Evaluation of Benefits and Costs of a Connected Eco-Driving Program for Trucks

Research Team: Kanok Boriboonsomsin (lead) and Matthew Barth

University: University of California, Riverside

Problem Statement: One operational strategy to improve the efficiency of freight movement while also reducing environmental and health impacts is to provide advanced traveler information to truck drivers. Research shows that using real-time traffic information to determine and provide driving speed recommendation to truck drivers can help reduce fuel consumption and truck emissions. On signalized corridors, traffic signal status is a critical piece of real-time traffic information that can enable innovative applications such as connected eco-driving where drivers are provided with driving speed recommendation that will allow them to pass through signalized intersections in an efficient manner. All traffic signals are owned and operated by public agencies. Therefore, public agencies who manage the state’s roadway infrastructure would benefit from a better understanding of the costs and benefits associated with providing traffic signal status information to the traveling public.

Project Description: This project will evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a connected eco-driving program for trucks on urban freight corridors. The cost items will include capital investment in infrastructure upgrades such as upgrading traffic controller to enable exporting of traffic signal phase and timing (SPaT) data, installing communication line or device to send SPaT data to a central server, and setting up the central server. The cost items will also include operating costs such as wireless data plan and maintenance of the central server. The research team will use their experience in working with various vendors and agency partners to instrument traffic signals in the City of Carson and in setting up the Traffic Signal Information System server in an ongoing project to gather and determine cost information. This project will also conduct real-world emissions evaluation of a connected eco-driving application for trucks using an innovative approach that couples traffic microsimulation with chassis dynamometer testing. The results from the emissions evaluation with be compiled along with travel time and fuel saving results from other studies to present a complete picture of the benefits of a connected eco-driving program for trucks.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $88,629

Project Partner(s): California Air Resources Board, the Volvo Group, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Work, City of Carson, City of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation, and the Port of Los Angeles