Available tools for trip planning mostly rely on travel time and travel distance. Fuel costs, when taken into account, are based on simplified fuel consumption models and are usually independent from vehicle type and technology.
Building on the work carried out by the Sustainable Transport Unit of the Joint Research Centre, European Commission, in developing (a.) CO2MPAS, the official tool supporting the WLTP/NEDC Correlation Exercise and allowing the back-translation of a WLTP test to the equivalent NEDC CO2 emission value during the type approval, and (b.) Green Driving, an interactive web-based tool allowing the estimation of fuel costs and CO2 emissions of individual car journeys on the basis of variables such as car segment, engine power, fuel type and driving style, the present project aimed at developing and proving the concept of a routing machine to be used when fuel consumption minimization is considered.
Throughout the project a stand-alone off-board trip planner has been developed, the U-SAVE Desktop Version, while a smartphone application, the U-SAVE Navigation Application, is currently under the last development phase, and shall be used once completed as a low cost in-board navigation system.
The tool has been extensively validated internally demonstrating both its capability to accurately estimate fuel and energy consumption via alternative trip options, and its capacity to provide a more efficient route when different from the shortest and/or fastest options.
An open-access version of the tool is expected to become a reference instrument for private citizens who are concerned about their fuel consumption and a more efficient use of their vehicles, while a premium API-based commercial version of the tool can operate as a viable and scalable business model targeting, among others, established navigation software providers who want to extend their offering by providing an alternative route option to their clients, mainly private companies managing fleets of light-duty vehicles, for whom saving fuel from the daily vehicle operations is of crucial financial importance.