Neste, HERE and PTV: Navigation Systems Do Not Always Suggest the CO2-Friendliest Route

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A collaboration between Neste, HERE Technologies, and PTV Group indicates that traffic-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by millions of tons if drivers choose the right driving route, especially in urban areas on short trips with private cars. Earlier this spring, Neste, the largest producer of renewable diesel in the world, and its partners tested the emissions of different route options by installing measuring equipment in vehicles. According to the gathered data, navigators do not always suggest the CO2-friendliest route.

Road transportation accounts for a significant part of all transportation-related emissions globally. To tackle climate change and achieve the ambitious climate targets set by different countries and companies, we need to look at all available solutions to reduce emissions, says Mika Hy¶tyl¤inen, Vice President for Marketing & Digitalization, Marketing & Services at Neste. Low-emission fuels such as Neste MY Renewable Diesel„¢ are among these, but we need other solutions as well “ no matter how small. By partnering with HERE and PTV, we were able to test the difference between the default route suggested by the navigation system and two alternative routes. Our goal was to see whether changing the route would impact fuel consumption and direct CO2 emissions.

In the experiment, a test driver drove 13 different routes in comparable conditions three times each: the default route suggested by the navigation system as well as two alternative routes. The Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT, then analyzed the data, after which HERE and PTV algorithms were used to scale and study the data.

We discovered that the navigators suggested route was the best choice in approximately two out of three cases, resulting in the lowest fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, said Juhani Laurikko, Principal Scientist at VTT. However, in the remaining one-third of the cases, the default route was less than optimal, leading to higher emissions. If every route had been chosen and driven based on the most fuel-efficient option, there would have been 6.36% less emissions in total.

By choosing a CO2-friendly route, drivers in the Helsinki region could reduce almost 80,600 tons of CO2 annually. Singapore could reduce emissions by 446,175 tons each year, New York by 941,000 tons, London by 397,000 tons, and San Francisco by 105,000 tons. This equals the total CO2 emissions of almost 368,000 people for a full year in just these major cities. The emissions savings would grow exponentially with each metropolitan area.

Predicting absolute fuel consumption has always been a challenge, said Matthias Hormuth, Head of Products at PTV. By bringing together a wide range of data points, using Machine Learning and HBEFA methods, we demonstrated that routing reduces our production of CO2. Based on these results, we hope to see environmentally-friendly routing become a standard option. Of course, we also need to consider infrastructure, road safety and other aspects, but by simply choosing the shortest route, drivers can see 5% in fuel savings if theyre not in stop-and-go traffic. This project is an example of what we do best at HERE – bringing together the relevant experts to produce insights that make our world a better place to live.

Hy¶tyl¤inen from Neste added, We are so excited about this experiments findings that we are now looking into creating a navigation system that lets drivers choose the CO2 friendliest route. We would be eager to see this as a default option in all navigation systems in the future. It is a unique solution in that while it reduces emissions, it does not cost anything for the consumer.

About Neste

Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. The companys wide range of renewable products enable customers to reduce climate emissions. The world’s largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, the company also provides renewable solutions to the aviation and plastics industries. Neste is a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products with widely valued expertise, research, and sustainable operations. In 2018, Neste’s revenue stood at EUR 14.9 billion. In 2019, Neste placed 3rd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more at

Jane Gideon

Incendio International

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