Government-Funded Project Aims to Improve US Fuel Efficiency Standards

University of California, Riverside, Uses Esri Technology for Fuel Efficiency Study

October 12, 2011

Redlands, California—Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside), along with partners from several public and private organizations, have received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to research ways to increase fuel efficiency standards. Specifically, the study will evaluate technologies that provide feedback to drivers so they can cut harmful emissions and reduce fuel consumption. As a project partner, Esri will provide its ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) software for mapping, navigation, routing, and vehicle tracking.

The three-year project, named the Next-Generation Environmentally Friendly Driving Feedback Systems Research and Development, began October 1, 2011. It will establish comprehensive driver feedback technology that improves fuel efficiency of passenger cars and fleet vehicles. This technology already exists on a small scale. The study will make large advances in developing a fully integrated information system that includes better trip planning and routing, improved efficiency while driving, and comprehensive reporting on a periodic basis.

"Esri and its ArcGIS software is making it possible for us to track vehicle progress and allows users to see the current vehicle locations on a map," said Matthew Barth, the principal investigator on the project and director of UC Riverside's Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the Bourns College of Engineering. "ArcGIS is also being used by dispatchers to compare the planned routes with actual routes, mapping of ecofriendly vehicle paths, and mobile integration to update drivers with new itineraries."

The project is one of 40 being funded through a more than $175 million DOE program aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of the next generation of vehicles. The projects will help ensure that the technologies are available to help automakers achieve new fuel efficiency standards. By integrating driver feedback technology, it is expected that overall fuel savings will range from 10 to 30 percent.

Public partners of the project include UC Riverside and UC Berkeley, which will provide behavioral analysis of drivers, and Riverside Transit Agency and California Department of Transportation, both of which will provide fleet vehicles for testing.

Esri will actively support the Center for Environmental Research and Technology throughout the project. The field operational tests will be performed on a variety of in-use vehicles from commuters and commercial fleets operating throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

For more information on GIS technology for transportation, visit

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