Tackling vehicle emissions holistically
Numerous steps have been taken to reduce the emissions of road vehicles in recent times, such as Euro 6 norms, fuel efficient motors and particulate filters. However, one significant element has often been overlooked: the role of the professional driver.
The EU-funded MODALES project aims to address that point and gain a greater understanding of the impact of driving behaviour on the emissions of road vehicles. Instead of solely looking at exhaust pipe gases, a closer look will be taken at various other related emissions from brakes, tyres, powertrains and other parts. The MODALES project will take the entire vehicle‘s wear and tear rate into consideration.
Over a period of three years, the MODALES project will monitor the driving behaviours of several test drivers and will analyse typical driving patterns and their influence on vehicle emissions. Project members will identify methods to reduce any avoidable emissions. These methods will be compiled into training courses for drivers to encourage low-emission driving.
Once drivers start to apply these low-emission driving techniques, improvements in wear and tear and vehicle emissions should be seen. Transport operators will consequently be able to cut expenses since low-emission driving will enhance the lifespan of certain vehicle parts.
IRU will set up courses in order to test the training materials, focusing on the development of guidelines for low-emission driving. Following the courses, IRU will facilitate the dissemination of the results and training opportunities to a wider audience throughout the road transport industry, and will contribute to the evaluation of the project-related guidelines and tools.
Following its participation in the EcoEffect Project, which mainly focused on fuel consumption reductions and exhaust pipe gases, IRU continues to lead the efforts on the sustainability and efficiency of the road transport sector.
Thanks to our previous experience of developing training programmes, we, as IRU, have seen that raising awareness of efficient driving techniques can have a significant impact on the environment and economic viability of road transport operators. We are therefore glad that the MODALES project will adopt a more comprehensive approach and will take into account emissions from other sources. By training their drivers in low-emission driving techniques, transport operators could save additional costs as their vehicles’ wear and tear rate reduces.
The project aims at creating training materials on low-emission driving for drivers and road transport companies, with a view to reducing the daily wear and tear of vehicles and consequently decreasing emissions as well as costs for operators. The project will involve training sessions and awareness-raising campaigns, and the launch of a dedicated driver assistance app. The first stage of the project will focus on assessing driving patterns. The results of those assessments will form the basis of the training materials due to be drafted during the second stage of the project.
This EU-funded project is part of the European Commission’s wider plan to create a worldwide platform for sharing and exchanging novel solutions and best practices for low-emission driving habits. To support this aim, three Chinese academic institutions will take part in the MODALES project and will provide input during the various activities.