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Ecological driving assessment in urban environment: case study in the city of Rethymno in Crete, Greece

Smaragdakis Angelos

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Year 2020
Type of Item Master Thesis
Bibliographic Citation Angelos Smaragdakis, "Ecological driving assessment in urban environment: case study in the city of Rethymno in Crete, Greece", Master Thesis, School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2020
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The transport sector is considered one of the most polluting and is responsible for about 20.5% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide. 25% of this percentage concerns emissions from the road transport sector worldwide, while in 2016, 21% of the total CO2 production rate in Europe was due to this sector. Ecological driving is inextricably linked to fuel economy, reduced emissions and road safety during land transport. Several factors can affect ecological driving and they should be given the necessary attention and proper information to drivers. In Greece, and specifically, in Crete, economical and environmentally friendly driving can be considered quite difficult due to the rocky terrain of the island, with the constant fluctuations in the slopes of the roads, the ascents and the descents. Also, the economic difficulties that prevail make the replacement of old vehicles with new anti-pollution technology (EURO V, VI) quite difficult for Greeks. To answer questions about the readiness of the public to welcome and assimilate ecological driving, this thesis presents a statistical study by using a specially created quiz / questionnaire named "Ecological Driving" and distributed within the prefecture of Rethymno. The questions were mainly about drivers' daily habits as well as questions about gender and the age of the responders. The results of the questionnaire were processed with the IBM SPSS software. Then, in order to locate points within the city that often record delinquent behaviors of ecological driving and therefore create traffic congestion and intense emissions of CO2, a group of volunteers was created. The volunteers, with their vehicles but also equipped with an OBD unit (On Board Diagnostic, a plug and play tool that helps monitor and record vehicle operating data) performed city trips, during different days of the week and critical hours for the city's freight traffic during the winter months of the year 2019. The data from the OBD devices, were analyzed using the Python programming language and the crucial points that were detected, are illustrated with the use of Tableau software. The results of the statistical study indicated that the age range 45-64 and 25-44 had the highest ecological driving knowledge / success rate, while the nature of the questions that had the highest failure rates were related to the speed limits, gear change, abrupt braking and acceleration as well as the broader concept of efficient driving. Finally, the depiction of ecological driving violations showed heavy density of points centrally in the city of Rethymnon and more specifically, in the broader area of the garden, around the general hospital as well as in the coastal area of of the city closed to the urban KTEL. Finally, intense emissions of harmful pollutants were observed in the area of the marina of the city's port and on Sofokli Venizelou Street. The study highlights the need for decongestion of those points that hinder ecological driving. There is a need for public information about alternative forms of transportation in order to decongest those streets and spots from heavy traffic, about the advantages of ecological driving as well as its promotion. In conclusion, it is proposed to implement the same recording model during the summer period, where an increase of vehicle traffic jams is expected. Then, it is suggested a larger number of volunteers to be equipped with OBD devices as well as the investigation and creation of a model for ecological driving, based on driving habits.

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