Use of Navigation systems combined with traveler information can reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled by 16 percent, and drivers can save up to 30 percent in mileage when searching for a parking space.
European Commission sponsored study of ITS for environmental applications
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ICT for Clean & Efficient Mobility: Final Report

Summary Information

This report by the The Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Clean and Efficient Mobility, funded by the European Commission, presents a review of the wide range of Green Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) already available or under development that can have a significant impact on road transportation energy efficiency and emissions of pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Over the past decade, on-board and portable navigation systems have frequently been purchased and used by drivers to assist with driving directions and routing around congestion. Combining navigation systems and traveler information such as traffic and incident reports can create powerful tools to assist drivers in reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.

Eco-routing features, designed to guide drivers on more fuel efficient routes, are now being incorporated into navigation systems. Such tools range from an indicator that highlights optimal fuel efficiency, to sophisticated eco-routing functions that employ real-time traffic data or roadway data to suggest the most efficient path to a destination based on current driving conditions. Several barriers need to be addressed before such routing algorithms can be deployed confidently. Environmental data, alternative modes, and parking availability information are not always available or integrated into navigation systems. Traffic data is often incomplete or inaccurate and is not always provided free of charge. Addressing these barriers is important for leveraging navigation systems as a means to reduce vehicle emissions.


Navigation systems can provide substantial benefits for fuel economy and environmental impacts. Drivers using in-vehicle and portable navigation systems in unfamiliar locations can reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by 16 percent, and drivers can save up to 30 percent in mileage searching for a parking space, if the appropriate information is provided by the system. Fuel consumption and time savings are also realized through the use of real-time traffic information that helps drivers avoid traffic jams. These reductions all add up to fuel and emissions saving.
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