Applications for the environment : real-time information synthesis (AERIS). Eco-lanes : operational concept.
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Applications for the environment : real-time information synthesis (AERIS). Eco-lanes : operational concept.

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    This document serves as an Operational Concept for the Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) Eco-Lanes Transformative Concept. The Eco-Lanes Transformative Concept features dedicated lanes on freeways optimized for the environment, referred to as eco-lanes. Eco-lanes are similar to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, but are optimized for the environment leveraging connected vehicle technologies. Eco-lanes are targeted toward low-emission, high-occupancy, freight, transit, and alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs). Once in the lanes, drivers would be able to opt in to take advantage of eco-friendly applications such as eco-cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC), vehicle platooning, and connected eco-driving applications. This Transformative Concept includes seven applications: (i) Eco-Lanes Management, (ii) Eco-Speed Harmonization, (iii) Eco-Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control, (iv) Eco-Ramp Metering, (v) Connected Eco-Driving, (vi) Multi-Modal Traveler Information, and (vii) Wireless Inductive Charging.

    At the heart of this Transformative Concept is an administrative application that supports the management and operation of eco-lanes, including establishing parameters for entering the lanes and defining or geo-fencing the eco-lane boundaries. Eco-lanes parameters may include the types of vehicles allowed to use the lanes, emissions parameters for entering the eco-lanes, number of lanes dedicated as eco-lanes along a freeway, and the start and end of the eco-lanes. Applications may also be implemented to convey pre-trip and en-route traveler information about the eco-lanes to travelers. Information disseminated to travelers may include real-time traffic conditions in the eco-lanes, a comparison of travel times or fuel savings between adjacent regular lanes and the eco-lanes.

    Eco-lanes are envisioned to use operational strategies implemented by the operating entity (e.g., Traffic Management Center) to reduce vehicle emissions in the lanes and along the freeway segment. Operational strategies include eco-speed harmonization and eco-ramp metering. Once in the eco-lanes, drivers will be provided with speeds limits optimized for the environment. These eco-speed limits will be implemented to help to reduce unnecessary vehicle stops and starts by maintaining consistent speeds, thus reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions. Eco-speed limits may differ from posted speed limits and will leverage variable speed limit capabilities to help smooth traffic as vehicles approach queues or bottlenecks ahead. Eco-Ramp Metering applications determine the most environmentally efficient operation of traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to manage the rate of vehicles entering the freeway.

    Eco-Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control applications allow individual drivers to opt-into applications that provide cruise control capabilities designed to minimize vehicle accelerations and decelerations for the benefit of reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. This Transformative Concept also supports vehicle platooning. Vehicle platoons can decrease the distances between cars by wireless coupling vehicles together. Vehicle platoons allow for a closer headway between vehicles by eliminating reacting distance needed for human reaction.

    Finally, this Transformative Concept supports wireless inductive charging for electric vehicles in the eco-lanes. Wireless inductive charging includes roadside infrastructure deployed along the roadway that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. This infrastructure enables inductive charging of electric vehicles including cars, trucks, and buses. It is envisioned that this charging infrastructure would be deployed in the eco-lanes supporting the wireless charging of electric vehicles moving at highway speeds.

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