National Lorry Week 2023 came to Heriot-Watt University on 23 October as part of a week-long campaign to promote the haulage industry.
The event, hosted by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), is held annually to showcase and celebrate the country’s logistics industry, engaging with schools, communities, MPs and businesses to raise awareness and highlight opportunities within the sector.
As part of its UK tour, the campaign’s National Lorry Week truck parked outside Heriot-Watt’s National Robotarium, a world-leading centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
The campaign visited the University on behalf of the TransiT – Digital Twinning for Decarbonisation Transport project, a new EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)- funded initiative that is exploring the creation of digital twins to reduce carbon emissions from transport.
“TransiT will help navigate the way forwards by providing data that allow businesses to make the right investment choices to decarbonise.” – Chris Ashley, Environment Policy Lead, Road Haulage Association
Passenger and freight transport are currently the largest contributor to the UK’s carbon footprint, producing around a third of all Co2 emissions. TransiT intends to radically accelerate transport decarbonisation through digital twins of real-world systems and environments, taking a holistic approach to make the whole transport infrastructure cleaner and more user-friendly.
Led by Professor Philip Greening (Heriot-Watt University) and Professor David Flynn (University of Glasgow), the project is consulting closely with RHA and its members to understand the challenges and opportunities they are facing in the race to net zero, which will inform the build of an all-inclusive digital toolset that will transform services, networks, systems and assets for years to come.
Professor Steve McLaughlin, Deputy Principal for Research and Impact at Heriot-Watt said: “We thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Road Haulage Association lorry for National Lorry Week. It’s a great opportunity to highlight the importance of the logistics industry and the sophisticated network that it inhabits to ensure people, operators, materials and supplies can keep moving.
“The ambitious TransiT project is in consultation with industry experts, retailers, and users to improve our overall understanding of the UK transport network’s full capabilities, and how a data-driven approach can be utilised to design and visualise a new system that can de-risk and accelerate the path to net zero.”
Chris Ashley, the RHA’s lead on the environment, said “We are pleased to support the TransiT project. Delivering a sustainable Net Zero that drives down emissions but maintains the high levels of service the public expect from logistics is a challenge. TransiT will help navigate the way forwards by providing data that allow businesses to make the right investment choices to decarbonise.”