AUTO21 Initiative Wins National Innovation Award
A partnership between AUTO21 researchers and the City of Waterloo that has reduced vehicle emissions has been recognized with a national award for innovation.
The City of Waterloo was presented with a Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) award in recognition of an eco-drive initiative that reduced carbon offsets from fleet vehicles. The 2014 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation was presented May 28, 2014 at the CAMA Annual Conference in Niagara Falls, Ont.
In July 2012, the City of Waterloo joined the AUTO21 Eco-Drive Training Project, which is led by Dr. Andrew Jardine, a professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Jardine and researchers from the University of Toronto helped Waterloo fleet drivers implement eco-friendly driving techniques through classroom training and simulators. This included various techniques, such as managing acceleration and reducing the need to make frequent stops. The ultimate goal for this project is to reduce fuel and carbon emissions from fleet vehicles by 10 to 20 per cent. With carbon concentrations being higher than ever, the need for reduced vehicle emissions is becoming increasingly important.
“This success will raise awareness about fuel-efficient driving behaviour and encourage other municipalities to train their fleet drivers in eco-driving,” said Dr. Jardine. “We look forward to successful knowledge transfer of our eco-driving project success to other organizations, such as trucking fleets and mobile mining equipment — not just municipalities.”
Dr. Jardine said the majority of participants found the driver training sessions interesting and told him they would implement the techniques not only in their city-owned truck, but also in their own vehicles.
“I think that is a very nice outcome,” he said.
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators awards are given out annually to municipalities across Canada. The CAMA Willis Award for Innovation is given to municipalities in recognition of innovative initiatives, programs, services and projects.
Co-investigator Dr. Birsen Donmez and researchers Dr. Winnie Chen and Dr. Turuna Seecharan contribute to the Eco-drive Project.
“I am very fortunate to have been able to collaborate with a group of researchers who had a passion for real-world research and subsequently, to see the recognition received through our collaboration with the City of Waterloo,” said Dr. Jardine.