Eco-driving: helping road users to improve efficiency and reduce CO2

Improved driver training, alongside supportive technologies can help cut CO2 from road transport through the use of eco-driving techniques.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) last week hosted the fourth in a series of workshops on the potential for CO2 reductions from cars and vans.

This workshop – the fourth of eight – brought together key stakeholders from the world of driver training, road safety and academic transport research fields, as well as representatives of road users.

The discussions focused on the relevance of driver behaviour on the industry’s overall commitment to further reducing CO2 emissions, as the human factor, however an important, is often overlooked. Stakeholders present also discussed how eco-driving has the potential to also improve road safety outcomes by encouraging more careful vehicle control and greater predictive and defensive driving by users.

The EU-funded EcoWill project, which ran between 2010 and 2013, was mentioned as an example of a programme to raise awareness of the benefits of eco-driving. ACEA was an advisory partner to this project, which also developed a series of five ‘Golden Rules’ of eco-driving designed to aid users in improving their vehicle operation skills.

Some stakeholders advocated technological solutions that could be used to provide drivers with the information they require to improve their fuel consumption, as well as supporting their wider eco-driving efforts.

Welcoming guests at the event, ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said, “This workshop is an exceptional opportunity to have an open and frank discussion about the contribution that eco-driving can make to reducing CO2 emissions from road vehicles. Every driver is different, but drivers themselves can have an important impact on a vehicle’s environmental performance. Widespread uptake of eco-driving techniques can have a real effect on absolute road transport emissions.”

This passenger car and light commercial vehicle initiative is matched by a set of roundtables that ACEA is already hosting to establish a comprehensive approach to reducing the CO2 impact of trucks and buses.

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