Trinity Engineering Research on Eco-Friendly Travel Awarded EU Funding

Posted on: 14 February 2012

Research being conducted in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin in a collaborative project called EcoNav will develop a real-time emissions and transport information tool to encourage sustainable travel patterns. The project has been awarded €2.35 million by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme.   Trinity’s Dr Brian Caulfield is leading the research and the university’s research team will develop the real-time emissions model and manage field trials in Dublin, Vienna and the Netherlands.

The European Commission is funding the project EcoNav – Ecological Aware Navigation – Usable Persuasive Trip Advisor for Reducing CO2 consumption, which is led by CURE – Center for Usability Research & Engineering, an independent Austrian research institute.

The EcoNav project aims to provide travellers with personalised mobile and web tools that allow, help and persuade them to plan their travel in an environmentally friendly way. In order to support the users in making this decision without feeling restricted, EcoNav considers their situational and individual range of acceptable travel choices. Furthermore, EcoNav facilitates eco-friendly driving behaviour by providing real-time feedback and instructions about driving. In this way EcoNav will contribute to achieving a significant reduction of the carbon footprint without reducing quality of life and comfort for travellers.

To achieve maximum impact, EcoNav will provide situation- and location-based suggestions and information to users regarding travel choices and options. The calculation and presentation of options will take the current location of the users, their actual travel situation, their individual preferences as well as their travel mode choice and trip history into account.

Dr Brian Caulfield said: “Trinity will play a pivotal role in the EcoNav project with the development and validation of the emissions model and the evaluation of the field trials.  The results from TomTom trial of 2,000 users in the Netherlands will be analysed by the Trinity research team.  This trial is one of the largest international trials conducted to examine the benefits of eco-driving.”