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Swedes look to save planet

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Swedish researchers have come up with a cunning way of using a satnav system to cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, The Guardian reports.

Instead of looking for the quickest or most direct route between two points, a prototype developed by the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden "plots the most fuel-efficient route by checking roads for traffic lights, junctions, speed limits and the tendency for traffic jams".

The system is based on a database of 15,437 jaunts around Lund which were used to "rank roads by their fuel efficiency". Team member Dr Eva Ericsson told New Scientist: "The most efficient roads are often those where you can drive at a fairly slow, constant speed, without having to stop or suddenly accelerate or decelerate."

The researchers say that early indications point to an 8.2 per cent reduction in fuel consumption, and hope that "if digital maps of cities could be improved to include details of traffic behaviour, the system could make a considerable impact on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions". ®

Bootnote

Just to pre-empt the inevitable emails: we entirely agree that the greenest possible satnav system would be one which instructed you to drive your car to the nearest scrapyard.

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