Electrification of the public transport is a raising trend in Europe, and electric buses are soon expected to enter markets as one of the most interesting options for matching urban environmental targets. Electrification is driven by both economics and politics. However, although technology is not yet fully matured and ready for wide commercialisation, a large demonstration project will facilitate the market up-take of electric buses in Europe. Furthermore, as unambiguous and extensive information about overall effects of electrified bus systems and related needs for changes on infrastructure do not exist today, UITP sees its objectives and those matching perfectly, and this led UITP to build a consortium of 40 partners, who were already considering their actions along this theme, and to collectively design the 42-months demonstration project ZeEUS – Zero-Emission Urban Bus Systems.
ZeEUS project focus on the today's challenge in the electrification of bus system, the extension of the fully-electric solution to a wider part of the urban network. This goes through the development of electric vehicles of large capacity, and the creation of an infrastructure capable of providing the required charging energy, operated according to non-disruptive and grid-balancing principles.
The ZeEUS project will cover innovative electric bus solutions with different types of electrical power-train systems. Full-electric battery-based busses will be demonstrated in five locations (Barcelona, Bonn, Muenster, Plzen and Rome), whereas plug-in hybrid or range-extender type of power-trains will be demonstrated in three sites (London, Glasgow and Stockholm).
The lifetime of project ZeEUS is long enough to collect sufficient amount of statistically valid data and make comprehensive analysis to deliver meaningful “lessons learned”, guidelines and provide feedback to the R&D activity of manufacturers and suppliers to make technology mature for wide commercialisation.
'As mentioned in the Executive Summary of the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda, Aviation has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as noise and local air quality issues. The continuous increase of air passenger transport generates an increasing use of hydrocarbon fuel with excessive emission of CO2 and NOX (greenhouse gases, pollutants and noise). It is well known that commercial aircraft operations impact the atmosphere by the emissions of greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas precursors, and also through the formation of contrails and cirrus clouds. In 2011, during the Aerodays in Madrid, the EC launched the future of Aeronautics in the ACARE Flight Path 2050 Vision for the Aircraft report containing the ambitious goals on the environmental impact with 90% reduction in NOx emissions, 75% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer, and the reduction of the noise in by 65%, all relative to year 2000.
To achieve the ACARE Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda green aeronautics technologies will play a more and more dominant role in mastering the challenge on “Protecting the environment and the energy supply”. GRAIN2 Supported Action, based on the same collaborative and win-win spirit introduced in former EU-China GRAIN project, will provide inputs and roadmaps for the development of large scale simulation strategies for greener technologies to meet the above future requirements on emissions, fuel consumption and noise. To reach these targets, green technologies efforts will have to be collected and prospected in three major lines: Air vehicle, Air Transport System and Sustainable Energies. Three folds to be investigated as future greening technologies:
1) Greening the aircraft and the aero engine
2) Greening the operational environment
3) Reducing the carbon foot print of aviation via sustainable alternative fuels'
'Cargo handling by Automated Next generation Transportation Systems for ports and terminals' aims to to create smart Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Highly Automated Trucks (HATs) that can co-operate in shared workspaces for efficient and safe freight transportation in main ports and freight terminals.
The project builds on an active dialog with customers, workforce and authorities to maximize acceptance and exploitation of the project results.
The specific objectives are:
-Increase performance and throughput of freight transportation in main ports and freight terminals and maintain a high level of safety
-Develop an automated shared work yard for intelligent AGVs and highly automated trucks
-Develop and demonstrate planning, decision, control and safety strategies for automated vehicles
-Develop and demonstrate an environmental perception system and a grid-independent positioning system
-Which combination of positioning techniques and sensors allow for reliable and accurate positioning in view of the proposed applications?
-How can reliable environmental perception be achieved, i.e. moving and stationary object detection, drivable path detection, docking point detection, absolute and relative object positioning ?
-How to set-up and integrate a vehicle control system, including high-level site planning, path planning, interaction planning and feedback control?
-How can functional safety of automated vehicles be achieved?'
PORTOPIA aims to develop, next to extensions of existing indicators within the different perspectives of port performance, innovative approaches for the industry's stakeholders, such as:
• Development of a forecasting dimension in port performance management within the market trends and structure category;
• Development of top-down methods for harmonised socio-economic impact calculation;
• Development of an innovative, port-individualized tool for environmental and safety performance;
• Development of European port-related logistics chain connectivity indicators;
• Development of new governance indicators based on the changing role of port authorities, including indicators on financial capabilities and transparency;
• Development of a method to capture user perceptions of port performance;
• Development of a dedicated performance management system for the inland ports sector, including attention to the interaction between sea and inland ports;
• Development of a strategy map and an integrated benchmarking tool taking into account the specificities of ports.
Furthermore, PORTOPIA aims to increase substantially the efficiency (user friendliness) of the data collection, to automate the calculations and the management system, and to build a solid data warehouse ensuring data confidentiality of individual contributors in all phases (collection, calculation, reporting). Also, further professionalizing of the communication and dissemination of results through a dedicated website, professional reporting, annual events on port performance, etc. belongs to PORTOPIA’s objectives. The end result of PORTOPIA will be a state-of-the-art, sustainable, self-supporting
European Ports Observatory, endorsed by port stakeholders, that provides superior value to the industry and its stakeholders by supplying transparent, useful and robust indicators and the contextual analysis of thereof, leading to improved resource efficiency, effectiveness and societal support for the European Port System.
'Recent directives outline the need to mitigate underwater noise footprint due to shipping, to prevent negative consequences to marine life. In that context, the final goal of AQUO project is to provide to policy makers practical guidelines, acceptable by shipyards and ship owners. The list of solutions will be split into solutions regarding ship design (including propeller and cavitation noise), and solutions related to shipping control and regulation. Exploitation of the AQUO project results is expected to have significant impacts, meeting the requirements of the MSFD.
The project is supported by relevant methods and tools, which will be used to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures in order to select the most appropriate:
- A noise footprint assessment tool will be derived from Quonops an existing operational underwater noise prediction system, connectable with AIS shipping data. The tool will be adapted to the problem considered and validated by comparison with in-situ measurements at sea.
- Dedicated bio-acoustic studies will be conducted on different marine species representative to European maritime areas, with the goal to derive criteria regarding shipping underwater noise acceptable limits.
- Computer methods will be developed and scale model experiments will be done to predict radiated noise from ship propellers, including cavitation effects and interaction with ship hull. These predictive techniques will be validated by comparison to measurements.
- To support the analysis, several vessels, including commercial ships, will be tested at sea. Indeed, the project will benefit from the strong expertise of the consortium in the field of ship noise and vibrations, relying on long term experience on many ships, and a dedicated database. A proposal for ship Underwater Radiated Noise measurement European standard will also be produced.
The consortium is a well-balanced team composed of ship industry, specialized companies, a classification society, research centers and academics. Different European countries are represented. The team includes a large panel of specialists covering the different technical topics to address, allowing a multi-disciplinary approach.'
'Growth in demand for rail transportation across Europe is predicted to continue. Much of this growth will have to be accommodated on existing lines that contain old infrastructure. This demand will increase both the rate of deterioration of these elderly assets and the need for shorter line closures for maintenance or renewal interventions. However, interventions on elderly infrastructure will also need to take account of the need for lower economic and environmental impacts. This means that new interventions will need to be developed. In addition tools will need to be developed to inform decision makers about the economic and environmental consequences of different intervention options being considered.
MAINLINE proposes to address all these issues through a series of linked work packages that will target at least €300m per year savings across Europe with a reduced environmental footprint in terms of embodied carbon and other environmental benefits. It will:
- Apply new technologies to extend the life of elderly infrastructure
- Improve degradation and structural models to develop more realistic life cycle cost and safety models
- Investigate new construction methods for the replacement of obsolete infrastructure
- Investigate monitoring techniques to complement or replace existing examination techniques
- Develop management tools to assess whole life environmental and economic impact.
The consortium includes leading railways, contractors, consultants and researchers from across Europe, including from both Eastern Europe and the emerging economies. Partners also bring experience on approaches used in other industry sectors which have relevance to the rail sector.
Project benefits will come from keeping existing infrastructure safely in service through the application of technologies and interventions based on life cycle considerations. Although MAINLINE will focus on certain asset types, the management tools developed will be applicable across a broader asset base.'