According to new research from the University at Buffalo, it's possible for drivers to cut their tailpipe emissions without significantly slowing travel time.
In detailed computer simulations of traffic in the Buffalo area, UB researchers found that green routing could reduce overall emissions of carbon monoxide by 27 percent for area drivers, while increasing the length of trips by an average of just 11 percent.
In many cases, simple changes yielded great gains. Funneling cars along surface streets instead of freeways helped to limit fuel consumption, for instance.
In the near future, GPS navigation systems and online maps could play an important role in promoting green routing. GPS systems could use transportation research to let drivers choose an environmentally friendly route instead of the shortest route.