How Public Education on Ecodriving Can Reduce Both Fuel Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Authors: Elliot W Martin, Nelson D Chan, Susan A Shaheen Published: January 2012 Abstract: Ecodriving, the concept of changing driving behavior and vehicle maintenance to impact fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in existing vehicles, has gained recent prominence in North America. One ecodriving strategy involves public education through Internet-based information dissemination. This paper presents the results of a controlled stated-response study conducted from June to December 2010 with approximately 100 University of California, Berkeley faculty, staff, and students, assessing the effectiveness of static ecodriving web-based information. A comparison of the experimental and control groups found that exposure to ecodriving information influenced people’s driving behavior and maintenance practices. The experimental group’s distributional shift was statistically significant, particularly for key practices including: lower highway cruising speed, driving behavior adjustment, and proper tire inflation. Within the experimental group (N = 51), fewer respondents significantly changed their maintenance practices (16%) than the majority that altered some driving practices (71%); this suggests intentional altering of driving behavior is easier than planning better maintenance practices. A comparison of before-and-after surveys found that 57% of the experimental group improved their ecodriving behavior, while 43% made no change or worsened. Key characteristics of the drivers that improved include: being female, living in smaller households, and owning a newer car with higher fuel economy. While it was evident that not everyone modifies their behavior as a result of reviewing the website, even small shifts in behavior due to inexpensive information dissemination could be deemed cost effective in reducing fuel consumption and emissions. View...

Dynamic Ecodriving in Northern California: A Study of Survey and Vehicle Operations Data from an Ecodriving Feedback Device

Author: Elliot Martin, Ph.D, Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Ph.D, Nelson Chan, Nigel Williams, Susan Shaheen, Ph.D, Matthew Barth, Ph.D Date Published: November 15, 2012 Abstract: Ecodriving describes the behavioral modifications that drivers can make to improve their fuel economy. Dynamic ecodriving comprises the use of real-time feedback information that informs the driver of vehicle performance. This study evaluates the performance of an aftermarket real-time feedback device that reported instantaneous fuel economy to drivers while driving. Study participants (N = 18) drove with the device for two months. During the first month, the device provided no feedback, but collected data on driving activity. During the second month, the device continued to collect data, but also provided the participant with feedback on real-time fuel economy. Participants could then use the information to self-teach how to improve their fuel economy. The participants took two surveys to evaluate their response to the device, and vehicle activity data was analyzed to ascertain the degree to which driving behavior changed. A majority (56%) reported in surveys that the device changed how they drove during the second month. Vehicle activity data showed that different participants modified different behaviors in response to the feedback. Nine participants made some reduction to their acceleration from a stop, and eight made some reduction in the magnitude of their deceleration to a stop. Eleven participants reduced their average highway speeds. Across the broader sample, average highway speeds declined from 65.9 to 65.4 mph. Overall changes observed in fuel efficiency were small across...

Ecodriving and Carbon Footprinting: Understanding How Public Education Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Use

Authors: Elliot Martin, Nelson Chan, Susan Shaheen Published: November 15, 2011 Abstract: Ecodriving, the concept of changing driving behavior and vehicle maintenance to impact fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in existing vehicles, has gained recent prominence in North America. One ecodriving strategy involves public education through Internet-based information dissemination. This paper presents the results of a controlled stated-response study conducted with approximately 100 University of California, Berkeley faculty, staff, and students, assessing the effectiveness of static ecodriving web-based information. A comparison of the experimental and control groups found that exposure to ecodriving information influenced people’s driving behavior and maintenance practices. The experimental group’s distributional shift was statistically significant, particularly for key practices including: lower highway cruising speed, driving behavior adjustment, and proper tire inflation. Within the experimental group (N = 51), fewer respondents significantly changed their maintenance practices (16%) than the majority that altered some driving practices (71%); this suggests intentional altering of driving behavior is easier than planning better maintenance practices. A comparison of before- and after-surveys found that 57% of the experimental group improved their ecodriving behavior, while 43% made no change or worsened. Key characteristics of the drivers that improved include: being female, living in smaller households, and owning a newer car with higher fuel economy. While it was evident that not everyone modifies their behavior as a result of reviewing the website, even small shifts in behavior due to inexpensive information dissemination could be deemed cost effective in reducing fuel consumption and emissions. View...

Virtual Commercial Vehicle Compliance Stations: A Review of Legal and Institutional Issues

Authors: Caroline Rodier, Susan Shaheen, Ellen Cavanagh Published: December 31, 2006 Abstract: In the past five years, commercial vehicle travel has increased 60 percent on California’s highways, without a corresponding increase in compliance inspection station capacity or enforcement officers. Commercial vehicles that do not comply with regulations impose significant public costs including, for example, pavement and structural damage to roads and catastrophic crashes. In response to these problems, the California Department of Transportation is investigating the potential application of detection and communication technology in virtual compliance stations (VCS) to cost effectively improve enforcement of commercial vehicle regulations. This study begins with a description of the fledgling VCS research programs in the U.S., as well as more advanced international VCS programs. Next, the results of expert interviews with key officials involved in the early deployment stages of VCS programs in Kentucky, Florida, and Indiana, and Saskatchewan are reported. This is followed by an analysis of institutional barriers to VCS screening and automated enforcement based on the relatively extensive body of literature on the commercial vehicle electronic pre-screening programs and red-light and speeding automated enforcement programs. The paper concludes with some key recommendations to address legal and institutional barriers to VCS deployment in the U.S. View...

Concurrent Air Quality Analysis Under the National Environmental Policy Act and Transportation/Air Quality Conformity

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Randall Guensler, Francisca Mar Published: October 10, 1995 Abstract: This paper addresses the direct and indirect relationships between the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the new conformity requirements. This paper concludes that NEPA and transportation/air quality conformity processes should be concurrent. The need for concurrent determinations is supported by five arguments: 1) the legislative history of conformity indicates that project conformity determinations be made during the NEPA process; 2) general NEPA requirements specify coordination between environmental processes; 3) the level of technical detail required for conformity analyses meets or exceeds the level already required for NEPA; 4) unless conformity is taken into account, alternatives and mitigation measures generated during the NEPA analytical process may later result in a negative conformity determination; and 5) public comment periods, unless coordinated, would run consecutively rather than concurrently, potentially delaying project implementation. View...