Transportation / Mobility

March 13, 2011


Ecodriving Found to Reduce CO2 Emissions of Nearby Traffic

Keywords: Climate Change Energy Conservation Transportation / Mobility University / Research institute 

JFS/Ecodriving Found to Reduce CO2 Emissions of Nearby Traffic
Copyright National Institute for Environmental Studies

Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies announced on November 1, 2010, that based on analysis using traffic flow simulations it found that the effect that ecodriving has in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions spreads to non-ecodrivers nearby.

While ecodriving by itself is known to be effective in reducing CO2 emissions, some are concerned that it might increase total CO2 emissions because it disturbs traffic flow. The Institute thus assessed the reduction effect of ecodriving by using traffic flow simulation. It created a model that assumed a road section with several patterns of distance between traffic signals and different time intervals for stoplights. It then analyzed the resulting amount of CO2 reduced as it correlated to the number of vehicles practicing ecodriving and the total number of vehicles on the road.

The simulations clearly showed that ecodriving is more effective on road sections where traffic lights are controlled to help vehicles avoid stoplights and when vehicles are moving at the speed limit. It also found that a group of vehicles led by an ecodriver spreads its effect onto non-ecodrivers. For example, when 40 percent of vehicles practice ecodriving, the reduction effect may be double that achieved by a single ecodriving car. On the other hand, ecodriving was shown to be less effective on roads with uncoordinated traffic lights and in downtown areas with numerous signals.

The Institute ran another simulation that reproduced the traffic light distances and control methods of two road sections in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and obtained similar results. A researcher at the Institute says that the next step is to analyze planar road networks.

Posted: 2011/03/13 06:00:15 AM



National Institute for Environmental Studies official website