How Eco-Routing GPS Tracking Works7 Aug 2012
Customarily, you want your GPS navigation system to provide you with the quickest way to get to your destination. But with gasoline prices hovering just below the $4 a gallon mark — and in some cities above $4 — you might be more interested in knowing the route that uses the least amount of gasoline.
That’s where eco-routing GPS tracking comes in. Also referred to as “green routing”, eco-routing is taking into account real-time traffic information, road grade, road type, passenger weight, and cargo weight.
In addition to providing you with the route that attempts to minimize your distance travelled, newer-generation GPS systems that have this eco-routing technology can factor in emissions and energy consumption.
Vehicle energy consumption is affected by a number of factors, including:
- Road type: Different road types lead to different driving patterns and gas consumption. For example, driving on highways typically involves cruising at a fairly constant higher speed. Similarly, driving on a road with a lot of curves causes the motorist to slow down around curves and then speed back up after the curve, both of which uses more gas.
- Road grade: For instance, going up hills burns more fuel.
- Traffic conditions: Frequent stops-and-starts in congested traffic wastes fuel. Driving in the city involves more idling and frequents stops-and-starts due to stop signs, pedestrian traffic, and traffic signals.
- Weather conditions: Weather conditions can have both a positive and negative effect on vehicle energy consumption. For examples, driving with the headwind can reduce vehicle energy consumption, while driving against headwind can increase drag and vehicle energy consumption. Additionally, turning on the air-conditioner or heater also increases energy consumption.
- Weight: One of the reasons airlines have been charging for that extra baggage is the high price of fuel. An airplane carrying more cargo burns more fuel. Same goes for vehicles.
So, an eco-route would avoid routes with hills and windy roads with a lot of curves due to their gas-guzzling nature. Same goes for the speed by which you can travel on your route. Once your vehicle has reached its highest gear, it’s optimized for fuel efficiency. For most vehicles, this means that speeds greater than 55 mph is not optimal for fuel efficiency.
All-in-all, these differences have a substantial impact on energy vehicle consumption. Some automobile manufacturers, Ford for example, say that using the eco-route can reduce fuel by as much as 15 percent in some of their vehicles.
While electric, hybrid, and zero-emission cars continue to make their appearance in automobile dealerships in increasing numbers around the country, the fact is not everyone can afford them. Until then, there’s an inexpensive solution in using eco-conscious GPS tracking, which may not reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment, but reduce the cash flying out of your wallet too.