Applications for the environment : real-time information synthesis low emissions zones : operational concept.
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Applications for the environment : real-time information synthesis low emissions zones : operational concept.

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      This document serves as an Operational Concept for the Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) Low Emissions Zones Transformative Concept. The Low Emissions Zone Transformative Concept includes the ability for an entity operating the transportation network to define a geographic area that seeks to restrict or deter access by specific categories of high-polluting vehicles into the area to improve the air quality within the geographic area. Alternatively, the Transformative Concept may incentivize traveler decisions that are determined to be environmentally friendly such as the use of alternative fuel vehicles or transit. At the heart of this Transformative Concept is a Low Emissions Zone Management application, which leverages connected vehicle and other technologies to determine fees or incentives for vehicles and travelers entering the low emissions zone. Fees and incentives may be based on the vehicle’s engine emissions standard or emissions data collected directly from the vehicle using vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. To encourage travelers entering the zone to use public transportation, policies may be in place to further encourage eco-decisions. For example, policy may be in place to waive fees for transit vehicles entering the low emissions zone and provide travelers on-board the transit vehicle with a voucher for future transit trips. The Low Emissions Zones Transformative Concept provides the capability for the Low Emissions Zone to be responsive to real-time traffic and environmental conditions, allowing the operating entity to change the location, boundaries, fees, or time of the low-emissions zone. For example, this would allow the low emissions zone be commissioned based on various criteria including atmospheric conditions, weather conditions, or special events. While the low emissions zone would have the capability to be flexible and more dynamic, it is envisioned that these parameters would change only as needed to ensure that travelers do not become confused by a system that is too dynamic in nature. Travelers would need to assume some level of consistency with their trip and should not be surprised by constant changing of the low emissions zone’s parameters. As such, pre-trip and en-route traveler information is a critical component of the Low Emissions Zones Transformative Concept. Information about criteria for vehicles to enter the low emissions zone, expected fees and incentives for their trip, current and predictive traffic conditions, and the geographic boundaries of the low emissions zone would need to be consistently communicated to the traveling public using traditional traveler information technologies (i.e., dynamic message signs, 511 systems, and webpages) as well as connected vehicle technologies.
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