A framework for fuel-efficient driving

​By letting trucks follow a speed profile optimized for fuel-efficiency the fuel consumption can be decreased by an average of 12 percent. This is shown in a PhD project by Sina Torabi.
​Sina Torabi has been working on reducing the fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles. During his PhD project, he developed a framework for fuel-efficient driving. In this framework, vehicles follow a speed profile that has been optimized for fuel-efficiency. The approach was tested on highway 40 between Göteborg and Borås.

"In our experiment, we showed that the fuel consumption of a truck can be decreased by an average of 12 percent" says Sina Torabi.

This framework offers large savings for heavy-duty vehicles and from the road experiments, Sina Torabi and his colleagues saw that it can be integrated into the existing control systems in a truck. 

“I hope to see this method being adopted by the automotive industry” says Sina Torabi. 

The EU has set ambitious targets for CO2 emission reduction for the next decades, aiming to reduce, by the year 2050, the CO2 emissions from all sources by 80 - 95% relative to the 1990 level. However, because of the increase in transport demand, the CO2 emissions from the transport sector have increased (in absolute terms) over the past decades. In relative terms, road transport is currently responsible for 21% of the total CO2 emissions in the EU. 

Furthermore, considering that hauling companies typically own many vehicles that each travel around 130,000 km per year on average, fuel consumption plays a major role. In fact, fuel accounts for around one-third of the total cost of ownership and operation of conventional trucks. Thus, vehicle manufacturers as well as hauling companies are seeking technologies that improve the energy efficiency of vehicles. 

“Reducing the energy consumption of vehicles even by a few per cent can translate to significant environmental and economic benefits” says Sina Torabi.

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Published: Thu 24 Sep 2020.