New study demonstrates potential of ITS to cut CO2 from heavy-duty vehicles

At the IAA Commercial Vehicle Motor Show in Hanover, ACEA was joined by Hermann Meyer from ERTICO – ITS Europe for the launch of a new study on the extent to which intelligent transport systems (ITS) can help to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

European manufacturers have been investing heavily in vehicle technology to reduce CO2 emissions across all business segments, from buses to trucks, and are committed to do more. However, any ambitious CO2 strategy should also look beyond vehicle technology alone, and place focus on other important factors that influence emissions during the use of the vehicle. A truly integrated approach would draw on the full spectrum of solutions available to reduce CO2 emissions; that can include altering driver behaviour, fuel options, stimulating fleet renewal, improving infrastructure and the potential of intelligent transport systems.

In order to assess the impact ITS can have on further reducing CO2 as part of an integrated approach, ERTICO conducted a study entitled ‘The scope of intelligent transport systems for reducing CO2 emissions and increasing safety of heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches’, which you can download here. The study clearly demonstrates how ITS technology can leverage the benefits of digitilisation to contribute to the further decarbonisation of transport.

The most promising in-vehicle ITS applications identified by the ERTICO study are:

  • Eco-driving support can save around 7% to 10% of CO2 emissions on non-urban roads (excluding motorways). Benefits of up to 25% for heavy-goods vehicles and buses are possible in very localised situations, for example on the approach to junctions and traffic signals, provided there is no congestion.
  • Eco-routing can provide benefits of between 4% and 12% in urban areas for freight transport, but much lower in interurban situations.
  • Truck platooning can reduce CO2 emissions by 7% to 16% for following vehicles, depending on the inter-vehicle spacing. For the lead vehicle, CO2 reductions between 1% and 8% are possible.

ITS applications holding significant potential that are primarily infrastructure or back-office based are the following:

  • Traffic signal systems such as Energy Efficient Intersection Service (giving extended green time to selected buses or trucks) and Green Light Optimised Speed Advisory (giving count-down for the traffic light status change or speed information to help avoid stopping at a red light), can lead to CO2 savings of around 5% in urban areas.
  • Delivery space booking for goods vehicles can reduce CO2 emissions by over 20% in the vicinity of the delivery location. However, as a percentage of the overall journey, savings are expected to be 5%-10% for urban deliveries and lower for interurban trips.
  • On the interurban level, Intelligent Truck Parking could achieve a small (2%) reduction in CO2 emissions for long-distance freight transport by reducing extra distance driven to search for parking facilities.
  • Eco-ramp metering for motorway access that gives extended green time to heavy-goods vehicles can result in a 14% to 17% CO2 reduction in the immediate motorway ramp area, but 5% overall on the surrounding network.
  • Driver behaviour and CO2 footprint monitoring for large fleets can bring a reduction in CO2 emissions of around 9%.
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