The Green InterTraffic project: the results of the second year implementation

The results of the second year implementation of the Russian-Finnish project "Enhancing environmental safety of road InterTraffic in the border areas of Russia and Finland applying innovation solutions" (Green InterTraffic) have been summed up. The project is implemented within the framework of the South-East Finland-Russia CBC Programme 2014-2020.

The project, initiated by a consortium of partners (Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saint-Petersburg State University, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Institute of Radar Meteorology, Transport Integration Ltd.), was expected to be completed at the end of November 2020. However, due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the project partners were extended some of the works. In this regard, the project will be finished at the end of March 2021. At the same time, the main part of the activities planned for the second year of the project was completed.

Within the framework of the project, a wide range of measurements was carried out.

Four seasons thermal mapping measurement of the road E18 are completed and preliminary built the temperature profile of the road and forecast weather conditions along the road E18.

Air Quality measurements were carried out. In September 2020, the Innovation sensors air quality AQT by Vaisala, which had been used for measurements throughout the year, were removed from Russian territory. Two sensors in Finland on the road E18 are still working. The aim was to have a 1-year data measurements so that the project team could analyze the results, make the conclusions and recommendations for further using Sensors. All AQT data were fixed and place on the GIS. AQT Report is developed and now is available on the project web site. The results are presented in the Air Quality Report.

Weather measurements were made. For the first time, the project organized a real-time exchange of weather data from 6 RWS (Road Weather Stations) on the part of Russia and 15 RWS on the part of Finland on a single digital platform that allows all road users to take into account the state of the road surface and many other parameters, identifying dangerous moments in advance. Applied by innovative methods for predicting precipitation, based on Doppler dual-polarization weather radar data, to inform the road E18 users about the start and end time of precipitation. This system is continuing during all second project year in real-time in every 10 minutes actualization.

For the second project year, the additional five measurements were performed using a mobile lidar complex on the territory of the Russian Federation to understand the formation of aerosol pollutions and their vertical distribution in the lower atmosphere. Due to difficulties in crossing the Russian-Finnish border, from COVID-19 the measurements were made only on the Russian side. But the statistical model was developed that describes the vertical distribution of the number concentration of aerosol particles, according to the available information, and the extrapolation of the initial data was carried out based on this model. Precisely this approach made it possible, taking into account data limitation, to obtain the required estimates.

On the base of all measurements, the Common Model of ecological status of Intertraffic with meteorological parameters has already developed to combine the project results. The meaning of this work was to make a comprehensive study how the traffic safety and environmentally friendly road traffic can be supported.

The main project results are presented in the following GIS tools: "Nowcasting on the road of E18", "Precipitation forecast", "Model precipitation forecast", "Thermal road model", "Air Quality monitoring with Vaisala AQT420 sensors", "Lidar measurements", "Transport infrastructure development forecast".

These GIS tools are open for all interested stakeholders and can be used when planning road maintenance, cargo transportation, travel, and other decisions. They reflect common Russian-Finnish green approaches and measures to ensure environmental and transport safety.

During the second year, the project partners prepared a number of developments.

In the Manual of the Estimating Greenhouse Gas and other Air Emissions of the Road Traffic. This book analyzes emissions on the road E18 Helsinki-Saint Petersburg. The aim of this Manual is to propose common approaches for calculating of road emissions for all interested stakeholders. Preliminary estimates of road transport emissions on the E18 are aimed to attract more attention to the region and to reduce the anthropogenic impact on the environment and human health.

The project partner LUT conducted a special survey on usage the highway E18 by transportation companies. Aim of this survey is to explore the development of international road traffic between Finland and Russia from the point of view of relevant companies operating in logistics, transportation and forwarding industry. Generally, the results indicate that growth of the road freight business is somewhat stagnating, and international traffic between Finland and Russia is decreasing to some degree. However, highway E18 is seen as safe and fluently working road, and investments towards it have been successful.

Other important developments were the Green Roadmap and the Roadmap for the creation of an Intelligent Transport System for unmanned vehicles of the E18. The Green Roadmap gives the main directions of the implementation of events, including improving the energy efficiency of the existing fleet of vehicles, development of the use of alternative fuels, development of transport infrastructure and mobility management. The Roadmap for the creation of an Intelligent Transport System describes measures for the development of this system and related digital services.

Within the framework of the project, the Project Target Group was formed, which is now included the representatives of the cargo and passenger traffic operators, road management and maintenance services, tourism and environmental companies, 14 Russian and 6 Finnish companies. Now the direct links with them are developing in more active way: they are using the project results in their own activity, matchmaking each others, etc. On the final stage, this work will be continuing and finalized.

Due to the new circumstances caused by the pandemic, the planned events of the project team were carried out in an online format.

On September 10, within the framework of the Russian-Finnish project Green InterTraffic, the Workshop for Finnish representatives of the project target groups «Road Weather and Air Quality on the road E18» was held. The main topics were research co-operation between Russia and Finland in Road Weather and in Air Quality, Road Transport emission on highway E18, results from the air quality assessment & sensor measurements along the road.

The educational activities were hold in distance format too. The pilot Training Course for the Russian and Finnish project target groups was developed, including common approach, methodology, practical recommendations- all applied scientific and expert activities results, which were developed under the Project. The course authors held meetings with the participants of the training and answered any questions about the topics of the course.

In September, the Programme organized the European cooperation day. Project manager, vice-president of the SPbCCI Ludmila Karelina presented the Green InterTraffic project and told about the results achieved.

The coverage of the project activities, its results, transparency of cooperation between partners, the positive approach to cross-border cooperation and adaptation to the new circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic were highly appreciated by the Programme. At the end of the year, the Green InterTraffic project entered the top three winners of the Good Communication Awards 2020.

* All the specified materials and developments on the project are available on the website

22 January 2021