Co-operative systems could cut fuel use

'Green' transport technologies that could potentially cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent are being developed in a European-funded research project.

The vision behind the three-year eCoMove project is that of the 'perfect eco-driver' travelling through the 'perfectly eco-managed' road network. State-of-the-art vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies (so called cooperative systems) will be used to integrate systems supporting energy-efficient driving with those for 'eco-traffic management'.

Road transport alone is responsible for some 70 per cent of all transport greenhouse gas emissions that in turn make up around 20 per cent 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 says: "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.

Project partners will develop a suite of mainly independent but interacting applications focused on drivers' behaviour, route choice and road network management which, in combination, could potentially deliver the target 20 per cent reduction in fuel use and hence CO2 emissions.

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

The project is coordinated by ERTICO - ITS Europe and involves industry and academic partners from across Europe.

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