Research Archive

AERIS Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation

The AERIS Research Program modeled and analyzed connected vehicle applications for three high-priority Operational Scenarios: Eco-Signal Operations, Eco-Lanes, and Low Emissions Zones. To assess the potential benefits of connected vehicle applications, highly complex transportation models were integrated with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model. Detailed modeling reports were created for each of the three Operational Scenarios. In addition to environmental benefits (i.e., emissions reductions and fuel savings), findings showed that while mobility improvements generally lead to environmental benefits, optimizing for the environment is not always the same as optimizing for mobility. In some cases, optimizing the transportation system for the environment instead of for mobility provided additional benefits in fuel use reductions and carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions. Modeling also showed that there were synergistic benefits from non-equipped vehicles following equipped vehicles for some applications. Individual applications worked well together and offered synergistic benefits. A summary of AERIS modeling is provided below.

Eco-Signal Operations Modeling and Analysis: A twenty-seven intersection, 6.5 mile segment of El Camino Real in Northern California was modeled using VISSIM. Modeling was conducted for individual applications to understand the potential benefits of each application. Additionally, combined modeling was performed to understand potential synergies of the Eco-Signal Operations applications. Together the Eco-Signal Operations applications provided up to 11% improvement in CO2 and fuel consumption reductions at full connected vehicle penetration.

Eco-Lanes Modeling and Analysis: The Eco-Speed Harmonization and Eco-Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control applications were modeled for a segment of roadway on State Route 91 Eastbound (SR-91 E) in Southern California using VISSIM. An Eco-Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (Eco-CACC)-reserved “Eco-Lane” was developed from an existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on the corridor, while the remaining lanes were used for Eco-Speed Harmonization. Together the Eco-Lanes applications provided up to 22% fuel savings on a real-world freeway corridor for all vehicles.

Low Emissions Zones Modeling and Analysis: Analysis, modeling, and simulation were conducted for a low emissions zone in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area using the SimTRAVEL (Simulator of Transport, Routes, Activities, Vehicles, Emissions, and Land) integrated model system. Modeling resulted in up to 4.5% reduction in fuel consumption when both eco-vehicle incentives and transit incentives were offered.

Summary of AERIS Modeling Results

Application Modeling Results

Eco-Approach and Departure at Signalized Intersections

  • The application provided 5-10% fuel reduction benefits for an uncoordinated corridor
  • For a coordinated corridor, the application provided up to 13% fuel reduction benefits
    • 8% of the benefits were attributable to signal coordination
    • 5% attributable to the application

Eco-Traffic Signal Timing

  • When applied to a signalized corridor that was fairly well optimized, the application provided an additional 5% fuel reduction benefit at full connected vehicle penetration.

Eco-Traffic Signal Priority

  • The Eco-Transit Signal Priority application provided up to 2% fuel reduction benefits for transit vehicles.
  • The Eco-Freight Signal Priority application provided up to 4% fuel reduction benefits for freight vehicles.

Connected Eco-Driving

  • When implemented along a signalized corridor, the application provided up to 2% fuel reduction benefits at full connected vehicle penetration.
  • The application provided up to 2% dis-benefit in mobility (e.g., travel time) due to smoother and slower accelerations to meet environmental optimums.

Combined Eco-Signal Operations Modeling

  • Together the Eco-Signal Operations applications provided up to 11% improvement in CO2 and fuel consumption reductions at full connected vehicle penetration.

Eco-Speed Harmonization

  • The application provided up to 4.5% fuel reduction benefits for a freeway corridor. It assisted in maintaining the flow of traffic, reducing unnecessary stops and starts, and maintaining consistent speeds near bottleneck and other disturbance areas.

Eco-Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (Eco-CACC)

  • Eco-CACC provided up to 19% fuel savings on a real-world freeway.
  • Vehicles using a dedicated “eco-lane” experienced 7% more fuel savings when compared to vehicles in the general lanes.
  • Eco-CACC has the potential to provide up to 42% travel time savings on a real-world freeway corridor for all vehicles.

Combined Eco-Lanes Modeling

  • Together the Eco-Lanes applications provided up to 22% fuel savings on a real-world freeway corridor for all vehicles.
  • Vehicles using the dedicated “eco-lane” experienced 2% more fuel savings when compared to vehicles in the general traffic lanes.
  • The scenario provided up to 33% travel time savings for all vehicles.

Low Emissions Zones

  • A Low Emissions Zone modeled in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area resulted in up to 4.5% reduction in fuel consumption when both eco-vehicle incentives and transit incentives were offered.
  • The modeling indicated that the Low Emissions Zone has the potential to reduce vehicle miles traveled by up to 2.5% and increase by up to 20% in to the Low Emissions Zones.

One lesson the AERIS team learned from modeling is that converting results to meaningful numbers (e.g., fuel savings for individuals and/or fleet operators) helped stakeholders understand the potential benefits in ways they could visualize the results. In particular, drivers help the environment and save money at the pump. Fleet operators (e.g., transit and freight operators) also benefit from AERIS applications. Fuel savings help fleet operators save fuel costs resulting in lower operating costs. Finally, cities benefit from AERIS applications which help to reduce emissions and improving the air quality in a city. AERIS applications also help reduce congestion and support sustainable transportation solutions.

AERIS applications help drivers reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their fuel consumption.

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