MODALES project is all about innovation, with 15 Partners looking at new ways to reduce vehicle-related emissions by encouraging the adoption of low-emission driving behaviour and proper maintenance choice. Project Partner Istanbul Okan University is contributing to the project with its Transport Technology and Intelligent Automotive Systems Research Center, providing a range of innovation management activities that will get MODALES one step closer in becoming a reality in the clean mobility domain.

Okan University is particularly active in MODALES’ innovation management. What innovations are you bringing to MODALES and clean mobility in general?

“We as the project team have envisaged a total of 13 innovation actions in MODALES in four areas, such as the driver, the retrofits, the Electronic On Board Diagnostic System (EOBD) and the inspections. When it comes to the driver, we have five innovation solutions, which are defining a low-emission driving style and training, providing guidelines for regular vehicle maintenance and for proactive navigation and adaptation to traffic conditions, raising awareness among stakeholders and drivers with campaigns and indicating the level of driving emissions in real-time.

When it comes to the retrofits area, the project provides innovation solutions such as “Diesel-saving” technologies for cars, NOxBUSTER© upgrading (from project partner Proventia) and Diesel particulate filter servicing, whilst for the EOBD area, our innovation solutions consist of the durable emission controls and the more effective OBD.

In terms of inspection, Okan University works on innovative solutions, especially in the framework of effective inspection procedures and other consortium members on roadside emissions testing and incrimination of tampering. Some of these innovation solutions will be developed as innovative products within MODALES, and we will organise in the future a technology roll-out process to deploy them effectively.”

How important is research in a project like MODALES?

“MODALES is different from many other projects. It is a comprehensive project, which aims to change the driver’s behaviour from all aspects in order to reduce the total amount of emissions from all types of vehicles, including the particulate matter (PM) from brakes and tyres. These requirements bring out several research questions, being related to the finding of opposing emission trends related to GHG (Green House Gases) under the same driving conditions, or the inverse relation between fuel consumption and GHG gases, such as NOx.

Another important challenge that requires research is to find a real time scoring methodology for overall emissions, which does not necessarily follow the same trend of that related to fuel consumption, or finding the effect of proper inspection on emissions, which requires a careful meta-analysis and specific tests on the vehicles.

Behaviour changing methodology is also another important area: although you can solve these difficult challenges, you cannot convince the driver to drive in a way that will lower the overall emissions.

It is important to underline that these research results will also serve for autonomous vehicles driving style and will help to further improve the overall air quality.”

Okan University also works on the impact assessment of MODALES. Can you tell us more? Have there been any findings you can share with the public on the impact that driving behaviour has on the environment?

“At Istanbul Okan University we have several tools for impact assessment, a first one being a simulation system which calculates very precisely real time fuel consumption and emissions of heavy trucks and has been developed by Istanbul Okan University, Ford OTOSAN and IAV during the optiTruck project coordinated by ERTICO. This simulation system can be connected to a real time map system or any road topography, while weather and traffic conditions can be imposed on the system.

Besides optiTruck system there are three other scenario creation and simulation systems, which will be verified also for different types of vehicles tested by VTT and for several driving styles, emission results and correlated scoring functions. This work requires careful research to determine the right driving events corresponding to at least CO, CO2, NOX, THC (Total hydrocarbon) and PM from tyre, brakes and exhaust emissions. For this purpose, Istanbul Okan University is developing a real time scoring algorithm using artificial intelligence techniques to determine the relation between the driving style and the emissions, to guide the driver in a more effective manner. One of the challenges in the scoring algorithm is the counter effect of different GHG imposed for the same driving style, forcing to use a weighting methodology in line with the health factor of each emission type.

Although no specific results can be announced yet, we can clearly state that moderately accelerating and decelerating, anticipating traffic, weather and road conditions, preparing your vehicle and your route and regularly maintaining your vehicle are all best practices to put in place to reduce driving-related emissions.”