Do air pollution emissions and fuel consumption models for roadways include the effects of congestion in the roadway traffic flow?
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Road transport emission and fuel consumption models are currently used extensively to predict levels of air pollution along roadway links and networks. This paper examines how, and to what extent, models which are currently used to predict emissions and fuel consumption from road traffic include the effects of congestion. A classification framework is presented in which a key factor, driving pattern, connects emissions to congestion. Prediction of the effects of different driving patterns in emission models is generally restricted to certain aspects of modelling, i.e. hot-running emissions of regulated pollutants. As a consequence, the effects of congestion are only partially incorporated in the predictions. The majority of emission models explicitly incorporate congestion in the modelling process, but for one important family of emission models, namely average speed models, this could not be determined directly. Re-examination of the (light-duty) driving patterns on which three average speed models (COPERT, MOBILE, EMFAC) are based, shows that it is likely that congestion is represented in these patterns. Since (hot-running) emission factors are based on these patterns, this implies that the emission factors used in these emission models also reflect different levels of congestion. Congestion is thus indirectly incorporated in these models. It is recommended, that, in order to get more accurate (local) emission predictions and to achieve correct application in particular situations, it is important to improve current average speed models by including a congestion algorithm, or alternatively, at least provide information on the level of congestion in the driving patterns on which these models are based and recommendations on what applications the models are suitable for.
Enviornmnetal Modelling & Software
© 2008 Elsevier. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.