Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

MOdify Drivers’ behaviour to Adapt for Lower EmissionS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MODALES (MOdify Drivers’ behaviour to Adapt for Lower EmissionS)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

The vision of MODALES is to reduce air pollution from all types of on-road fleets by:
- encouraging the adoption of low-emission (L-E) driving behaviour and proper maintenance choice,
- improving the effectiveness of on-board diagnostics (OBD) devices and technical inspections to detect tampering,
- promoting retrofits
- developing a dissemination and awareness platform to bring more momentum to international cooperation in reduction of transport impact on air quality.

The impact of road traffic on local air quality is a major policy concern. Although zero tailpipe emission technologies may solve the problem in the long term, fleet renewal takes time and current road traffic is clearly dominated by internal combustion fleets with a share of more than 95%. On-road emissions can also be significantly different from laboratory measurements. Real-world emissions can be affected by many factors including vehicle characteristics, ambient temperature, traffic, road layout and driver behaviour. Driver behaviour is regarded as the single biggest determinant of the emissions of a vehicle. MODALES works to advance the understanding of the co-variability of user behaviour and vehicular emissions and improve user behaviour via training, including a driver assistance app and awareness campaigns.

The project's objectives are to:
- Understand the nature of driving behaviour with respect to vehicle emissions.
- Correlate driving behaviour variability with real powertrain emissions and emissions from brakes and tyres.
- Propose and validate a real-time driving assistance app for low emission driving.
- Promote L-E oriented driving, management and assistance.
- Assess the real effectiveness of on-board diagnostics (OBD) and technical inspections.
- Investigate the legal situation of tampering in Europe.
- Assessment of the potential impact of retrofits.
- Establish International Cooperation (InCo).
WP1 coordinated the overall management, including technical coordination. It also covered innovation management, which will be more intense in Period 2, and data management including ethics.

WP2: Defining Low-emission Factors was completed in Period 1. Over 250 papers and reports were analysed to define various driving behaviours. It produced recommendations and guidelines for real driving data to be collected in MODALES. The task on OBD inspection and maintenance (I/M) requirements studied I/M practices, and reviewed research literature on the effectiveness of I/M to detect high emitting vehicles. It reviewed OBD protocols and investigated “inspection databases” in some European countries in order to identify key issues in maintenance behaviour.
Data was collected from installations of Proventia’s retrofit systems in different buses. The main parameters related to effective functioning of the device were analysed.
A task on low emission (L-E) driving requirements carried out a comparative analysis of L-E driving and eco-driving, taking into account safety criteria. It transferred scientific results into best practices for L-E training and education. Data collection and analysis was carried out on legal issues on tampering in 14 countries in Europe.

WP3: Impact of User Behaviours included experimental work encompassing all four domains: exhaust emissions, brake (wear) emissions, tyre (wear) emissions, and emissions due to lack of maintenance. To measure real powertrain emission, a series of exhaust emissions measurements was performed with PEMS (Portable Emission Measurement System) on a 30 km route in Finland, using a pool of 15 drivers in 6 cars. A brake dynamometer test was set up and was used to perform emission tests on the reference vehicle with two different testing cycles. Tyre wear (mass-loss) measurement campaigns were also carried out, with data collection and management still ongoing as at the end of Period 1. Exhaust emission measurements were carried out in laboratory on a chassis dynamometer to determine the bearing of maintenance performed. The simulation system from a previous EU project was adapted to have input for different driving styles for different road and traffic conditions.

WP4 on Effectiveness of Inspections and Depollution Systems benchmarked and selected the OBD dongles to be used during the experimental activities in WP6 and with the mobile app developed in WP5. This involved comparing OBD dongles so as to derive specifications. Periodic inspections and other anti-tampering solutions involved a market review on devices for CAN Bus data sniffing. A retrofit demonstration for a light commercial vehicle was done, with a mechanical installation, emission testing and integration to vehicle electronics. The system was tested to meet emission reduction requirements and results were satisfactory.

WP5: Guidelines & Tools for Low Emission Training: developed a scoring algorithm, including event detection methodology using AI techniques. Guidelines for L-E driving were proposed. Functional specifications of the mobile app and a web dashboard were made. A task on L-E driving assistance tools started in Period 1, with the first release of the mobile app, which contains a data collection module. Work started on developing training for L-E driving, analysing methodologies for effective training and translating the guidelines into messages for the drivers. This is ongoing into Period 2.

In WP6: User Trials and Evaluation, Period 1 work focused on the Evaluation Plan. An initial plan for the trials was provided, e.g. defining user and car selection criteria. There was also work on the recruitment process and the elaboration of a recruitment questionnaire for selection of users during Task 6.2 on trial ramp-up and pilots.

WP7: Awareness, Communication and Dissemination, produced the Dissemination plan, procedures & strategies, including the first annual update, a visual identity, range of communication tools (e.g. website and brochure), media and messages, as well as technical dissemination mainly in the form of physical and online events and scientific papers.
- Analysis of real effectiveness of OBD inspection and maintenance.
- Analysis of main parameters related to effective functioning of retrofit devices.
- Knowledge on legal situation regarding tampering in Europe.
- Data and analysis from PEMS measurement campaign near Helsinki, including variability among drivers and different cars.
- Brake dynamometer test data showing brakes dissipated 20% less energy in a driving cycle based on MODALES guidelines than in the case of the reference WLTP-Brake cycle.
- Validation of emission models for powertrain, brakes and tyres, allowing the ranking of driving behaviour KPIs. Sophisticated simulation models and mathematical equations for all three emission sources were well calibrated with various data (e.g. field measurements, in-lab tests, published literatures)
- Provision of low-emission driving guidelines and a first (internal) release of the driver support app.