Connecting vehicles to smart infrastructure reduces CO2 emissions

Connecting vehicles to smart infrastructure reduces CO2 emissions

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Many experts and drivers have already suspected that intelligently controlled traffic flows can help reduce CO2 emissions. A new study can now quantify the effect.

CO2 emissions from road traffic must be reduced, that is widely agreed in the EU. The Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) has investigated how the CO2 emissions of these vehicles can be reduced by integrating them into intelligent control systems.

For the study, funded by chipmaker Qualcomm, scientists used a complex simulation model. Towards this end, they first divided traffic into three categories based on the degree of urbanity: Tier 1 was urban areas and cities with populations of more than 500,000; Tier 2 was predominantly urban areas with populations between 100,000 and 500,000; and finally, Tier 3 accounted for more small-town and rural areas with populations of less than 100,000. They also divided the world of potential connected car applications into three tiers:

– Level1: Applications that are technically and regulatory ready for the market and can be easily integrated into the transport structure.

– Level 2: Applications that still have to overcome certain technological and regulatory hurdles and contribute to a higher degree of automation of the driving process.

– Level 3: Applications that are even further in the future and represent a kind of target formulation for traffic management in urban and interurban areas.

In the study, for the urban traffic simulations, the researchers used one L1 application, namely dynamic traffic lights, and two L2 applications: dynamic routing (DR) and smart traffic junction (STJ).

For the rural simulations, the researchers used one L1 application, namely prescribing the optimal speed, and one L2 application, namely platooning. In addition, the modeling assumes two different interconnections: C-V2X and, for areas without cellular coverage, C-V2X PC5 (direct vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity). By combining these two techniques, the vehicles are within the reach of the Connected Applications at all times.

While the outcome under the bottom line actually greatly depends on parameters such as traffic density, V2X penetration and application used, the overall result proved a significant difference: Connecting the vehicles yields in a potential for CO2 reduction of between just under 13% (with a vehicle connectivity level of only 20%, peak hours, rural environments) and more than 32% (connectivity level 100% , metropolitan environment, off-peak hours).

Read the study here

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