"We are moving into a new era of pavement management systems, which consider not only rider comfort and safety but also the quantitative carbon environmental impact," says MIT professor of civil and environmental engineering Franz-Josef Ulm, faculty director of MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub)."Road stiffness could make an enormous difference for 40-ton trucks, with up to 4 percent gas mileage savings."
MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub is studying ways to improve fuel efficiency and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way roads are paved. A project between CSHub and Caltrans found that the type of road surface can account for 1 percent of fuel consumption.
"Most of the world is looking from the tires up to understand how to produce less greenhouse gas," said Tom Pyle, a pavement engineer. "But we're looking from the tires down, to the pavement, to achieve efficiencies the public never sees by significantly reducing greenhouse gases."
For an in-depth explanation and video showing how pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI) can reduce greenhouse gases, click here.
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; PhysOrg.com