The 22nd International Scientific Multidisciplinary Conference RelStat – 2022 was a success!

This year, from October 20 to 22, the Transport and Telecommunication Institute (TSI) held the 22nd international scientific conference RelStat-2022. The main theme this year was “Artificial Intelligence in Transportation”. After a long-lasting Covid-19 pandemic, this year all conference participants had the opportunity to meet in person, and discuss current issues and innovations, ideas, and research results in transport and logistics and other related scientific fields. Around 100 scientists, entrepreneurs, and representatives of state agencies from different countries took part in the conference.

The main topics discussed at the conference:

  • Smart Solutions in Transportation Systems
  • Network and Telecommunications
  • Reliability, Risk and Safety Applications
  • Mathematics, Statistics, Modelling and its Applications
  • Information Systems and Information Technologies
  • Business and Economics Applications
  • Mobile and Distance Education

The Plenary speakers were researchers and industry specialists from Spain, Germany and Latvia, presenting the latest research results and innovations in the field of transportation.

Plenary session key topics:

  • Artificial Intelligence in Transport: State of the Art and Future Trends
  • CargoTube: Next Generation Sustainable Transportation by Hyperloop Technologies
  • A Paradigm Shift in Modern Air Traffic Management: Better Now Than Never
  • Economic Substantiation of Smart City Dimensions

A more comprehensive insight into the use of Artificial Intelligence in the creation of smart mobility and the development of Hyperloop technology was given by Professor, Dr. Enrique Onieva from Spain, and Professor, Dr. Walter Neu from Germany.

Professor, Dr. Enrique Onieva (Vice-Dean for International Relationships and Online Teaching, from the University of Deusto, Spain) shared the results of his research on the application of artificial intelligence in the creation of smart mobility.

Dr. Enrique Onieva emphasized that the main problem in Europe now is population urbanization, which is why cities need new innovations. Greater and faster urbanization is contributing to drastic and extreme climate change, and undeniably, it also has a huge impact on the use of transport in urban environments.

Due to urbanization, the consumption habits of the population are changing. For example, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce has increased massively, as well as the traffic in cities. To solve the problems caused by urbanization it is necessary to create Smart Mobility. Dr. Onieva explains that artificial intelligence is used to create smart mobility in the urban environment, thus creating more autonomous, sustainable, and safer logistics in cities. Artificial intelligence is used in the creation of web platforms and mobile applications, the help which gives its user information about driving hazards and traffic jams, and offers different route options, therefore making logistics more modern and sustainable.

When asked why it is important to acquire knowledge about Artificial Intelligence nowadays, Dr. Onieva answers:

From a general perspective of basic knowledge of Artificial Intelligence systems’ methods, possibilities and limitations, the whole society should have such knowledge. In fact, some countries already offer free training for it to the community. From a technical point of view, I consider it necessary to obtain this knowledge from all professionals linked to the digital world.

Discussing what are the main challenges for society in connection with the rise of Artificial Intelligence today, and which European Horizon Framework projects the professor considers to be important revolutionaries in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Onieva expresses:

Beyond applications and technical challenges where artificial intelligence can offer more effective and efficient solutions than the current ones, in areas such as transport or health. Society faces challenges linked to the proper and ethical use of these tools, as well as respect for the privacy of the data obtained for the construction of solutions. There are many projects, initiatives, working groups and government actions in this line of work. All those capable of seeking better and more effective solutions, respecting the ethical principles established by society, are worthy of mention.”

Professor, Dr. Walter Neu (Director of the Institute of Hyperloop Technology, University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, Germany) gave more insight into the Hyperloop project’s innovative solutions in logistics and present main issues of ePIcenter project. TSI and Institute of Hyperloop Technology are participants of this project. See more information about the ePIcenter project here:

Thanks to the Hyperloop Technology, cargo transportation is made more sustainable, and it will reduce the public road traffic volume, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, noise, energy and light consumption, thus creating a sustainable and green logistics solution for the surrounding environment.

When asked what future transportation systems using Hyperloop technology could look like, Dr. Walter Neu says:

To my mind, the main advantage of a Hyperloop application named CargoTube is that we have a high potential to save a lot of energy caused by moving around goods. We can do that by minimizing the air friction, and thereby energy consumption due to the affliction. On top of that, we can also get to a higher speed and a shorter delivery time. Perhaps this is one of the best innovations you can do for an optimized good transportation system. But we should keep in mind that we must do that in an intermodal way so that you still have interfaces between the different modes of transportation. No one actually dares to do everything with the hyperlink. Most efficiently that would be just the connection between hubs with a large volume of goods that flow in and out. And then in the last stage, last mile distribution takes place. That’s why you need to have compatible interfaces with existing transportation modes and use the Hyperloop as an enhanced tool than can be used for fast, reliable, and climate neutral delivery of goods. Therefore, Hyperloop is the best way to make logistics more sustainable.”

Speaking about logistics optimization and digitization, Dr. Walter Neu explains:

Optimization is always favourable because that means delivery times, the volume flow from different directions, and the usage of free transportation systems can be optimized. Thus, optimization is an effective way to reduce energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Perhaps Hyperloop offers the opportunity to think about alternatives for the movement of goods. For example, instead of increasing air cargo traffic which has the largest budget in the emission of greenhouse gases, as off now. If one keeps that on the ground, using CargoTube transportation systems we can achieve low energy consumption and avoid greenhouse gas emissions at comparable throughput, therefore getting a much more efficient transportation system. Nonetheless the speeds of delivery of goods would also be quite comparable to what air cargo offers. Therefore, I think the Hyperloop is a very good way to reduce air traffic while keeping the time and reliability of delivery at least where it is now.”

The plenary session was also attended by Jelena Popova, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Transport and Management, who spoke about the advantages of a smart city in the field of logistics. Vladislav Chaschin, deputy head of the Technical Support Department of SJSC “Latvijas gaisas satiksme”, emphasized innovation trends in air traffic management.

We hope to see the main guests of our plenary session next year as well!

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