New report provides insight into European transportation security


A new report from the European Commission (EC) funded Transport Research & Innovation Portal (TRIP) gives fresh insight into transportation security in Europe, highlighting priority areas for research and policy, such as cybercrime.

TRIP’s Transport Security study says transportation systems have always been subject to illicit acts against passengers, freight, infrastructure and vehicles. Research into policy and the technology to safeguard infrastructure and users is therefore critical to respond to emerging risks, such as cybercrime. This latest theme analysis report from TRIP provides policy makers and researchers with examples of where research in Europe is helping to improve security, reduce casualties, and improve the resilience of passenger transportation. It focusses on six critical areas of transportation security research:

• Threat detection and prevention;

• Crisis management;

• Cyber security, privacy and information and communications technology (ICT) systems;

• Staff security training;

• Cargo security;

• Passenger security.

The report also identifies important areas and research gaps to focus future efforts. This includes ensuring that developments in ICT are applied to transportation security purposes, and that effective security concepts are transferred across multiple transportation modes. For instance, the report highlights the potential for the development of airport scanning technologies to counter threats and monitor security on board passenger trains.

Research projects included in the report are drawn from the online TRIP gateway, a free to access, EC-funded portal for European professionals to share and discuss innovations in transportation mobility. TRIP contains a project database of more than 9,800 transportation research related projects, and country profiles presenting national institutions and organizations responsible for promoting and supporting transportation research.

In its conclusions, the TRIP report recommends that future research in the cyber security, privacy, and ICT domains should continue to focus on the deployment, compatibility and privacy protection of the different IT systems, while increasing the cooperation of different stakeholders and actors, especially in the land transportation sector.

The impacts on data mining, reliability of information, in-time discovery, and response and privacy protection should be a focus of future pan-European research and development. They have a particular relevance to the emerging and sensitive domains of the IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud computing, and to allow the normal operational functioning of transportation systems in the event of a cyber attack. The protection from cyber attacks and hackers becomes even more relevant considering the development of transportation systems where mobility is based on vehicles connected among each other, and with the infrastructure.

From relatively minor criminal damage on the premises of transportation providers, to major acts of piracy, hijacking and terrorism – enhancing transportation security and reducing risk is a perennial objective for the EU,” observed Gareth Horton, TRIP’s lead analyst.

“I hope that the new report will help researchers and policy makers learn from best practice and target the research gaps identified, enhancing the security and wellbeing of Europe and its population.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).