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Comprehensive analysis of the carbon impacts of vehicle intelligent speed control

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Publication details

JournalAtmospheric Environment
DateE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2010
DatePublished (current) - Jul 2010
Issue number23
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)2674-2680
Early online date5/05/10
Original languageEnglish


In recent years sophisticated technologies have been developed to control vehicle speed based on the type of road the vehicle is driven on using Global Positioning Systems and in-car technology that can alter the speed of the vehicle. While reducing the speed of road vehicles is primarily of interest from a safety perspective, vehicle speed is also an important determinant of vehicle emissions and thus these technologies can be expected to have impacts on a range of exhaust emissions. This work analyses the results from a very large, comprehensive field trial that used 20 instrumented vehicles with and without speed control driven almost 500,000 km measuring vehicle speed at 10 Hz. We develop individual vehicle modal emissions models for CO2 for 30 Euro III and Euro IV cars at a 1-Hz time resolution. Generalized Additive Models were used to describe how emissions from individual vehicles vary depending on their driving conditions, taking account of variable interactions and time-lag effects. We quantify the impact that vehicle speed control has on-vehicle emissions of CO2 by road type, fuel type and driver behaviour. Savings in CO2 of ≈6% were found on average for motorway-type roads when mandatory speed control was used compared with base case conditions. For most other types of road, speed control has very little effect on emissions of CO2 and in some cases can result in increased emissions for low-speed limit urban roads. We also find that there is on average a 20% difference in CO2 emission between the lowest and highest emitting driver, which highlights the importance of driver behaviour in general as a means of reducing emissions of CO2.

    Research areas

  • Emission inventory, Fuel consumption, Intelligent speed adaptation, Vehicle emissions

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