Sustainable Freight


CE-CERT researchers are now applying the Eco-Drive technology originally developed for passenger vehicles to the sustainable movement of goods. This technology demonstrated travel time savings of 10-40% and fuel savings of 5-20% on average for the test vehicle, and CE-CERT researchers are collaborating with various industry and government partners to develop the systems needed to realize these savings for freight vehicles as well.


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Collaborations & Projects

  • California Air Resources Board (CARB)

    Hybridization and Full Electrification Potential in Off-Road Applications


    This CARB-funded project aims at determining hybridization and full electrification potential of off-road construction and agricultural equipment, in order to curb emissions from this vehicle categories. California has set ambitious goals to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to eighty-percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and to achieve air quality goals by meeting National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Attaining these emission targets will require reductions in fossil fuel use in various sectors of the economy. Read more.. 

    Lead Faculty: Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Guoyuan Wu, Dr. Fuad Un-Noor

  • California Energy Commission (CEC)


  • Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy, and Health (CARTEEH)


    Project name

    Energy and Emission Benefits Evaluation of Battery Electric/Plug-in Hybrid Electric Trucks and Connected Vehicle Technologies for Drayage Application

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    Advances in connected vehicle (CV) technologies have the potential for reducing GHG emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of other pollutants. The UCR research team has developed a variety of CV applications. One such application is Eco-Approach and Departure (EAD), which uses signal phase and timing information from the traffic signal to determine an optimal speed profile for approaching and departing the intersection in the most eco-friendly manner. With the projected increasing market shares of plug-in hybrid electric trucks in the freight sector in the next several years, this project will evaluate the energy and emission benefits of employing plug-in hybrid electric trucks in place of conventional diesel trucks. Read more...

    Lead Faculty: Dr. Peng Hao, Dr. Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Dr. Ji Luo, Dr. Alexander Vu, Daniel Sandez, Chao Wang

    Quantifying Traffic Congestion Induced Change of Near-road Air Pollutant Concentration

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    Traffic congestion exacerbates the ambient air pollution by contributing a large amount of additional fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. However, the relationship between the prevailing traffic condition and local air pollutant concentration is not well quantified in previous literature. The primary goal of this study is to quantify the contributions to the ambient air quality degradation due to traffic congestion. The study will use real-time traffic characteristics and ambient air quality data from monitoring sites to develop and validate a statistical model that can be used to understand the air quality impacts of traffic congestion. Read more..

    Lead Faculty: Dr. Ji Luo, Dr. Guoyuan Wu

    Secondary Particulate Matter Exceed Primary Emissions from Current Gasoline Vehicles: Air Quality and Public Health Implications

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    Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology is becoming increasingly popular among vehicles in the market today. While there is relatively little-established knowledge on GDI vehicle emissions, studies have raised concerns relating to PM emissions, as well as the generation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated-PAHs. Another aspect that has not been investigated in detail is the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, which is also a contributor to airborne PM. This study will characterize the primary emissions and the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from current technology gasoline direct injection (GDI) and port fuel injection (PFI) vehicles when operated under different driving cycles, through in-use emissions testing and the use of a mobile atmospheric chamber and oxidation flow reactor to assess secondary aerosol formation. Read more...

    Lead Faculty: Dr. Georgios Karavalakis, Dr. David Cocker, Dr. Thomas Durbin 

    Onboard Sensing, Analysis, and Reporting (OSAR): Expanded Field Demonstrations and Development of Associated Visual Aids

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    Heavy-duty vehicles represent one of the most important contributions to the emission inventory for both nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Heavy-duty engines have been subject to increasingly more stringent standards over the years. The latest round of standards essentially requiring the use of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meeting the PM and NOx emsiions, it is important to verify that these systems are operating optimally under the full range of in-use conditions to ensure that air quality standards can be met. Read more...

    Lead faculty: Dr. Kent Johnson, Dr. George Scora, Dr. Thomas Durbin, Dr. Georgios Karavalakis 




    The University of California at Riverside (UCR) has been working with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Work (LADPW), City of Carson, City of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation (LADOT), and Port of Los Angeles (POLA) to deploy 15 connected traffic signals nearby the port of Los Angeles to support a variety of connected vehicle applications such as Eco-Approach and Departure (EAD). The 15 connected traffic signals are located on three arterial corridors, which carry a large amount of freight vehicles: 1) Alameda St, 2) S. Wilmington Ave, and 3) W. Harry Bridges Blvd. The connectivity of these connected traffic signals is enabled by 4G/LTE cellular communication where real-time signal phase and timing (SPaT) information is sent to the Traffic Signal Information System (TSIS) server at UCR. Vehicles traveling on the testbed can request and receive the SPaT information from the TSIS server through the same cellular communication. Currently, the testbed is being used to test and evaluate an EAD application for heavy-duty trucks, developed by UCR. The testbed can be utilized to test and evaluate a variety of Connected Vehicle (CV) applications by any type of vehicles. 


    The connectivity on the Southern California testbed is currently enabled by 4G.KTE cellular communications. That means CV applications can be implemented as mobie apps on any smart devices and deployed oon the testbed. This opens up an opportunity to test CV applications on a large number of CVs at the same location at the same time, For example, UCR has implemented our EAD application as an Android app, and can use it to test the scenario where multiple vehicles approaching a connect traffic signal are all using the app. 


    Lead Faculty: Dr. Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Dr. Guoyuan Wu, Dr. Matthew Barth 


    Publication 2018

  • ECO Drive

    Evaluating Alternative Design of Geometric Configuration for High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Facilities in California


    Most special-use freeway lanes, such as High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, have traditionally been designed with either limited access or continuous access control from the adjacent general-purposed (GP) lanes. Studies have shown the advantages and disadvantages of each design in terms of safety, mobility, environment, and enforcement, among other factors. With a focus on improving the operational performance of HOV facilities, this paper proposes a new design called partially limited access control where the continuous access is mostly designated along the freeway to achieve higher travel speed while buffers between the HOV lane(s) and the adjacent GP lanes are strategically placed on selected freeway segments to accommodate higher throughput on those segments. The placement of buffers primarily aims to reduce the impact of HOV cross-weave flow on the capacity of GP lanes. A methodology for determining the location and length of buffers in the partially limited access control has been developed. A case study is performed along a 13-mile section of HOV facility on SR-210 E in Southern California, which is coded and evaluated in traffic microsimulation. The results show that the partially limited access control increases the throughput (represented by total vehicle miles traveled or VMT) and decreases the delay (represented by total vehicle hours traveled or VHT) of the freeway as compared with either the limited access or continuous access control. As a result, the overall efficiency (represented by average travel speed calculated as VMT/VHT) of the freeway with partially limited access HOV facility is 21% and 6% higher than that of the freeway with limited access and continuous access HOV facility, respectively, under the baseline traffic demand.


    Lead Faculty: Dr. Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Dr. Guoyuan Wu, Dr. Matthew Barth 


    PUblication 2018


    publication 2017  


    Publication 2017





  • National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST)

    Eco-Friendly Intelligent Transportation System Technology for Freight Vehicles

    Heavy-duty freight vehicles contribute a disproportionate amount of emissions relative to the national fleet percentage and the relative vehicle miles traveled by heavy-duty freight vehicles. Accordingly, an environmentally-friendly Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) application for improving arterial roadway performance is presented in this report. For arterial roadways, most Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) strategies focus on traffic signal timing optimization at signalized intersections. A critical drawback of conventional traffic signal control strategies is that they rely on measurements from point detection, and estimate traffic states such as queue length based on very limited information. The introduction of Connected Vehicle (CV) technology can potentially address the limitations of point detection via wireless communications to assist signal phase and timing optimization. In this project report, we present an agent-based online adaptive signal control (ASC) strategy based on real-time traffic information available from vehicles equipped with CV technology. We then evaluate the proposed strategy in terms of travel delay and energy consumption, relative to a Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) based method in which hourly traffic demand is assumed to be known accurately a priori. This Connected Vehicle Adaptive Signal Control (CV-ASC) strategy has been applied to an isolated traffic intersection as well as to a corridor of traffic intersections. The baseline signalization strategy for the corridor of traffic intersections is coordinated signal control. Study results indicate that for both the isolated intersection and corridor contexts, the proposed strategy outperforms the HCM based method and is very robust to traffic demand variations. The proposed system also provides a framework to flexibly modify signal timing in order to serve evolving localities freight needs. Read more...

    Lead Faculty: Dr. Matthew Barth, Dr. Kanok Boriboonsomsin 

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