However, there are a myriad of projects going on around the world at various stages of maturity in all sectors that involve the transport of goods and people.
Here are a few examples ranging from AI systems used to speed up the loading and unloading of passengers and cargo in ports to building infrastructure from more environmentally friendly materials with built-in sensors that could dramatically reduce costs. costs across a county’s entire travel network.
Smart rail infrastructure
Rail is considered one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel and transport goods, but building infrastructure uses a significant amount of energy, known as âembedded carbonâ.
For example, the cables that supply trains with electricity are supported by masts which are typically made from energy-hungry galvanized steel on steel pile foundations.
Engineering firm Furrer + Frey and composite material maker Prodrive are working with Cranfield University to develop a prototype composite overhead line mast with smart sensors integrated with railway technology developers TruckTrain and research teams from Universities of Southampton and Newcastle.
It is hoped that significant energy and carbon savings will be achieved on each mast, which will add up considerably over the thousands of miles of electric railway in the UK.
Matt Bradney, Director of Business Development at Prodrive Composites, says, âThe composite ingredient in masts is significantly lighter and stronger than steel. We are aiming for a composite incorporating a minimum, or even negative, of embedded carbon.
âWe hope this project will fuel further experiments with composites in the rail industry to advance sustainable innovation. “
Noel Dolphin, UK Projects Manager for Furrer + Frey, adds: âTo decarbonize transport, it is essential to move away from fossil fuels quickly and deploy electrified trains. But it is also important that the infrastructure involved in this process is as green as possible.
âWe are delighted to partner with experts from across our industry to solve one of the big issues facing UK rail – low carbon, low cost electrification work. “
The integrated sensors will deliver data directly to infrastructure owners, allowing better targeting of maintenance, reducing the need for manual controls at the line edge, which will also save fuel.
Cranfield will work with Newcastle University on materials that will be used in the INnovative MAst for Greener Electrification (IMAGE) mast structure. Prodrive Composites will design the production method and the University of Southampton will work on the foundation for the mast. TruckTrain will analyze the overall financial and carbon benefits of IMAGE.
The project aims to demonstrate IMAGE in early 2022, after which Furrer + Frey intends to deploy the masts across the UK and beyond.
A developer of port information management systems, Innovez One provides its AI-powered MarineM digital platform to optimize Singapore-based passenger and equipment transport service provider, Cast Marine Offshore, to optimize its operations and improve the efficiency of its 20-vessel fleet.
Slyvia Lim, Director of Cast Marine Offshore said: âWe believe in the potential of digital technologies to increase our efficiency and provide the best possible service to our customers. Adopting digital solutions will allow us to remain relevant and competitive as a service provider, now and in the future.
Using GPS and AIS tracking, MarineM is designed to track each vessel’s position and work status in real time. This will ensure that tasks are allocated as efficiently as possible and that all last minute requests are handled transparently.
The software can also automate a number of operations by replacing paper invoicing procedures with electronic receipts and invoices for completed jobs, thereby streamlining the accounting process. It will also reduce passenger wait times by issuing electronic tickets, allowing them to access boarding information from their smartphones, check in more easily and be instantly informed of any last minute changes.
David Yeo, CEO and Founder of Innovez One, says: âAs we’ve seen in recent months, the first and last mile of a sea voyage is often a weak link in global supply chains. Even small delays can lead to a domino effect that exacerbates port congestion.
âThe adoption of digital solutions by the multiple players involved will ensure that all the pieces fall into place to accommodate a ship when it arrives at a port and facilitate its rapid departure when ready to depart.
Civil aviation is also undergoing a rapid digital transformation which has raised a number of critical challenges. For example, the convergence of data from traditional siled networks to support new services and the improvement of the passenger Wi-Fi experience in terminals.
In addition, due to the “cloudification of services”, airports must respond to cybersecurity challenges and, due to the ever increasing scale of the network, they must also increase the efficiency of operations and maintenance.
To help address these issues, Chinese tech company Huawei launched its Airport Cloud-Network solution which includes an airport terminal access network, backbone network, cloud data center network, and built-in network security. .
According to Huawei, the solution leverages AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 to create a gigabit wireless access network across airport terminals for continuous coverage, eliminating blind spots and increasing coverage distance by 20%. .
The Airport Cloud-Network solution uses IPv6 + technology to create a centralized backbone network for several services such as security checks, retail and ground support. It also supports automatic network deployment to speed up service delivery and uses smart technologies to predict and locate outages.
In addition, it provides a cloud-network-security collaboration system to detect threats with over 96% accuracy and for intelligent analysis, delivering real-time insight.
Alex Sun, vice president of Huawei’s data communications product line, said, âWith continuous technological innovations in airport safety, efficiency and experience, Huawei will continue to work with more customers. and partners around the world to advance the Airport Cloud-Network solution, digital transformation for smart airports.
Smart traffic solutions
In terms of sustainable mobility in cities, avoiding traffic jams is essential. Intelligent traffic management enables authorities to register and react to traffic conditions in real time, while having positive effects on the environment and quality of life.
âTraffic jams and associated emissions create a public health crisis and cause millions of dollars in lost productivity,â says Gerd GrÃ¶bminger, Vice President of Sales CENECA (Central Eastern Northern Europe & Central Asia) at Kapsch TrafficCom, based in Austria. âThat’s why we encourage innovation and technology in key areas such as connected driving, smart roads and smart mobility pricing. All of these must work together if we are to achieve lasting change. “
One of its solutions, Green Wave Assistant, processes traffic light timing data and sends it to a smartphone app or a vehicle’s navigation system so that drivers can see when the traffic lights are on. green so that they can move smoothly with each other thus reducing traffic jams and saving fuel / energy.
Another of its tools for tackling traffic jams is EcoTrafix, which optimizes the timing of traffic lights, so that traffic jams don’t form at intersections, potentially reducing traffic jams by up to 25%, according to Kapsch.
It also includes data exchange with navigation providers. By using deep learning algorithms, it is not only possible to determine the optimal routing for the traffic, but also to balance the traffic according to local needs on all available routes.
One of the more than 50 projects currently underway in cities around the world, in which Kapsch is involved, is “Mobility Hub” which covers more than 100 km of roads, more than 70 intersections and several types of transport within the Australian Integrated Multimodal Ecosystem (AIMES) in Melbourne. Kapsch claims it is the world’s first and largest connected urban testing ecosystem.