Impact of drivers on real-driving fuel consumption and emissions performance.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Science of the total environment, 2021, 798, pp. 149297
Issue Date:
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Eco-driving has attracted great attention as a cost-effective and immediate measure to reduce fuel consumption significantly. Understanding the impact of driver behaviour on real driving emissions (RDE) is of great importance for developing effective eco-driving devices and training programs. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the performance of different drivers using a portable emission measurement system. In total, 30 drivers, including 15 novice and 15 experienced drivers, were recruited to drive the same diesel vehicle on the same route, to minimise the effect of uncontrollable real-world factors on the performance evaluation. The results show that novice drivers are less skilled or more aggressive than experienced drivers in using the accelerator pedal, leading to higher vehicle and engine speeds. As a result, fuel consumption rates of novice drivers vary in a slightly greater range than those of experienced drivers, with a marginally higher (2%) mean fuel consumption. Regarding pollutant emissions, CO and THC emissions of all drivers are well below the standard limits, while NOx and PM emissions of some drivers significantly exceed the limits. Compared with experienced drivers, novice drivers produce 17% and 29% higher mean NOx and PM emissions, respectively. Overall, the experimental results reject the hypothesis that driver experience has significant impacts on fuel consumption performance. The real differences lie in the individual drivers, as the worst performing drivers have significantly higher fuel consumption rates than other drivers, for both novice and experienced drivers. The findings suggest that adopting eco-driving skills could deliver significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions simultaneously for the worst performing drivers, regardless of driving experience.
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