FIDEUS addresses the sustainable development research domain 'innovative non-polluting means of transport to achieve a more effective organisation of urban transport'. FIDEUS proposes innovative solutions to distribution logistics. Main research topics: noise reduction, efficient loading/unloading operation, new type of vehicles, new logistics solution.
The main objective of the FIDEUS project was to provide a complementary set of vehicle solutions to support an innovative approach to the organisation of urban freight transport, in line with political strategies to safeguard the 'liveability' of cities, while being compatible with efficient logistics. Urban freight delivery was both a contributor to and victim of the growing congestion in urban areas that exposes the population to noise, pollution and nuisance.
The target of FIDEUS was to contribute in a practical way to the economic livelihood of business and retail activities located in the city with policies oriented towards more sustainable mobility. This required a concerted effort of stakeholders whose interests were often perceived as conflicting. FIDEUS promoted a co-ordinated approach involving the automotive industry, logistics companies and city decision-makers. The aim was to make available appropriate vehicles, to ensure that delivery operations are efficient and that cities have the necessary information and tools to be able to define and manage effective mobility policies for goods traffic.
To provide such a solution required a rethinking of distribution logistics in the context of the whole delivery chain. Since there was no single optimum vehicle, FIDEUS proposed a complementary range of three vehicle types, including an innovative 'clean' goods carrier, an adapted 3.5t van and 12t truck.
These all incorporated advanced technologies and equipment, including a new urban goods container, to improve operational efficiency and minimise the environmental impact. The logistics management focused on achieving saturation of vehicle load capacity, making significant improvements in the efficiency of transshipment operations, and integration of delivery operations within city traffic.
The results of the project are positive.
For example, in Hannover, the hours of access to the restricted areas were able to be extended leading to a reduction in the overall delivery time. In Lyon and Barcelona, where the Low Noise Mode and Low Emission Mode vehicle features were tested, truck noise and emissions were significantly reduced. In Barcelona for example, the average noise levels recorded for the vehicles was 73 Vb(A), compared to 79 Vb(A) for similar vehicles. In Lyon, emissions were significantly reduced, by an average of 5.9 litres/100km during the trial period, thanks to the activation of the 'Low Emission Mode' that obliges the driver to limit speed and acceleration. Noise levels in Lyon also showed a clear reduction compared to other vehicles.