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Research helps drivers cut fuel use
Date:2/7/2011

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Ever wonder how much fuel you can save by avoiding stop-and-go traffic, closing your window, not using air conditioning or coasting toward stops?

Research at the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) can give you the answers.

The research field is called eco-driving, which refers to providing drivers with advice and feedback to minimize fuel consumption when driving.

Eco-driving, which has been practiced for years in Europe and is part of the driver education curricula there, is now receiving a lot of attention in the United States because of calls to increase fuel economy standards and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

"This is a really big deal," said Matthew Barth, the director of CE-CERT and the Yeager Families Professor of Electrical Engineering. "Automobile manufacturers are doing anything possible to make cars more fuel efficient."

Much of the eco-driving research at UC Riverside and other University of California campuses, including UC Berkeley, focuses on using an on-board eco-driving device, similar to a GPS unit, which provides instantaneous fuel economy feedback under real-world driving conditions.

In a study last year, 20 drivers in the Riverside area used the eco-driving device, known as Eco-Way, for their daily commute for two weeks. Researchers found it improved fuel economy by 6 percent on city streets and 1 percent on highways.

Eco-driving studies in Europe, most of them conducted in pre-planned driving courses, have found fuel economy improvements between 5 and 15 percent.

A survey provided to the Riverside area drivers found that most are willing to adopt eco-driving practices in the near future. On a one to 10 scale, with 10 being the most likely to adopt, the average score from drivers was 7.4. The survey also found 95 per
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Contact: Sean Nealon
sean.nealon@ucr.edu
951-827-1287
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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