Estimating Fuel-Saving Impact of Low Rolling Resistance Tires on Heavy-Duty Vehicle Fleet Operations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified the use of low rolling resistance (LRR) tires as an effective method of reducing vehicle fuel consumption, especially from heavy duty vehicles (HDV). LRR tires are important to HDV operations because fuel accounts for about 25% of operating costs, and improving fuel economy also reduces emissions of both greenhouse gases and oxides of nitrogen, a precursor to the formation of ozone, which is harmful to humans, plants, and animals. However, their adoption rate has been slow primarily due to performance uncertainties under real-world operating conditions. Previous mathematical models developed to help fleet operators estimate the impact of LRR tires on their operations have suffered from poor accuracy because they do not account for variable speed profiles in real world HDV operations. Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new tool for fleet managers that better predicts the benefits of LRR tires under real-world conditions.