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Air Quality Impacts of IVHS: An Initial Review


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Suggested Citation:
Sperling, Daniel, Randall L. Guensler, Dorriah L. Page, Simon P. Washington (1992) Air Quality Impacts of IVHS: An Initial Review. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-92-14

Proceedings, IVHS Policy: A Workshop on Institutional and Environmental Issues, Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey, CA

Advanced transportation technologies, ranging from the provision of real-time traffic flow information to fully automated in-vehicle control systems, are promoted as a means of not only reducing congestion, but also to make vehicle travel "...more energy efficient and environmentally benign". In this paper, we explore the air quality implications of deploying advanced technologies, hereafter referred to as Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS) technologies.

Because motor vehicles account for such a huge proportion of air pollutant emissions in urban areas – about half the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, and over 80% of carbon monoxide emissions, according to government estimates – any changes in the number and use of vehicles could have a relatively large effect on total urban emissions. While government forecasts of air pollutant emissions anticipate vehicles playing a shrinking role relative to other sources because of increasingly stringent new and in-use vehicle emission standards recent evidence suggests that the vehicle pollution problem is actually much worse than reported. And thus the actual proportion of vehicle emissions in the urban emission inventory is actually much greater than indicated above. A recent National Research Council study concludes that motor vehicles emit 2–4 times as much hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide pollutants as estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).