Protecting the environment has been a long-time focus for VTTI’s Center for Sustainable Mobility (CSM) and its director, Hesham Rakha. Because of that passion, the center has focused on the development of energy and emission models that can be calibrated using publicly available data, which is completely novel. The models include the VT-Micro that computes instantaneous fuel consumption and emission levels using GPS and simulated data. The model was developed using data obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, CSM created a mesoscopic approach (VT-Meso) that computes emissions with data from delays, average speed, and number of stops that a vehicle makes. Further advancements included the development of the VT-CPFM, VT-CPEM, and VT-CPHEM models for estimating gasoline vehicle fuel consumption, battery electric energy consumption, and hybrid electric vehicle fuel consumption levels, respectively. In addition, CSM has developed numerous vehicle and traffic network control strategies to reduce the transportation system energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently, Rakha and his team are involved in a project analyzing decarbonization options for the U.S. Class 1 freight rail system developing an open-source software: the Achieving Sustainable Train Energy Pathways (A-STEP) tool for modeling single and multi-train networks. These simulations will assist in evaluating vehicles and uncertainty with decarbonization methods to help understand their subsequent effect on energy, cost, supply, infrastructure, and economic feasibility. Rakha is leading the multi-train network simulation effort in collaboration with NC State, Oregon State, and DB Engineering.
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