State of the art

Systems and applications have been developed to help drivers to drive more efficiently and reduce energy consumption by smoothing traffic flow and easing congestion, though they are not explicitly targeting environmental criteria. And when they do, technical limitations prevent them from reaching their full potential: Indeed existing products, processes and services cannot take individual vehicle fuel consumption nor the overall network energy efficiency into account because they lack the communication and cooperation with the other road users / entities.

Moreover, eco-driving techniques can significantly reduce fuel consumption and do not fundamentally require technological support; however telematics systems have the potential to help achieve better and long-lasting results.

  • Navigation, map and route guidance: eco-routing systems currently on the market take into account only very limited information to estimate the least fuel-consuming route, but is not using slope data that is available in maps. Although map data increasingly contains attributes that are essential for accurate fuel consumption estimation (e.g. slope, curvature, speed profiles), these data are not yet used for determining the least fuel consuming route.

  • Eco-driving support: several onboard units, whether aftermarket/nomadic or built-in, and offline analysis systems are already available on the market, which provide feedback while driving or post-trip analysis afterwards, but they are limited to e.g. gear shift indicator, and are not able to take into account the information about traffic light phasing or behaviour of surrounding vehicles, nor give a preview of the situation ahead.

  • Fleet management: fleet planning and routing solutions today are based on historic journey time and other traffic data, updated with limited real-time traffic information. Trip plans cannot be shared with the road manager to optimise his management of those system components along the planned route.

  • Traffic Control and Management: the most advanced traffic control systems for both urban and inter-urban networks are able to optimise the traffic signal parameters based on historical data, real-time traffic monitoring and short-term traffic forecasts. Nevertheless the primary aim is to balance queue lengths and minimise delay, not to prioritise energy efficiency. Moreover traffic state data are mainly collected from sensors such as loops embedded in the roadway, and disseminated to travellers by roadside displays or radio broadcast. No traffic systems available today can manage communication with individual vehicles in order to suggest the lowest-energy route and appropriate speed profile to minimise delay and stops at traffic lights. The idea of a network energy consumption map based on real consumption measurements is entirely original.