Research Project Summary Information
Demonstration of EcoPlus Vehicle Fuel Use Management(25728)
TomTom North America, Inc.
The focus of this project is the highway transportation sector, with an emphasis on commercial fleet travel. In general, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gases (GHG) in New York State and it is believed that significant reductions in GHG (and energy use) can be achieved by use of currently available, commercial technology. The core of the project is to establish a pool of 1,200 fleet vehicles equipped with systems which provide drivers with fuel use feedback and real-time traffic information, so they can reduce fuel use and travel times by driving more efficiently.
While vehicle fuel efficiency has improved over time, vehicle use and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have increased steadily and are expected to continue to grow. This results in growing GHG emissions, compounded by congestion on the road network which increases along with VMT. Fuel consumption can be reduced at the vehicle level by avoiding congestion (either by using uncongested routes or changing departure times) and by decreasing braking and idling. Reliable information for drivers regarding current traffic conditions, travel times and the fastest route to a destination can reduce congestion and improve the overall efficiency of the road network.
Over the last four years, TomTom North America, Inc. (hereinafter the “Contractor”) has developed new in-vehicle technology which combines real-time traffic information with dynamic routing and navigation. In May 2011, the Contractor introduced HD Traffic, a new, high-quality real-time traffic system, in the United States. HD Traffic is now available in TomTom navigation devices and in the Contractor’s iPhone navigation application. Navigation with accurate real-time traffic information and dynamic routing has been proven to save travel time. Drivers can make informed decisions before departure (possibly departing later) and can make use of alternate routes, which avoid major points of congestion. A drive test completed in Germany, where HD Traffic was introduced in 2009, found that up to 15% could be saved on fuel consumption by navigating with HD Traffic, when compared to navigating with other solutions. Navigation also provides safety benefits, having a calming effect on driver behavior, and making it easier to focus on the road ahead.
As a demonstration of an underutilized commercial technology, this project seeks to deploy EcoPlus for the first time in the United States – and of course for the first time New York State. EcoPlus, which is currently only available in Europe, provides a real-time view of the fuel efficiency of the vehicle and shows where and when fuel is being wasted.
The goal of the project is to clearly demonstrate how the combination of in-car navigation systems, real-time traffic information and dynamic routing as well as driver feedback regarding efficient fuel use can reduce travel times and fuel consumption and thus emissions.
Fuel use and fuel efficiency shall be recorded continually for each vehicle. Daily, weekly and quarterly reports can be created for each vehicle and for all participants collectively during the course of the project. It is expected that the fuel use and efficiency statistics will require analysis in the context of the actual travel routes used (locations) and travel conditions. Changes in fuel efficiency shall then be used to calculate changes in greenhouse gas emissions.
TomTom North America, Inc.
11 Lafayette Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D -Transport & Power Systems