European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

You can also reduce emissions

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - uCARe (You can also reduce emissions)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-10-31

uCARe is a project funded by the European Union (H2020 LC-MG-1-1-2018) with the aim to reduce the impact of transport on air quality. The project has a 36 months duration and started on the 1st of May 2019. The budget is 3 million Euro, spent on 288 person months by 14 partners.
The ambition of uCARe is to reduce the overall pollutant emissions of the existing vehicle fleet to improve air quality with impact on, among others, the environment and people’s health.
To achieve this, uCARe will:
• provide vehicle users with simple, insightful and effective tools to decrease their individual emissions;
• support stakeholders with an interest in local air quality in selecting feasible intervention strategies that lead to the desired user behaviour.

There is a great deal of data on pollutant emissions available in the uCARe consortium. The uCARe project will make these data publicly available in so-called Augmented Engine Maps (AEMs). An AEM provides the pollutant emissions for a specific car model and make. The AEM shows how, for instance, the NOx emissions depend on speed and CO2 for a hot engine, but also for a cold engine. Other emission maps include non-tailpipe emissions such as wear emissions from tires and brakes. This data can then be used for developing tools that give drivers advice on how to reduce their pollutant emissions.

To make drivers aware of the effect of their driving behaviour, uCARe will publish a set of tools, including:
• Video clips for a do-it-yourself evaluation of the driver’s car. These videos show how to use low costs household materials to evaluate the pollutant emissions produced by the car, and how the driver’s behaviour influences these emissions.
• Simple tests with lab-grade equipment to assess the pollutant emissions of individual cars. For instance, at a car fair, or a fleet of cars at specific locations ( e.g. near a school playground.
• Sensor-readings based tools to provide feedback to the driver. Simple feedback might be given during the trip; more complex feedback can be provided after a trip. The uCARe team believes that specific feedback is more effective than more general recommendations.

Organisations such as cities, ‘green’ NGOs and drivers’ associations that want to use the above mentioned tools to set up campaigns to change the drivers’ behaviour, can receive support from the uCARe project. The support will consist of providing all materials to perform a pilot for the campaign. uCARe will also assess the impact of the planned campaign based on the results of the pilot. As much as possible uCARe will make results, including lessons learned from the pilots, publicly available to allow for its use during and beyond the project duration.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic good progress have been made in the uCARe project, in particular in the domains of 'Standardized data' and 'Driver awareness of behaviour influence'. New and consolidated knowledge is being made available to the wider community. Information is presented as much as possible specific for the vehicle, the use, and the pollutant, to ensure that emission reduction is presented correctly. This core knowledge is combined with tools and instructions to appeal to the wider audience to gain factual experience with vehicle emissions.

The emission reduction potentials, available to owners and users have been identified, and tools are available to help and illustrate this to participants in pilots. Some limitations of the underlying modelling have been identified. It has been establish these are the result of the inherent spread in measurement data. The project aims to retain a clear link from measurements to results, therefore additional reporting of such limitations is in progress.

In the other hand, uCARe as project to reach out to vehicle users in general with the help of stakeholders is severely hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lockdowns across Europe. From the spring of 2019, when the contacts should have been sought with the initial material that was available, it has become almost impossible to do so. Conferences and stakeholder meetings, where ideas for pilots could have been pitched were all cancelled.
The Augmented Emission Map (AEM) format has been defined to allow sharing of emission data for specific vehicles in a standardized way. A substantial number of AEMs have been compiled and shared as open data.
A tool has been built (Beta version) to provide feedback to a driver as much as possible specific for the vehicle, the use, and the pollutant, to ensure that emission reduction is presented correctly. Being this specific is foreseen to have more impact on behaviour change of the driver.
Uptake of the vehicle specific data by commercial tool builders is expected in the second project period, where new opportunities for dissemination are available after the lockdowns in 2020.

Deployment of the tools in a series of pilots in the second project period is will show how big the behaviour change is. Based on these demonstrations of the impact, stakeholders are encouraged and supported to execute large scale campaigns. This is where the real impact of the project will be realized.
uCARe project logo