A new European project, AMITRAN, is developing a methodology to assess the impact of ICT (information and communication technologies) and ITS (intelligent transport systems) on CO2 emissions from the transport sector.
AMITRAN will run for 30 months until April 2014, and is co-funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (DG INFSO). The total project budget amounts to €2.6 million (US$3.4 million). Seven organisations are cooperating as part of AMITRAN’s consortium: TNO (coordinator, the Netherlands); PTV – Planung Transport Verkehr (Germany); ERTICO – ITS Europe (Belgium); TECNALIA (Spain); DLR – Germany National Research Center for Aeronautics and Space (Germany); ECORYS (the Netherlands); and TEAMNET (Romania).
Objectives of the project include:
Developing a CO2 assessment methodology for ICT measures including multi-modal passenger and freight transport, taking into account the whole chain of effects from user behavior to CO2 production (energy efficiency).
Developing interfaces for models and simulation tools implementing this methodology starting from the road sector and integrating high level modeling from the other modes.
Validating the proposed methodology and its implementation by using available data from other projects and/or studies.
Producing an online checklist and a handbook for future projects to use the proposed methodology.
|Examples of ITS systems and the CO2 related factors they influence. Source: AMITRAN. Click to enlarge.|
The application of ICT to the transport sector comprises a wide variety of services that aim, among other things, to reduce emissions and maximize energy efficiency, increase safety, manage transport demand, ensure transit reliability and improve traffic flow. Examples of such ITS applications include navigation and travel information systems; route advice; supporting drivers in adopting an eco-driving behavior; logistics and fleet management systems; optimized traffic light phasing at intersections; reserving parking space; and road tolls.
ITS is a rapidly growing field in which there are numerous technologies and applications under development, and quite a few already on the market. Despite this, there is no consistent methodology allowing scientists to estimate potential CO2 emissions that the deployment of such technologies could reduce—and this information is critically important for decision makers, for example, in the context of climate change agreements.—Gerdien Klunder, AMITRAN’s coordinator and a researcher at TNO
The European Commission has proposed the ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector by 60% for the period 1990-2050. Since present transport emissions are 27% above 1990 levels, this will be particularly difficult to achieve. ICT measures can help transport to become less carbon intensive and more efficient. AMITRAN is developing scaling-up methodologies that estimate impact on a European level by extrapolation from local results.
While there are traffic and emission models that cover specific aspects of the mobility system, the interfaces between them are problematic. AMITRAN will ensure that models can ‘communicate’ with each other in order to provide a ‘well-to-wheel’, comprehensive and accurate assessment of emission reductions.—Han Zwijnenberg, TNO
Project workflow. Led by DLR, the project starts with the definition of user needs and use cases based on the active participation of stakeholders. ITS applications are then grouped into categories according to the pathways influencing CO2 emissions.
The next stage, led by TNO, involves the definition of system boundaries, system architecture and model requirements. Based on this, PTV will lead the development of the methodological framework to assess CO2 emissions, the interfaces between existing models, and the identification of any gaps to be filled. Validation tasks and an impact assessment are coordinated by Tecnalia. The goal is to use the methodology developed during the project to demonstrate the effects of ITS on CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, driver behavior, and traffic flow.
The final result of the project will be a checklist and handbook that can be used as a reference for future projects to assess the ITS benefits in terms of CO2 emission reductions. The handbook will cover both passenger transport and freight through a multimodal perspective (road, rail, and ship – short sea and inland navigation). Both the checklist and the handbook will be publicly available online along with supporting documentation.