Mitigation Techniques to Modify Driver Performance
Funding Source: MassDOT and Federal Highway Administration
Title: Mitigation Techniques to Modify Driver Performance to Improve Fuel Economy, Reduce Emissions and Improve Safety
Date: December 2012–July 2016
Summary: The goal of this project was to identify and test techniques to modify driver behavior to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, and improve safety, in furtherance of MassDOT’s mission and goals of the GreenDOT Implementation Plan. Two types of behavioral modifications were implemented and evaluated in the field test: in-vehicle feedback devices and classroom ecodriving training sessions. Devices from GreenRoad Inc. were installed in 133 MassDOT vehicles with designated drivers and provided real-time feedback on each driver’s performances. A trainer from the University of Vermont conducted the 1.5-hour classroom eco-driving training session. Major conclusions were as follows. (1) Real-time feedback had a significant effect in reducing speeding and aggressive acceleration. The effect sustained for pickup trucks after the feedback was discontinued, while it disappeared for sedans and SUVs. (2) Training had a significant effect in reducing idling rate in the first month after training. The literature synthesis concluded that idling, speeding, and aggressive acceleration were major contributors to fuel inefficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and unsafe driving. Therefore, it is expected that combined training and feedback can significantly improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, and improve safety.