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EUROMOVERS International

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European Roundup

Aug 07, 2015

Biofuel not for trucks

The European Parliament gave its final approval on Tuesday 28 April 2015 to a law limiting the use of crop-based biofuel in the transport sector. The official endorsement came after more than seven years of political bickering and lengthy negotiations between MEPs and EU member states on the controversial law.

Biofuels can contribute to reducing global warming emissions in the transport sector but it emerged some did more harm than good to the environment, according to the European Commission, which tabled the proposal.

The new law will limit to 7% the use of harmful biofuels which compete with crops grown on agricultural land, while allowing member states to set lower national limits.

Robots set to reduce city congestion

A new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates that fleets of ‘TaxiBots’ and ‘AutoVots’ could take 9 out of 10 cars off city streets.  A fleet of self-driving shared cars could make 90% of conventional cars in mid-sized cities superfluous, according to a study published by the International Transport Forum at the OECD.

​ITF researchers used actual transport data from Lisbon, Portugal, to modal the impact of two concepts: “TaxiBots”, self-driving vehicles shared simultaneously by several passengers (ride sharing) and “AutoVots”, which pick-up and drop-off single passengers sequentially (car sharing).

The study claims that the need for on-street parking spots could be totally removed with a fleet of shared self-driving cars in all scenarios, allowing the reallocation of 1.5 million m² (20% of road space) to other uses.

GoSwift reduces border crossing time Estonia into Russia

GoSwift, an Estonian public-private partnership, allows pre-booking of time slots and virtual queueing for border crossings via the web, a call centre or self-service terminals. Better use of the capacity of border crossing points and more efficient journey planning for trucks and tourists are just two of the immediate benefits.

The service was developed as a response to kilometre-long queues of vehicles waiting to cross the EU border from Estonia into Russia. Prior to the introduction of GoSwift waiting times at the border could reach five to six days at peak times. With the queue management service, they are now down to around 30 minutes.

Ireland raises weight limit for drawbar trailer combinations

The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) has raised the maximum weight limit for drawbar trailer combinations to 46 tonnes, a move claimed to have the potential to reduce the number of truck journeys made in Ireland

The announcement follows a campaign by the Irish Freight Transport Association (IFTA) to have the upper limit raised, after it was changed to 46 tonnes for six-axle articulated trucks back in 2013.

Photo: Use of crop-based biofuel is now limited.

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