Eco-driving : from SERRES research to ecoDriver, a European research project

Ifsttar's work on SERRES (Solutions for Environmentally and Safety Responsible Road Management) project explored the influence of infrastructure and traffic on fuel consumption and how drivers can act upon their vehicle to minimise it.

EcoDriver is a European project that aims, through driving assistance applications, to reduce car fuel consumption and reduce road risks. It is led jointly by several European companies, public institutions and research centres, including Ifsttar (now Gustave Eiffel University) for France.

Drivers are often unaware that they have a major influence on their car's fuel consumption, which can lead to significant unnecessary emissions. The aim of eco-driving is to correct driver behaviour in order to maximise fuel efficiency and improve traffic flow - without compromising safety.

EcoDriver, an ambitious European project, to :

- Improve energy efficiency by 20% by stand-alone means alone, opening up the possibility of achieving savings of more than 20% in combination with cooperative systems by providing effective advice and feedback on eco-driving.

- Maximise system efficiency and acceptance by adapting human-machine interfaces (HMI - graphical user interfaces, haptics, voice messages) to the driving style (e.g. relaxed or sporty), traffic conditions (smooth or heavy traffic), powertrain (conventional, hybrid, electric) and vehicle type (passenger cars, vans, trucks, buses, etc.).

- Test and compare the effectiveness of nomadic and integrated navigation systems to encourage eco-driving

- Maintain and even improve driver safety while supporting eco-driving

- Transpose the test results to the European scale and carrying out a social cost-benefit analysis to assess the economic feasibility of a potential commercial deployment of the ecoDriver scheme

- Explore how CO2 reductions related to eco-driving could be affected by different future technology, policy and lifestyle scenarios

A methodology focused on working with the driver :

EcoDriver addresses the need to take the human element into account when promoting eco-driving, as driver behaviour is an essential element of fuel efficiency. The project focuses on technology that works with the driver. The project aims to provide drivers with the most effective feedback possible on eco-driving by optimizing the feedback loop between the driver, the powertrain and the environment. It is conducting a substantial programme of work to investigate how best to gain driver support for the most efficient driving style for better energy use. Deliverables include an overview of the future situation, optimization of the current driving situation as well as post-driving feedback and learning.

A summary of the results of SERRES project is available for download on the opposite page and on SERRES project website, and the general results of EcoDRIVER can be found on EcoDRIVER project website.