University of California, Riverside

Center for Environmental Research & Technology



TSR Current Research


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Current Research

Connected Eco-Bus: An Innovative Vehicle-Powertrain Eco-Operation System for Efficient Plug-in Hybrid Electric Buses
The University of California, Riverside team will design, develop, and test an innovative vehicle-powertrain eco-operation system for natural-gas-fueled plug-in hybrid electric buses. This system will use emerging connected and automated vehicle applications like predictive approach and departure at traffic signals, efficient adaptive cruise, and optimized stopping and accelerating from stop signs and bus stops. Since stop-and-go operation wastes a large amount of energy, optimizing these maneuvers for an urban transit bus presents significant opportunities for improving energy efficiency. Using look-ahead information on traffic and road grade, the team will optimize the powertrain operation by managing combustion engine output, electric motor output and battery state of charge in this hybrid application.

Project partners include Dr. Zhiming Gao and Dr. Tim LaClair from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dr. Abas Goodarzi and his team at US Hybrid, and the Riverside Transit Agency.

Eco-friendly Intelligent Transportation Systems
In addition to making great strides in eco-friendly ITS applications as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s AERIS research program (Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis), the TSR group is now involved in exciting research on connected automated vehicles referred to as the GlidePath project. Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, the TSR group is working with other researchers at Turner Fairbanks Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia in automating vehicle longitudinal control as the vehicle travels through signalized intersections. CE-CERT’s previously developed “eco-approach and departure” algorithm is the basis of the field experimentation where it is expected that a vehicle can save up to 18% fuel by having the vehicle automatically speed up or slow down as it travels down a signalized corridor. A major demonstration is anticipated in the Spring of 2015. We continue to publish quite a number of papers on this topic and other ECO-ITS research projects.

Completed Projects for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
TSR completed the alternative fueled vehicle monitoring project for Caltrans where the travel and fueling patterns of over 100 Caltrans’ E-85 flex fuel vehicles was traveled to determine how effective the vehicles are at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. TSR also completed two interrelated projects for Caltrans to improve emission factors for “managed lanes” and high-speed driving (over 65 mph). For the managed lanes project, we collected vehicle activity data in both regular lanes as well as on various types of managed lanes (e.g., HOV, HOT) on California freeways. Then, we developed specific energy and emission factors for vehicles traveling in these managed lanes, which differ by as much as 20% compared to the regular lanes. For the high-speed driving project, emissions were measured from 12 light-duty vehicles on chassis dynamometer and another 3 on road (with portable emissions measurement systems). Using the measurement data, emission factor vs. speed curves were developed and compared to standard models. It was found that there are notable energy and emission differences at high speeds beyond 65 mph (e.g., the regulatory models slightly overestimates CO2, slightly underestimates THC, NOx, PM2.5, and PM10, and significantly underestimates CO).

New Research Direction
There has been interest in increasing public health consideration in transportation. As an extension of the eco-routing research, the TSR group has developed new “Pedestrian Routing” algorithms. In this research, a novel pedestrian navigation tool was developed that finds the “least exposure” routes (pictured left) for pedestrians when they want to avoid PM2.5. This tool was evaluated on over 3,500 simulated trips in Riverside, CA, showing that it can reduce exposure to PM2.5 by 25% on average with only 1% increase in walking distance.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Center Information

Center for Environmental Research & Technology
1084 Columbia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507
Directions to CERT

Tel: (951) 781-5791
Fax: (951) 781-5790
E-mail: certinfo@cert.ucr.edu

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