Effect of Driving Style on Emissions

Focus Area

Air Quality


Air Quality




Under $99k


1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

The way one drives has an impact on the instantaneous and total emissions produced for a given trip. Driving style has an impact on microscopic (second by second) vehicle activities and hence vehicular emissions and fuel consumption. To understand the correlation between emissions and driving style, we need to quantify and measure vehicle (or driver) activity at a higher precision. This may require us to measure the applied force associated with brake pedal and gas pedal use and their corresponding distributions.  

To study the effect of driver style, different drivers can be chosen from a range of age and places in the country. On-road emissions data may to be collected on a second by microscopic level in synchronization with brake and gas pedal along with vehicle and engine rpm. The correlation between different driving parameters and emissions can be studied and emissions factors corresponding to defined driving style can be developed.

Related Research (Added by TERI Administrator, APRIL 2011):
Influence of the stop/start system on CO2 emissions of a diesel vehicle in urban traffic; Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2011, pp 194-200 

Drive-Style Emissions Testing On the Latest Two Honda Hybrid Technologies; European Transport Research Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2009, pp 57-66

Driving style extremes and potential vehicle emission effects; TRANSPORT (PROCEEDINGS OF THE ICE), Volume 162, Issue TR3, 2009, 141-148

Eco-Driving: Pilot Evaluation of Behavior Changes in U.S. Drivers (Phase I – Driving Behaviors); University of California, Berkeley, 2007

Impact of Driving Styles on Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Economy from a Heavy-Duty Truck: Laboratory Tests; International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, Volume 13, Issue 1/2, 2006, pp 56-73

Urgency and Payoff

The study would give a better understanding of the impact of driving style on emissions. With extreme events like hard acceleration (prolonged as in case of freeway on-ramps) and high jerk (rate of change of acceleration), emissions are expected to rise since high amount of fuel is injected into the engine system within a small duration of time. Incorporating these events in the emissions model is likely to improve estimates for the emissions rates.

Suggested By

Abhisek Mudgal, Institute for Transportation / Iowa State University

[email protected]