Today, travel has become much faster, easier, safer, more affordable and more comfortable for all. This has largely been made possible thanks to the emergence of new, lighter and technologically advanced materials such as carbon and glass fibres, composite materials and aluminium, as well as malleable, resistant and easily workable plastics, foams and new types of textiles. These materials have particular properties which not only make them ideally suited for specific and increasingly modern functions, but also highly adaptable and economical. As a result, they are increasingly used in the mechanical, structural and decorative parts of our trains, planes, boats, trucks and automobiles.
By using these new materials, the structure and weight of transport vehicles have also become much lighter, helping to reduce the amount of fuel needed and thereby leading to improved energy and cost efficiency. Due to the flammability of plastics, composite materials, foams and textiles, however, their use is dependent on ensuring that they are fire safe. In particular, when they are used in public transport, public authorities and private operators have a high degree of responsibility to guarantee the maximum possible level of safety for passengers.