“Automated driving: Systems and technology – part 2”

In recent years there has been extensive efforts to produce automated vehicles ranging from highway automation in the form of traffic jam assistants and road trains (platoons), to urban public transport and valet parking. The main two trends are individual automation and cooperative automation. What is the difference?

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Van baan wisselen

Van baan wisselen

Vaak krijg ik de vraag waardoor files op de snelweg onstaan: er is niets te zien, en toch staat het stil. Zelfs na tien jaar onderzoek begrijp ik het nog niet helemaal. Maar mijn werk heeft wel wat verhelderd en misschien kan ik een tipje van de sluier oplichten. Ten eerste: files worden altijd veroorzaakt doordat te veel mensen over te weinig beschikbare weg willen rijden. Logische oplossingen lijken dan: 1. zorgen dat er minder mensen de weg op gaan of 2. dat er meer weg beschikbaar komt. Dat kan bijvoorbeeld door politiek gevoelige projecten als spitsmijden respectievelijk door dure wegverbredingen. Er is echter nog een mogelijkheid: 3. zorgen dat er over dezelfde weg meer mensen kunnen rijden. Het zijn immers de bestuurders die kiezen om op een bepaalde manier te rijden, een bepaalde snelheid, afstand tot hun voorligger en strook te kiezen. Zij bepalen daarmee hoeveel mensen er over de weg kunnen.

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Stabilizing flights allocation to gates – The FOS concept applied to Schiphol

The First Order Stability (FOS) concept

Every airport has to deal with the problem of allocating flights to airport gates, under a set of objectives and constraints. In practice, this problem is solved one day in advance, based on the schedule arrival- and departure-times information provided by airlines. This is a hard problem to solve, due to the common size, the number of constraints involved and the conflicting objectives. For example, at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS), on a typical day, more than a thousand flights have to be assigned to over hundred gates and remote stands. In addition, the strong competition between airlines and the ever increasing passenger demand for comfortable and reliable travel experiences make this a relevant topic for air transport, and for airport authorities in particular.

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Jump start for Transport Appraisal Network

Researchers from various European research institutes successfully launched the European Network for Transport Appraisal Research at Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) Leeds. Beginning 2014 the idea emerged starting a network to intensify the cooperation between Delft University of Technology, KTH Stockholm, ITS Leeds and DTU Denmark with respect to Transport Appraisal Research. It was established that for decades each practice developed their own guidelines without paying much attention to developments in other countries. The goal of the researchers was to rectify this inefficiency. Besides researchers from Denmark, the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands also researchers from Germany and Norway were invited for the first meeting of the network at ITS Leeds which took place September 9th. Continue reading

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Inter Terminal Transport At Maasvlakte

To match the growth of container transportation (in the range of 10% in the last years), Port of Rotterdam expanded to a new area, Maasvlakte 2. This is a large area reclaimed from sea, for which construction works started in 2008, and is still ongoing. The first container terminal on Maasvlakte 2 opened just more than a year ago, in 2013.

artists_impression_of_Maasvlakte_2 In 2040 the combined Maasvlakte 1+2 could handle up to 30 million TEU (containers units), almost four times as much as the entire Port of Rotterdam is handling now, and at the current level of the largest container ports in the world, Shanghai and Singapore.

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Business Tour of Transport Engineering 2014 – Project Management

With thisProject-management-image-final blog we would like to give a picture of project management in the role of transport and planning used in Boskalis and DB Schenker. As mentioned in the previous blog post, the differences between these companies, as well as their Dutch counterparts, will be discussed. We will look at both operational and cultural differences, with the focus on project management. Continue reading

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Automated driving : an introduction – part 1

Automated driving, what is it and why should we care about it?

Well, answer is simple, its about safety, about comfort and about efficiency.

Seat belts were the first safety systems built in cars and to this date have been proven to be very good in saving lives. Modern Cars are built to absorb energy of an impact and deform in a controlled manner minimizing the impact that we humans experience in a crash. Airbags were later introduced to further minimize impact of our bodies during the crash. This is all part of what’s know as passive safety. But there is only so much these systems can do.

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Business Tour of Transport Engineering 2014 – Assembly

downloadAssembly process: a comparison between Mercedes-benz Vietnam and DSME in South Korea.

Mercedes-benz ltd. has been assembling automobiles in Vietnam for almost 20 years. They are currently producing about 2000 vehicles every year, with a yearly growing market share – currently 65%. These automobiles are only meant for the local Vietnamese market, therefore there is no export to neighboring countries. The production is structured with a typical production line approach.

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Business Tour of Transport Engineering 2014 – Automation

BNCT_inauguration-600x0With this third blog we would like to give a picture of inter- and intra-terminal transport in the ports of Busan, South-Korea. Busan New Container Terminal (BNCT) is the first Korean company for the studytour to visit and to get to know how the automation is done within a terminal.

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Business Tour of Transport Engineering 2014 – Lean

With this second blog post, we will give an insight in the observations and experiences gathered during the first company visits in Vietnam. Belonging to this first group are PetroVietnam, FrieslandCampina and Heineken. As mentioned in the previous blog post, the differences between these companies, as well as their Dutch counterparts, will be discussed. We will look at both operational and cultural differences, with the focus on using lean manufacturing tools. Similarities between companies will also be discussed.
During the visits to Heineken, FrieslandCampina and PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PTSC), the implementation of lean was discussed. We have seen two strategies to optimize production and eliminate losses, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) at Heineken and WCOM (World Class Operation Management) at FrieslandCampina. Both strategies use existing tools like Lean and SixSigma to assess the state of companies and possibilities for eliminating waste. A practical example is the use of Kanban to display key performance indicators, issues, and production targets.
WCOM and TPM are both quite similar. WCOM however is also a collection of existing tools, but designed by a specific company. TPM is a tool like lean, or SixSigma, which doesn’t belong to a certain company. FrieslandCampina uses WCOM, which normally includes Lean. Lean is however not implemented yet. The plan is to do this in 2015. PTSC was one of the companies who according to us did not use specific lean tools to optimize their operation.
The big difference we have seen in the cultural aspect, is that Vietnamese people live for the day of tomorrow. They believe that each day will be better than the day before. Each employee is eager to learn and especially proud when working for a western based company as they can learn much there. This makes implementing improvements for the company easily possible. In comparison, Dutch employees feel hesitant to change the way they work.
Most Vietnamese live to earn money as much as they can, to provide for their family. Therefore, some even run a secondary business from their home, besides their fulltime job. Employers must therefore make sure that their employees are focussed on their day job, and do not run their secondary business during working hours.

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