Complementary vehicle systems for improved urban freight transport
EU-funded FIDEUS project is to provide a complementary set of vehicle solutions to support an innovative approach to the organisation of urban freight transport, in line with political strategies to safeguard the "liveability" of cities, while being compatible with efficient logistics. The project started in 2005 and will end in 2008.
FIDEUS promotes a co-ordinated approach involving the automotive industry, logistics companies and city decision-makers. The aim is to make available appropriate vehicles, to ensure that delivery operations are efficient, and that cities have the necessary information and tools to be able to define and manage effective mobility policies for goods traffic.
To provide such solution requires a rethinking of distribution logistics in the context of the whole delivery chain. Since there is no single optimum vehicle, FIDEUS is developing and testing three new vehicle types, including an innovative small electric transporter for sensitive areas and pedestrian zones; an improved 3.5 ton van and a 12 ton truck, optimised for city traffic. These all incorporate advanced technologies and equipment, including a "urban goods container" to improve operational efficiency and minimise the environmental impacts.
Critically, all FIDEUS vehicle types are equipped with high-tech driving, loading and communications technologies, enabling improved interaction with traffic control centres and with each other. Partners say the project will contribute substantially to the reduction of pollution while ensuring that affordable supplies and products continue to reach companies, shops and citizens in urban areas.
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