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Moscow Metro will test 5G technology

Moscow Metro will test 5G network, reports the city’s Department of Transport.

The new generation network will allow the transport operator to launch new passenger services, for example robotic assistants, and apply AR technologies. Among advantages that 5G might bring, the authority cites higher data rate, lower latency and high-quality connection.

“For us, the main thing is to make Muscovites’ trips as comfortable as possible. Today, in all Metro cars, passengers can connect to a high-speed Wi-Fi network for free and to use the mobile network even in tunnels. Since 2011, the speed of mobile communications in Moscow Metro increased by 40 times. Now we plan to test a new 5G network. Trips would become even more convenient, and the operation of Moscow Metro’s internal systems would be more reliable” – said Deputy Mayor of Moscow Maxim Liksutov.

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Optimism when borders reopen

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Tourism Economics released a long-term view for post-COVID-19 passenger demand recovery which demonstrates that people remain eager to travel in the short and long-term.

To ensure that aviation can sustainably deliver its social and economic benefits as it meets this long-term demand, it is critical that governments step-up their support for more efficient operations and foster an effective energy transition.

Forecast highlights include 

  • In 2021 global passenger numbers are expected to recover to 52% of pre-COVID-19 levels (2019).
  • In 2022 global passenger numbers are expected to recover to 88% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • In 2023 global passenger numbers are expected to surpass pre-COVID-19 levels (105%).
  • By 2030 global passenger numbers are expected to have grown to 5.6 billion. That would be 7% below the pre-COVID-19 forecast and an estimated loss of 2-3 years of growth due to COVID-19.
  • Beyond 2030 air travel is expected to slow, due to weaker demographics and a baseline assumption of limited market liberalisation, giving average annual growth between 2019 and 2039 of 3.2%. IATA’s pre-COVID-19 growth forecast for this period was 3.8%.

The recovery in passenger numbers is slightly stronger than the recovery in demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), which is expected to grow by an annual average of 3% between 2019 and 2039. This is owing to the expected strength of domestic markets like China with large passenger numbers and shorter distances.

“I am always optimistic about aviation. We are in the deepest and gravest crisis in our history. But the rapidly growing vaccinated population and advancements in testing will return the freedom to fly in the months ahead. And when that happens, people are going to want to travel. The immediate challenge is to reopen borders, eliminate quarantine measures and digitally manage vaccination/testing certificates. At the same time, we must assure the world that aviation’s long-term growth prospects are supported with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Both challenges require governments and industry to work in partnership. Aviation is ready. But I don’t see governments moving fast enough,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Short Term: Restart

The damage of the COVID-19 crisis will be felt for years to come, but all indications are that people have retained their need and desire to travel:

  • Any possibility for borders to re-open is met with an instant surge in bookings. The most recent example is the 100-percentage point spike in bookings from the UK to Portugal when the UK’s “Green List” was announced in early May.
  • The economy is strong and can fuel growth in travel. February 2021 industrial production levels stood at 2% above February 2019 levels.
  • Consumers have accumulated savings in the lockdowns, in some cases exceeding 10% of GDP.
  • Vaccination rates in developed countries (with the notable exception of Japan) should exceed 50% of the population by the third quarter of 2021.

“This should be a clarion call to governments to get ready. The travel and tourism sector is a major contributor to GDP. People’s livelihoods are at stake. To avoid greater long-term economic and social damage, restart must not be delayed. Governments can facilitate a safe restart with policies that enable restriction-free travel for vaccinated people, and testing alternatives for those unable to be vaccinated. Governments must also be ready with processes to digitally manage the vaccine or test certificates—ensuring that a safe restart is also efficient,” said Walsh.

Sustainability

“Aviation will grow because people want and need to travel. But we must be able to fulfil that consumer demand sustainably. Those are the ground rules for any business. It is no secret that this is more challenging for aviation than sectors with broader energy alternatives. But with the support of governments we will get there through a combination of means,” said Walsh.

Aviation is committed to cutting its net carbon emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. It already has a good track record of decoupling emissions and demand growth per passenger journey in half since 1990 through efficiency gains, but governments need to step up as well.

In addition to efficiency and technology gains, CORSIA (the first global carbon offsetting scheme for an industrial sector) is stabilizing emissions from international flights at 2019 levels. A low-carbon energy transition for aviation has commenced with sustainable aviation fuels that are powering flight today, to be followed by electric and hydrogen powered aircraft. And there is much more that can be done with infrastructure—airports and air traffic management—to operate with maximum efficiency and minimum emissions.

“If we work in partnership with governments there is great potential in all these areas. But easy sustainability wins are being left on the table. In Europe, which has led on many sustainability initiatives, why are we still waiting for the Single European Sky? This could immediately reduce emissions by up to 10%. There is no excuse as the technology has been here for two decades or more. The partnership with governments on sustainability must exist in deeds as well as words,” said Walsh.

(IATA)

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New Urban Mobility Initiative: Five consultation workshops for stakeholders in June

In line with the priorities of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Transport Strategy, transport – including urban mobility – should become drastically less polluting and undergo twin green and digital transitions, to build a resilient and sustainable transport system for generations to come.

Additional information is available in the published roadmap.

The European Commission’s new urban mobility initiative, currently under preparation, will operationalise these goals by proposing actions needed to address common urban mobility challenges like pollution, congestion, accessibility and urban road safety, thus improving people’s quality of life.

Within the framework of the consultation process on its new initiative, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport is organising five consultation workshops on topics of interest for stakeholders and the public:

  • 14 June 14:00–16:00: Consultation workshop on the new EU urban mobility initiative for local and regional authorities, civil society and the general public, including a political session (by invitation only), organised in cooperation with the European Committee of Regions – registration
  • 15 June 14:00–16:00: Consultation workshop on the new EU urban mobility initiative for representatives of the Member States Expert Group on Urban Mobility (EGUM)
  • 21 June 14:30–16:30: Consultation workshop on the new EU urban mobility initiative: Urban freight transport and logistics – registration
  • 24 June, 10:00–12:00: Consultation workshop on the new EU urban mobility initiative: Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) and Mobility Management – registration
  • 28 June, 10:00–12:00: Consultation workshop on the new EU urban mobility initiative: Urban Vehicle Access Regulations (UVARs) – registration

The workshops allow urban mobility practitioners, stakeholders and the public to have their say on policy and priorities being addressed at the European level, and on specific actions to be included in the new urban mobility initiative.

The initiative is due to be published by the end of the year.

(European Commission)

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Person-to-person sending with NZ Post is now carbon neutral

From April 2021, person to person sending of all mail and parcels with NZ Post will be carbon neutral.

That means for any domestic or international letter or parcel sent with NZ Post, we have calculated the carbon emitted on its journey, taken steps to reduce emissions and offset the remaining unavoidable emissions. This includes carbon emitted through the entire lifecycle of the packaging – all the way from production to recycling or landfilling, as well as processing, transportation and delivery of the parcel or mail item. We calculate the carbon emitted whether you use NZ Post packaging or your own.

“This is just one step in our journey to be a fully carbon neutral business from 2030,” says NZ Post Chief Executive David Walsh.

“Being carbon neutral means that the negative impact our person to person sending has on the environment has been offset with the same amount of positive impact, to become neutral. We’re proud that sending by everyday New Zealanders will be carbon neutral, this doesn’t include business customers who each have their own journey to carbon neutrality.

“That means whether you are booking a courier to pick up a parcel, walking into a PostShop to send a present to your Grandparents up North, or posting a letter to a friend down South – it will arrive at its destination with a carbon neutral impact.

“We’re reducing our emissions in a few different ways. We’re introducing more Electric Vehicles to our fleet and supporting our contractors to get into Electric Vehicles too, we are making our sorting depots more energy efficient and we’ve recently changed our packaging to a lower emissions material.

“We offset our unavoidable carbon emissions (such as those emitted by planes), through buying carbon credits from local native forestry projects and international gold standard projects.

“In the first year of offering carbon neutral sending we expect to offset around 17,000 tonnes of carbon. This is equivalent to 22,813 car trips from Cape Reinga to Bluff and back, or taking 7,870 cars off the road,” says David Walsh.

Carbon neutral sending applies to all consumer products, including ParcelPost and BYO packaging parcels sent in NZ and overseas, as well as when customers arrange sending online such as with Print Postage online, Send it Now, and TradeMe Book A Courier.

NZ Post is committed to delivering for New Zealand in the most sustainable way and being accountable for our impact on the environment.

(NZ Post)

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Siemens Mobility to modernize the largest freight rail yard in the Netherlands

Siemens Mobility has been awarded a €110 million contract by ProRail B.V. to modernize and optimize the Kijfhoek freight railyard, the largest yard in the Netherlands and a vital link between the Rotterdam ports and major industrial areas in Europe.

This contract includes providing a state-of-the-art fully automated system to manage yard operations and 15 years of maintenance services. Located south-east of Rotterdam, the Kijfhoek marshalling yard encompasses 50 hectares, with 14 arrival tracks, 41 classification tracks and 12 stabling tracks.

“The increased automation of freight rail yards, systems and processes is having a considerable impact on the economic efficiency of freight transport, as intelligent systems are allowing for goods to be delivered faster, more reliably, and in a far more sustainable manner,” said Andre Rodenbeck, CEO of Rail Infrastructure at Siemens Mobility. “As a global market leader in cargo automation and maintenance services, our sophisticated Trackguard Cargo MSR32 solution and highly digitalized customer services will enable Kijfhoek to safely enhance the efficiency and reliability of its operations.”

Siemens Mobility will provide its Trackguard Cargo MSR32 automation solution, which will allow the yard to operate its marshalling and humping operations with a high degree of efficiency, reliability, and safety. In addition, the highly digitalized maintenance services will improve general operations and reduce the overall life cycle costs. The project is intended to be completed in 2024 and Kijfhoek will continue to operate at least 50% of capacity during this work.

Trackguard Cargo MSR32 is a proven system specifically designed to efficiently manage and organize the movement of rail cars in freight yards. It allows for the rationalization of operational sequences at all levels, from train arrival to train departure, and provides the maximum possible automation of all work cycles and humping operations. This includes the route and speed control units for all points, retarders, and propelling systems, as well as the radio-based integration of the humping locomotive to closely manage the humping speed.

This project, as well as the 15-year customer service commitment, builds on the already longstanding relationship between Siemens Mobility and ProRail B.V. Siemens Mobility has previously partnered with ProRail to deliver class B signaling systems, rail electrification, track outdoor elements, passenger counting systems, and station displays. Siemens Mobility is also one of the finalists for a running tender to implement ETCS nationally across the Netherlands.

(Siemens Mobility)

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Dutch court to rule on Ghosn versus Nissan-Mitsubishi claims

A Dutch court on Thursday is set to rule in a case brought by fugitive former car executive Carlos Ghosn against Nissan and Mitsubishi, following his tumultuous fall from grace at the Japanese car makers in 2018.

The Dutch case, one of many between the former star of the global car industry and the Japanese companies he once led, centres around the Dutch-registered joint venture Nissan-Mitsubishi BV, where Ghosn was ousted as chairman in 2019.

Ghosn claims the Japanese companies violated Dutch labour laws when they dismissed him and is demanding 15 million euros ($18.3 million) as compensation for missed wages and severance payments.

But Nissan and Mitsubishi claim Ghosn only used the Amsterdam-based joint venture to inflate his own pay and to cover a personal tax debt, and are demanding he repays around 8 million euros in wages they say he granted himself without the knowledge of the boards of the holding companies.

The former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, including concerning the way he was compensated.

Ghosn was chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi and Chief Executive of Renault when he was arrested in Japan in 2018 on charges of financial misconduct, including underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purposes.

He fled to Lebanon in December 2019 hidden in carry-on luggage on a private jet that flew out of Kansai Airport, and has remained in that country since.

(Reuters)

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Volvo tests electric buses in challenging climate conditions

In the summer, Volvo’s electric buses will begin operating in the Norwegian town of Bodø. They will be the first to provide scheduled services north of the Arctic circle.

At the same time, Volvo is also testing its electric buses in warm climates as part of challenging test programmes in Spain and Mexico, among other places.

“As one of the leading global suppliers of solutions for electric mobility, we must be able to meet our customers’ requirements and expectations regardless of where they operate. That applies not only to environmental considerations but also availability, passenger comfort and safety.

We test our products together with our customers in Arctic conditions and in warm climates to ensure that we have the best solutions for a range of different requirements,” says Marie Carlsson, Director Citymobility Business Development at Volvo Buses.

For example, during 2020 the fully electric Volvo 7900 Electric bus was tested in Spanish cities, including Zaragoza, Santander and Madrid, where the ambient temperature during the test period sometimes exceeded 40°C.

This made it possible to investigate in practice how the energy usage of the buses was affected by using the air conditioning to full capacity.

“Our buses performed well, and we were able to demonstrate that they are extremely reliable even in very hot climate conditions,” says Francisco Unda, Managing Director of Volvo Buses in Spain & Portugal.

The cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, etc. are all expected to begin electrifying their public transport systems in the near future.

“We at Volvo Buses are ready to offer electrified solutions with different charging methods and service packages to the cities that want to start the move towards more sustainable public transport,” says Francisco Unda.

A Volvo 7900 Electric is currently also being tested in the busy Metrobus system in Mexico City. It will be in operation for six months and then the experiences from this trial period will be evaluated.

“The results of the tests will pave the way for the rapid electrification of public transport throughout the world. We have turnkey solutions that include everything from quiet, zero-emission buses to the charging infrastructure and servicing. This means that we can help to improve the living environments and lay the foundations for cities all over the world to become more sustainable,” says Marie Carlsson.

Volvo Buses has already supplied more than 6 500 electrified buses to cities worldwide. Its product range includes self-charging hybrids and fully electric buses. In addition to the buses themselves, Volvo’s electric mobility offering includes battery optimisation, charging infrastructure, servicing and maintenance.

(Volvo)

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The largest LNG bukering vessel – Gas Agility

The largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, a ship capable of taking LNG from a ground station and refuel another ship with it, has just been inaugurated thanks to €11.6 million in support from the CEF Transport funding programme.

The largest LNG bukering vessel
The largest LNG bukering vessel

The Gas  Agility was loaded for the first time with 18,600 m3 of the fuel on 28 April at the Port of Dunkirk’s LNG terminal in France and immediately refuelled the CMA Jacques Saadé container ship

LNG plays a key role in the decarbonisation of the maritime sector as it offers a reduced environmental impact in comparison to traditional fuels such as diesel/heavy oil.

(CINEA)

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Siemens Mobility and Stadler consortium wins contract to modernize and upgrade the Lisbon Metro

The consortium of Siemens Mobility and Stadler have won a €114.5 million contract to provide the Lisbon Metro with a state of the art signaling system and a new fleet of modern trains.

Stadler will supply 14 three-car metro trains, while Siemens Mobility will install its Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system Trainguard MT on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines, and will upgrade the existing equipment.

This will include installing its on-board CBTC technology across 70 trains of the existing fleet, as well as on the 14 new Stadler trains.

“We are excited about this contract, and proud to have the chance, in partnership with Siemens Mobility, to support Lisbon Metro in its efforts to modernize the fleet. Stadler has recently won major metro projects in Europe and the US. This latest contract confirms the success of our strategy and positions us as a global reference in providing solutions for sustainable urban mobility”, states Ansgar Brockmeyer, Executive Vice President Marketing and Sales at Stadler Group.

Andre Rodenbeck, CEO Rail Infrastructure at Siemens Mobility, said: “Siemens Mobility, together with our partner Stadler, are proud to have been appointed to deliver the modernization and optimization services for Lisbon Metro. Siemens Mobility’s CBTC system will increase reliability, availability and efficiency of the service delivered by Lisbon Metro, while also complying with the high standards of quality and safety required by the operator. We are pleased to contribute our technology and know-how to this important mobility project that will increase passenger experience for the residents of Lisbon.”

The contract includes technical training for operation and maintenance, as well as preventive and corrective maintenance of all equipment for the first three years, and a supply of spares and consumables for preventive maintenance for a further two years. The supply period agreed is 77 months, with provisional acceptance planned for 2027.

Stadler will design the vehicles using a modular methodology to better facilitate maintenance. Its stainless-steel car body ensures the vehicles are lightweight and strong. Three double doors per side and carriage will enable passengers to get on and off quickly and easily.

The 14 three-car trains will initially be fitted with CBTC GoA2 but will have the ability to be upgraded to GoA4, so the service can be fully automated in future. Trains will be powered by third rail at 750 V. The 49.6m long and 2.78m wide vehicles will have 90 seats arranged longitudinally, two places for wheelchair users, and standing capacity for 450 people. The new rolling stock will increase comfort and accessibility for passengers, as well as provide enhanced communications, safety, and video surveillance systems.

Siemens Mobility CBTC signaling technology provides real-time data on vehicle position and speed conditions operating in moving block principle, allowing system operators to safely increase the number of vehicles on a rail line. This results in greater frequency of train arrivals and allows more passengers to be accommodated on the system. This is the most extensively deployed automatic train control system in the world and is currently being used in Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, and China.

(Siemens Mobility)

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Volvo Cars looking to list on Nasdaq Stockholm this year

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars said on Wednesday it is considering listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange this year.

The company, which is owned by China’s Geely Holding Group, also said it extended Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson’s contract to the end of 2022.

Geely’s Hong Kong-listed unit Geely Automobile and Volvo Cars scrapped a merger plan in February.

(Reuters)