The AMTA is spearheading a research and innovation program within industry to aid in promoting economic growth, embracing innovation, enhancing safety and security, collaborating with partners and supporting environmental sustainability.
“The AMTA is moving forward on studying a variety of innovations that can benefit both the transportation industry and the environment,” said Andrew Barnes, Director, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, and Partners in Compliance, AMTA. “The vision of a research and innovation program is to support the evolution of commercial transportation technology while providing industry support, increased safety, training expansion and testing and demonstrations.”
Aiding that evolution of commercial transportation technology is the AMTA’s new facility and training area in Edmonton. The facility’s grand opening was this past March and was the third component of the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre at Edmonton International Airport. In the classroom space, the AMTA can offer members and nonmembers leading edge, high quality health and safety training, and the five-acre training area allows for outdoor education scenarios. The top floor has 6,000 sub-dividable square feet with leasing opportunities available.
In June, the AMTA was the recipient of $7.3 million of the Emissions Reduction Alberta $100 million investment into clean technology. The association received the money for the Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC). AZETEC is an industry-led initiative to reduce emissions from Alberta’s commercial transportation sector by harnessing the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric powered drive trains. AZETEC includes construction of two hydrogen fuel cell trucks to be trialed on Alberta highways by carriers Bison Transport and Trimac Transportation. Alberta natural gas will be utilized with vehicle completion expected late 2020 and testing to continue into 2022.
“Alberta is a province on the move, and this initiative is about moving freight with zero-emissions while continuing to support the economy,” said AMTA President Chris Nash. “Commercial transportation has long been working on the transition towards innovative transportation that meets both the needs of our membership, and the environment.”
AZETEC will also demonstrate the importance of guiding innovation to fit with the unique demands of transportation in Alberta including heavy weights and cold weather.
Another initiative available to industry is Natural Resources Canada’s SmartWay, created in order to help businesses reduce fuel costs while transporting goods in the most environmentally friendly and efficient way possible.
“It’s programs like SmartWay that can help lead industry into the future. Our membership will have access to a variety of SmartWay education initiatives including classes and webinars,” said Barnes.
According to Natural Resources Canada, education initiatives were developed in consultation with a range of trucking industry representatives including fleet owners, equipment manufacturers, driver trainers, provincial trucking associations, regulatory agencies and drivers. Courses include SmartDriver for Highway Trucking, a web-based program showcasing fuel-efficient driving strategies. There is also the Green Freight Assessment Program (GFAP) which was created to help Canadian carriers make informed decisions specific operations. GFAP offers carriers financial contributions and assessments to determine a performance baseline, while providing options for solutions for improving overall performance.