The transport network across Europe faces many common challenges across its modes related to topics such as carbon reduction targets, energy security and depletion of natural resources. The road and rail infrastructure in particular are ageing and require renewal. The safety and security of critical infrastructure is becoming more and more of a concern, taking into account the negative impact that a disruption of those infrastructures would provoke on citizens’ quality of life. Simultaneously, advances in sensors, mobile communications, smart ticketing and ‘big data’ offer the potential for customers to become an active part of the transport operations system and have the information to make decisions – for transport to enable ‘mode agnostic’ personal and business travel and – for freight operators to have more resilience and better reliability in their systems.
USE-iT (Users, Safety, Security and Energy In Transport Infrastructure) is a 24-month Coordination and Support Action (CSA) project funded within the H2020 framework programme, with a vision to better understand the common challenges experienced across all transport modes, bring representatives of modes together to share experience and skills and to develop a set of common research objectives.
The project refers to three important topics – providing better customer information, improving safety and security and reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption. In the longer term, the ambition is that there will be a vibrant community of stakeholders from a range of transport modes, sharing experiences and technologies, undertaking joint research projects and creating a European transport network that is safer and more secure, with lower carbon emissions and focused on user needs.
The AIT Center for Mobility Systems is actively involved in USE-iT, by leading the work package “Safety & Security”. Safety and security measures differ across the four transport modes in terms of methodology, implementation and enforcement; however, there is great potential for many complementary research actions due to technical overlaps in infrastructure requirements. Therefore, the objective of AIT experts’ work has been to gather knowledge on how operators and owners of transport infrastructure can enhance safety and security operations and determine the best practices in order to be exchanged between stakeholders across all transport modes.
These safety-related challenges have been identified:
- Availability and sharing of high-quality data across transport modes
- Human factors and safety education
- Improving safety performance at national levels
- Driver state monitoring
- Interaction between transport modes in a safe and efficient manner
- Automation in the context of multimodal transport
The security-related challenges are as follows:
- Crime prevention through environmental design
- Ensuring security in transit environments while maintaining privacy demands of passengers
- Remote detection of explosives and other materials
The consortium has concluded its work by developing a cross-modal research roadmap for all the research challenges identified in USE-iT, describing the necessary research steps in order to undertake and address each challenge, along with an indicative timescale from 2017 to 2030.
Isabela Erdelean, scientist at the AIT Center for Mobility Systems, concludes: “The vision of USE-iT is that in the longer term, there will be a vibrant community of stakeholders from all transport modes sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learned, undertaking joint research projects and creating a European transport network that is safer, more secure, with lower carbon emissions and which is focused on user needs.”
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
FEHRL Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories
TRL Transport Research Laboratory
LNEC Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil
EURNEX European Rail Research Network of Excellence
STAC Service Technique de l'Aviation Civile
IBDiM Instytut Badawczy Dróg i Mostów
IFSTTAR l’Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports
VGTU Vilniaus Gedimino technikos universitetas
CEDEX Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas
VTI Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut