Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

HEAVYROUTE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 31461
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Sweden

Heavy vehicle routes under scrutiny

A European project has developed an advanced route guidance system for road freight transport throughout Europe. The initiative promises to benefit truck drivers, the state of Europe's roads and the environment as a whole.
Heavy vehicle routes under scrutiny
The volume of freight traffic on Europe's roads is still increasing – a 50 % increase in transport of goods is forecast by 2020. Damage to roads, bridges and footpaths is just one of the effects, not to mention unacceptable congestion in areas including our towns and cities. Truck operators are also feeling the brunt of economic changes with rising costs and increased demands from safety legislation.

One strategy that would relieve the burden on road networks, operators and the environment is to develop digital maps for truck drivers in Europe. Basically, Europe's road infrastructure would be accessible via electronic mapping systems to lorry drivers and their operators.

The EU-funded 'Intelligent route guidance of heavy vehicles' (Heavyroute) project rose to the challenge by first assessing stakeholder and user requirements for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) management and route guidance systems and services. The partners then identified factors that would influence route optimisation and collated details of all databases containing relevant data.

Simulations were then applied to traffic and assessment of the effects of possible situations on traffic management solutions if implemented on a European scale. In particular, critical areas such as bridges and tunnels were incorporated. Other variables based on the effects of economic incentives like price differentiation and legislation were also considered.

The applications developed by Heavyroute allow the driver to plan and execute an optimised route to minimise time, cost and damage to the environment. A pre-trip route planning system and guidance on navigation while on the planned route is available as well as an application to monitor and manage HGVs at bridges, usually the source of a bottleneck in the journey.

Work by the Heavyroute project is comprehensive to say the least. However, what is critical is that the results be made available to all stakeholders. Project results have therefore been disseminated internationally at conferences and workshops.

The system is unique and takes into account for the first time road user needs for the ultimate in safety combined with the most economic options. The Heavyroute developments are set to pave the way for a robust pan-European system.

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