ERTICO-ITS Europe is leading a major EU-funded project that aims to change driver behavior to help reduce vehicular emissions and lead to improved air quality in cities across the continent, and ultimately worldwide.
The impact of road traffic on local air quality is a major policy concern and MODALES (MOdify Drivers’ behavior to Adapt for Lower EmissionS) is a new EU research project that will contribute to a reduction in pollution from all types of motorized vehicles by encouraging the adoption of low-emission oriented driving behavior and maintenance choice. The main goal of MODALES is to advance the fundamental understanding of the co-variability of user behavior and vehicular emissions from powertrain, brakes and tires, and modify user behavior via dedicated training, including a driver assistance app and awareness campaigns, in order to support effective air quality plans and enforcement strategies to be developed by local and national authorities.
With EUR4.7m (US$5.2m) of funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation, MODALES will be led by ERTICO-ITS Europe with a consortium of a further 14 European beneficiaries, including ERTICO partners ACASA (RACC), CERTH, FIA, University of Leeds, Okan University, LIST, Bridgestone, Michelin and VTT. MODALES is an international cooperation project that will also include input from three academic institutions in China.
‘Clean Mobility’ is one of the four major focus areas of the ERTICO Partnership, promoting the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to reduce emissions and improve air quality. The move towards cleaner engines, including electric vehicles (EVs) and other means of clean propulsion, has increased focus on the scope for reducing pollution from other parts of the vehicle. The MODALES project will develop and test a number of innovative and complementary solutions in four key areas: Driver, Retrofits, EOBD (European On-Board Diagnostics) and Inspection, in order to substantially reduce emissions from three main sources: powertrain, brake wear and tire wear.
“MODALES will be the first major project considering the interaction of powertrain, brakes and tires together with the driver’s behavior, to develop knowledge and guidance for ‘low-emission driving’, together with maintenance and retrofit aspects,” explained Andrew Winder, an expert on clean mobility at ERTICO and MODALES project coordinator. “With MODALES, we will build on valuable previous work on eco-driving, which deals with fuel and CO2 reduction, to research the effects of driving behavior and maintenance on other types of emissions, such as NOx and particle matter.”