• GET Service

Co-funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Union

Societal needs


The European transportation ecosystem faces a major challenge in a globalizing world, where the demand for transport capacity is ever increasing. It has to ensure that the transportation demand can continue be met, while mitigating the strain that this puts on:

•  the transportation infrastructure;
•  the environment, due to the emission of toxic byproducts and CO2; and
• the productivity of European transportation companies and the population in general, due totraffic congestion.

Particularly problematic is the (increasing) environmental impact of the transport sector. In Europe, "transport is the most problematic emitting sector, with upward emission trends" (European Environment Agency, 2009). Between 1990 and 2007, CO2 emissions from transport rose by 29% in Europe. Road transport accounts for a sizable portion of CO2 transport related emissions, nearly 73% in 2000 (Fuglestvedt et al., 2008).

The increasing transportation demand is nearing the limitations of what the transportationinfrastructure can handle and improvements to the infrastructure (such as building wider roads) do not create a definitive solution for this problem, which is apparent from yearly increasing traffic congestion levels. In addition, improving the infrastructure is not the final answer to decreasing CO2 emission, as it does not decrease the number of kilometres driven.

Therefore, the aim of this project is to address the challenges that are faced by the European transportation ecosystem, by taking a different, information-based, approach. Thus, the project aims to support a European transportation ecosystem that is demonstrably more environmentally friendly and efficient and provides new business opportunities for transportation information providers and organizations that can use this information to provide innovative services. To achieve this aim, the project will leverage existing transportation management and route planning systems. Currently, these systems focus on one partner in the transportation value chain, for example, a trucking company or a driver. Typically, these systems consist of centralized transportation planning software and context-aware route planning devices that are associated with transportation resources. The centralized transportation planning software provides planners with insight into pick-ups and deliveries and enables them to assign resources to that. The context-aware route planning devices provide drivers of transportation resources with the ability to plan their routes. Optionally, these devices interact with the planning software, such that they can update the transportation planning software on their current status and, in some cases, the transportation planning software can send route information directly to the devices. The most advanced devices cooperate to provide aggregate information, such as congestion information and average travel times, while experiments are being performed with devices that interact with the transportation infrastructure and with each other to detect and notify, for example, accidents and roadwork.

The GET Service project will advance current transportation and route planning systems to the next major level, by: empowering transport management and route planning systems with information from multiple sources; and enabling the incorporation of transportation-related tasks into transportation planning. In doing so, GET Service facilitates:

• real-time aggregated planning;
• synchro-modal re-planning;
• reduction of empty miles; and
• co-modal planning.

Real-time aggregated planning is the aggregation of real-time information from multiple sources into transportation and route planning, leading to improved planning algorithms. By aggregating information from multiple sources, planning algorithms can be made more accurate. Currently, planning algorithms are based on historical data or estimates of travel times and CO2 emission on a particular route. However, actual travel times and CO2 emission differ depending on the weight of the load that is carried, the horse-power and aerodynamic properties of the truck, weather conditions and other factors. aggregated planning takes these factors into account when determining travel times and CO2 emission. The information that GET Service takes into account, includes information about transportation- and logistics-related tasks, such as warehousing, transfer of goods and customs clearance. Thus enabling efficient planning of end-to-end transportation, including these tasks. By taking real-time information into account, the accuracy of planning algorithms can be improved further. Currently, planning algorithms take real-time information into account to detect disruptions and traffic congestion. The GET Service project aims to exploit real-time information to do predictive planning. Using predictive planning it becomes, for example, possible to predict whether traffic congestion on a certain stretch of road is resolved by the time a driver arrives at the congestion.

Synchro-modal (re-)planning is the ability to always choose the appropriate means of transportation at real-time. Being able to do syncho-modal (re-)planning requires both the ability to do real-time aggregated planning and to have efficient means to change transportation plans. GET Service aims to provide the means to efficiently change transportation plans, by supporting the execution and reconfiguration of a transportation plan including transportation- and logistics-related tasks. These means include, for example, the means to efficiently select alternative transportation plans, (automatically) bundling transportation plans of individual resources that can be re-planned together and warning the planner of the precise effects that a change of plans may have on already reserved resources and the costs associated with (cancelling) those reservations.

Empty miles are miles driven by empty trucks, but, while the term is used for trucks, it applies to other modes of transportation and even to shipping containers as well. Over 20% of truck-miles in Europe are driven with empty trucks (Pasi, 2007), thus causing unnecessary environmental pollution and placing an unnecessary strain on the transportation infrastructure. This is often caused by a lack of information; if a transportation company does not have the information that goods are waiting to be transported close to where a driver just dropped off the previous load, the driver will simply be asked to return to base, while driving an empty truck. The GET Service project aims to make information available beyond the boundaries of the single organization, in the spirit of the European Wide Service Platform (EWSP), such that information on transportation resources and goods to transport from multiple organizations can be combined to reduce empty miles.

Co-modal transportation is the use of multiple modes of transportation in combination to achieve an optimal and sustainable utilization of resources. To achieve an optimal use of resources in this manner, it is important for different parties in the transportation value chain to have information about each other’s status. GET Service aims to provide that information to all participants in the transportation value chain, while taking into account that this information may be sensitive or strategic and access may therefore be restricted or billed.

Continue with the GET Service's objectives