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Traffic control for more efficient urban freight

Access road and bypass congestion is a growing problem for the supply of goods in predominantly Stockholm and Gothenburg. A new feasibility study shows that existing roads can be better used by giving strategic and environmental classified freight access to a priority lane. Connected vehicles would make it possible to steer traffic to specific lanes depending on the traffic situation and whether the vehicles meet certain standards.

“We see enormous potential to improve efficiency and capacity in today’s infrastructure. For example, we could give environmental classified vehicles and strategic freight access to a priority lane in rush-hour traffic, thereby elevating reliability in urban freight operations. The study reveals that, in certain traffic conditions, this would improve the situation for both prioritised traffic and all other lanes,” says Sönke Behrends, researcher in Urban Logistics at Chalmers University of Technology.

The feasibility study, carried out by CLOSER at Lindholmen Science Park together with the business community, research institutes and the university, aims to explore the potential for improving freight efficiency on access roads and bypasses.

“We already have the technical solutions. With digitisation comes the option for connected vehicles and infrastructure to steer traffic to specific lanes. What we looked at in the feasibility study was how freight traffic can dynamically be directed, based on the current traffic situation, given that the vehicles meet set standards. There are numerous openings now that vehicles are starting to communicate with the infrastructure,” says Heléne Giaina at DB Schenker Consulting, Project Manager for the feasibility study.

The next step will be to study the regulatory framework, identify which requirements should be made on the vehicles and which freight companies are to be given priority, and further simulate traffic flows to verify the effects.  

“We want to study this and see if it can work in the most intensely trafficked roads in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Our hope is that we will be able, by extension, to start a demonstration project to exemplify the social-economic advantages,” Heléne Giaina continues.

The feasibility study, entitled “Bypass Logistics – efficient use of infrastructure” is financed by the Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation programme via VINNOVA. A total of seven partners participate in the project: DB Schenker, AB Volvo, Scania, Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal College of Technology, the Swedish Transport Administration and CLOSER at Lindholmen Science Park. The feasibility study started in April 2015 and ended in March 2016.

Download the final report (Swedish)

For more information about the feasibility study, please contact:

Lina Olsson, Project Manager CLOSER, Lindholmen Science Park, Phone: +46 31 764 70 43 email: lina.olsson@lindholmen.se.