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UK's Transport Research Laboratory (TRL): Creating the future of transport
Website name:
TRL: Creating the future of transport
URL: http://www.trl.co.uk/

This issue focuses on a unique overseas web site related to transport research and consultancy. TRL, the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, is a widely recognized center providing research, consultancy, and testing for every aspect of transport.

Privatized in 1996, Providing Various Solutions for Transport to Public and Private Clients
TRL has its headquarters in Crowthorne in Berkshire, in the south of England. Founded in 1933 as part of UK Government, it has a long history. TRL was privatized in 1996 and since then has been operating as a fully independent private company.

TRL is wholly owned by the Transport Research Foundation (TRF). TRF was also established in 1996 as a non-profit distributing foundation with no share holders, and supported by over 80 sector members from the transport industry. Profits made by TRL are passed to TRF and re-invested in scientific research, ensuring TRL continues to undertake its high quality, impartial research.

TRL explores the future of transport, working with customers from many wide-ranging transport disciplines in both public and private sectors, such as transportation, safety, environmental issues, sustainability, and transport infrastructure. For that purpose, TRL has 500 staff including many world recognized experts. It is also equipped with unique facilities as well. With this workforce and facilities, TRL provides appropriate solutions to its customers the world over on various projects, from small-scale research and planning to complex multimodal research, to assisting policy-makers on ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems)-related technology.

To Focus on Diversified Topics Regarding Transport
The phrase at the top of the HOME page, "Creating the future of transport", truly indicates the vision with which TRL has been generating solutions to ever-changing needs in transport.

Reflecting this, TRL covers not only the state-of-the-art technology in the transport-related areas but also safety and environmental issues. For example, TRL is helping to develop sustainable communities including provision of knowledge and services for road/transport systems in developing countries.

Some of these aspects are shown by the items under "OUR SERVICES", placed on the right side of the HOME page with visual images easy to understand. These items are as follows: Maximizing the efficiency of transport infrastructure; Safer roads, Safer vehicles, Safer people; Integrating Transport - keeping people on the move; Reducing the environmental impact of transport; and Improving livelihoods in the developing world.

Click "Reducing the environmental impact of transport" for instance, as one of the topics attracting more and more attention in recent years. At the beginning, the overview of environmental issue is introduced as a basis for activity. In the context of global warming, it explains that UK transport is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions, with road transport accounting for around three quarters of this 25%, stressing that TRL's research work "connects" across the broad themes of transport, economy, and environment.

Next, smaller items such as Air Quality, Noise and Vibration, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Sustainable Materials, Centre for Sustainability (C4S), Green Travel, and Resource Management, or Case studies, where project examples are described and explained in more detail on each page.

For example, C4S is linked with another separate website (http://www.c4s.info/). It offers various pieces of information about Construction, Air Quality, Climate Change etc., under the catchphrase of "Generating and sharing knowledge for a sustainable future."

Showing a variety of services, Online Store is another of the website's features. The product lineup includes Reports & Publications, Images, Software, Training, Events, and Legform Impactors. The store also provides links to the Library and Information. The item of Software is linked to a dedicated website for "TRL Software" (www.trlsoftware.co.uk), where customers can download demonstration versions of TRL software products, or search for Consultancy services on traffic & transportation and software.

These software products cover diverse purposes and functions, ranging from Junction Design to Traffic and Network, Strategic Modeling, Environment, Safety, and to Economic Appraisal. STM (Strategic Transport Model) is one of them. It is a flexible multi-modal modeling tool designed to assist regional town and transport planners in making appropriate transport policy decisions, having ability to assess potential effects of planned policies in a short time scale.

Another important aspect of transport is Safety. This has many links to topics like Simulation and Modeling, or Accident Research, providing useful information on its innovative research that contribute to many different aspects of society. With all this content, this website presents a comprehensive insight towards the future shape of transport.

TRL and FORUM 8 have made an agreement on the mutual provision of their products. TRL markets UC-win/Road in UK and Ireland, while FORUM 8 markets TRANSYT (traffic signal optimization program) and OSCADY PRO (traffic design package) in Japan, Korean, and China.

HOME page:
TRL: Creating the future of transport
(Reproduced by courtesy of TRL)
TRL's New Headquarters in Crowthorne
(Reproduced by courtesy of TRL)

This article is written based on the above website with the permission of TRL.