With ever rising petrol prices and pollution from cars, manufacturers are looking to hybrid and electric vehicles to solve these challenges.
Whilst new electric cars are seen by many as the answer, there will not be a mass change to these more eco-friendly models in the short or even mid term.
That’s why there is a lot of focus on eco-driving and working out how we become more efficient with the petrol guzzling, pollution spewing internal combustion engine.
Researchers at the University of California aim to improve fuel efficiency, and have received a $1.2 million grant from the US government to evaluate suitable technologies. Their objective is to develop a system which creates feedback to drivers so they can cut their carbon emissions and fuel costs by 30%.
There’s already a number of ways that eco-driving is being used to reduce fuel use, such as maintaing cars, more efficient planning of trips and avoiding rapid starts and stops.
In Europe and Asia eco-driving initiatives have demonstrated fuel improvements of 20%, whilst in the United States smaller studies have created 5% to 15% of savings.
The University of California, however, aim to improve what’s already available. Their plan is to develop a fully integrated feedback system that includes improved efficiency while driving, better trip planning and comprehensive reporting.
“This grant allows us to go beyond small, anecdotal studies to show, on a large scale, the significant positive economic and environmental impacts of eco-driving principles and the value of feedback systems,” said Matthew Barth, the principal investigator on the project.
This next-generation of eco-friendly driving from the University of California will build on current technology and research by developing and integrating a number of innovative features, including:
- Monitoring of fuel consumption and driving behaviour in real time
- Customised reports to the driver with recommendations for improving fuel efficiency
- Calculation of the most fuel efficient route
- Provision of audio driving feedback to the driver to avoid excessive idling, speeding and aggressive breaking acceleration/braking
- A scoring system which shows which drivers, vehicles and routes are the most fuel efficient
Green Abode wish the team at University of California every success in their three year eco-driving project.
There’s a number of other ways eco friendly motoring can save you money and reduce carbon emissions. The latest electric and hybrid cars will be showcased at the EcoVelocity Green Motor Show. For those people who prefer not to own a car or can’t afford to upgrade to a newer fuel efficient model, green car hire is available in many major cities in the UK.