Scientists use satellites to reduce CO2 emissions emitted by trucks

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Paris, August 5 (ANI): Two German inventors have come up with an idea on how to use satellites to reduce the overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by the trucks, and improve the allocation of truck capacity.

Dr Mario Neugebauer and Dr Jurgen Anke from German company 'ubigrate GmbH' came up with an intelligent solution to locate available load volumes in real time, and won the prize for the best idea on how to utilize transport capacity better at the 2008 European Satellite Navigation Competition.

"Very often, truck companies do not know the exact load volume and available space in their trucks. They use packing plans to optimise the usage of the trucks, but in reality it is difficult to follow the exact packing plans, and space is often not fully used. That is why it is important to be able to track the available load volume in real time, which is what we do with our solution," explained Anke.

The remarkable quality of the idea is that it creates win-win situation. Reducing human-emitted greenhouse gases will often lead to higher costs or services of lower quality.

In this case, the opposite is true: ubigrate's solution will not only reduce the overall carbon dioxide emitted by the trucks, it will also result in a better service at a lower cost.

Known as the 'Load-Volume Tracking' (LoVoTrack) system, it uses ultrasonic sensors, mobile communication and satellite navigation to obtain information on the load status of lorries and containers.

"We installed sensors on the ceiling of each truck container, which continuously monitor the available empty volume," said Neugebauer.

"This information, together with the precise satellite navigation data of where the truck is located, is transmitted via a common cellular phone network to a central server which follows the whole fleet of trucks of the transportation company. It is then easy to assign new packages to where volume is available," he added.

"In practice, this system can handle new requests for transporting parcels more quickly. Instead of inserting the pickup and transportation time in a packing plan, which is then integrated into a delivery schedule at the earliest a day later, the central server can identify the nearest truck with available space in real time," he explained.

Neugebauer emphasised that "the best working solution also has the best ecological impact. By reducing the overall empty space inside a container, we increase the overall efficiency of transportation and are therefore able to reduce the amount of pollution per transported object, including carbon dioxide emissions." (ANI)

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