Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

MIT Report: Stiffer Pavements Can Improve Fuel Economy

February 28, 2013

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found that a pavement property called "deflection" could save more that $15 billion in annual fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A study released Feb. 27 focuses on the interplay between a vehicle and the road, and how that interplay can affect fuel consumption. Known as pavement-vehicle interaction, it is seen in three forms: roughness, texture and deflection.

The MIT study concluded that concrete pavements, inherently stiffer than asphalt, can reduce a car's "footprint" and gas costs.

The report, titled "Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Estimating the Impact of Deflection-Induced Pavement-Vehicle Interaction on Fuel Consumption," focuses on deflection. Deflection refers to the small dent in the pavement that a car creates as it moves down the road. This dent creates a slight but constant uphill climb, which burns more fuel. The effect is similar to walking on sand. With each step, your feet sink and create a dip.

In a previous study, MIT researchers found that using stiffer pavements decreases deflection and reduces fuel consumption by as much as 3% — a savings that could add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year, or $15.6 billion.

"While the use of fossil fuel-based transportation may be inevitable," says the MIT report, "improving fuel efficiency can create big change — for example, a 1% reduction in fuel consumption could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year."

A copy of "Where the Rubber Meets the Road" is available here.


Related feature: Efficient Driving Equals Fleet Savings

Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is a federal cabinet department of the U.S. government.

Read more

Lifecycle Costs Analyzer

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher