Performance Based Standards for High Capacity Transports in Sweden

The transport sector is facing a major challenge to reduce energy consumption and limit environmental impact; therefore, there is a great interest in increasing the efficiency of the transport system in Sweden, which makes the High Capacity Transports (HCT) an attractive solution.

In order to introduce HCT vehicles in Sweden, the existing regulations should be modified and a proper way of regulating HCT vehicles and their access to the road network should be developed to ensure that a certified HCT vehicle would not have negative effects on traffic safety, infrastructure and environment.

One approach is to use performance based standards (PBS) for regulation of heavy vehicles access to the road network; under a PBS approach to regulation, standards would specify the performance required from vehicle, rather than mandating how this level of performance should be achieved by putting limits on the vehicle length or weight.

The purpose of the project, described in VTI report 859A, is to propose a performance based regulation of HCT vehicles and their access to the road network. The core of the proposed regulatory framework will be a set of performance based standards. In this project all the three domains of safety, infrastructure and environment will be addressed, but the focus is on safety for which extensive testing, simulations and analysis are planned. This report gathers the outcome of work packages 1 and 2 of the project, which is a review of the existing regulation in Sweden, PBS approaches in other countries and relevant literature and regulations.

In the discussion chapter at the end of the report, a set of candidate performance measures with respect to safety and manoeuvrability are proposed for further investigation within the project. An important aspect is to investigate these measures with respect to both high and low friction surfaces and possible correlation between them. The reviewed regulations on performance of heavy vehicles with respect to environment, namely exhaust emissions, fuel consumption and noise, are all performance based. Thus, the main issue with respect to HCT vehicles is whether the existing environmental regulations are suitable for them or not.

The pavement function and design along with the main deterioration mechanisms and their relationship to heavy loads are described in the report. One of the main concerns with the HCT vehicles is the effects of passes of multiple heavy axles on the pavement, an area in which the current knowledge is not sufficient. Another important issue is the loading on bridges, which are the primary part of the infrastructure that put restrictions on the allowed axle load and gross weight of heavy vehicles, to avoid excessive loading.

VTI report 859A: Performance based standards for high capacity transports in Sweden. FIFFI project 2013-03881 Report 1, Review of existing regulations and literature.
Authors: Sogol Kharrazi, Robert Karlsson, Jesper Sandin, John Aurell.
Link to full report in English

Image of Sogol Kharrazi Contact:
Sogol Kharrazi
VTI, Sweden
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