Assessing Drivers’ Responses to Eco-driving Applications

Research Team: Ching-Yao Chan (lead) and Peggy Wang

University: UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Eco-driving applications are designed to change a person’s driving behavior by providing real-time vehicle-specific information and advice such as to accelerate slowly, and reduce speed to optimize vehicle speed and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. However, in a dynamic traffic environment following these recommendations may not always be practical. Without information about how drivers respond to eco-driving guidance under actual driving conditions, estimating potential emission reduction is questionable. Moreover, in-vehicle eco-driving devices may distract drivers and consequently increase crash risk. For eco-driving technologies to be optimally utilized and widely adopted, these two critical human-factor issues must be properly addressed.

Project Description: This project will investigate drivers’ responses when using eco-driving applications and the effects on fuel savings and emission reduction as well as the associated safety impacts, through a simulated driving experiment involving a local roadway with signalized intersections, and freeway stop-and-go traffic. Each test subject will complete four driving scenarios. Five categories of data will be collected and analyzed to evaluate drivers’ responses to the eco-driving applications, benefits of fuel savings and emission reduction, and safety impact. The data collected will include (i) fuel consumption and emission; (ii) travel time; (iii) driving performance; (iv) visual attention; and (v) subjective feedback.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $70,254

Project Partner(s): California Department of Transportation