 2030, scientists are looking at how to make aeroplanes more sustainable. But with current batteries making electric aircraft far too heavy, hybrid fuel and electric models could point the way forward for greener air travel - and could become airborne within 15 years.
18 September 2020

Five things to know about: making self-driving cars safe

Self-driving cars, or connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), are closer than ever to becoming a mainstay on our roads. Already, many modern cars have self-driving capabilities – now the next step is full automation.
14 September 2020

Pandemic freight emissions reached 2030 target in just months. How do we make the changes stick?

The pandemic left a visible imprint on car, bus and bicycle use – and at its height brought about cleaner city air – but it also disrupted another, less obvious but highly polluting sector: freight transport. Coronavirus plunged millions of planes, trucks, trains and ships into a massive experiment, disrupting supply chains as national borders closed and industries shut down. Researchers and industry are now looking to see if any of the changes will stick.
08 July 2020

Quiet and green: Why hydrogen planes could be the future of aviation

Today, aviation is responsible for 3.6% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. Modern planes use kerosene as fuel, releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But what if there was another way?