Project aims to reduce road transport fuel consumption by up to 20%

A three year European funded research project has been established to develop, test and evaluate a number of 'green' transport technologies and applications that will potentially deliver up to 20% CO2 emissions reductions.

The eCoMove project plans to formulate the 'perfect eco-driver' travelling through the 'perfectly eco-managed' road network. The project will be using the state of the art vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies (cooperative systems), to integrate systems to support eco-driving with those for eco-traffic management.

Road transport alone is responsible for around 70% of all transport greenhouse gas emissions that in turn make up around 20% of global emissions. The project's core concept is that a combination of cooperative applications for eco-driving, eco-freight and logistics and eco-traffic management can – for any given trip by a particular vehicle – help to approach the theoretical least possible fuel consumption; without compromising the quality of mobility of people and goods.

Jean Charles Pandazis, coordinator of the project said: "In reality today, vehicles, drivers and traffic management systems fall short of this ideal, and much fuel is wasted leading to unnecessary CO2 emission."

Eco-driving support, fuel-optimised navigation and energy-efficient traffic control are the three pillars of eCoMove, which corresponds to the three main causes of energy waste. The project will act on: drivers' behaviour, route choice and road network management.

According to Pandazis, eCoMove will find solutions to help drivers to drive more fuel efficient, to find the 'greenest' route and with the best chance of driving through traffic lights on green. Road operators will be allowed to adapt traffic signal parameters and apply other measures to balance the traffic so that vehicles on the network consume the least possible fuel.

The system allows for incentives or other advantages, such as cash eco-bonuses or priority in traffic, to encourage green driving.

While eco-driving and traffic management measures already exist, the innovation relies in applying cooperative information and communication technologies providing real time information, to generate a substantial and sustainable impact.

Chris Shaw

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