The City of Ottawa "EcoDrive II" pilot project investigated the potential environmental and fuel efficiency benefits of giving City fleet drivers advanced signal information across the entire 1,200 traffic signal system. Known as Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA), drivers were equipped with a mobile app that provided real-time information about the current signal status (e.g., red vs. green), time remaining for that status, and an advisory travel speed drivers should maintain, if possible, to reach the signal on a green cycle. The app was also designed to record real-time engine and fuel consumption information using the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) unit.
The drivers drove both with and without GLOSA information provided on the mobile app, to measure whether their driving habits were altered by the provision on the GLOSA information and if there was a measurable savings in fuel consumption from differing driving habits. As these City fleet vehicles travel the network conducting their normal business duties, GLOSA and OBD information were logged on a per-second basis for analysis. A total of 23,980 kilometers were travelled and 29,393 signals traversed by the seven fleet vehicles equipped in the pilot project, and over 4,660 litres of fuel consumed.
The City used a cellular-based system for communicating with the vehicle, as opposed to localized DSRC communications, which allowed for a faster and more cost-effective deployment of the technology. The City of Ottawa also provided a unique environment to test the benefits of providing drivers with GLOSA information when use in an actuated signal system.
Four key influences on the results were the acceptance of the technology by the driver, variation in weekly tasks, area/urban density, and time of day. Fuel savings were found to range from negligible amounts to 14 percent for the most engaged driver, with an average savings across the fleet of 5 percent during the two-month test period. At a savings rate of 0.3L/hr of travel, a city-sized fleet of 900 vehicles could save over 100,000 litres annually.
The project was funded through the Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS) program by Transport Canada.