Hand inserting a fuel pump into their car.

New Project: Cost/Benefit Analysis of Fuel Efficient Speed Control Using Signal Phasing and Timing Data

Due to rising fuel costs and environmental impact, consumers are increasingly aware of fuel efficiency (MPG) in the vehicles they purchase, which is reflected in increasing hybrid and electric vehicle sales. A major source of fuel consumption is acceleration and deceleration cycles caused by stopping at red lights—acceleration from a full stop requires significant power.

In a new project, researchers will study the potential benefits to drivers of wider deployment of signal phasing and timing (SPaT) at intersections in Minnesota.

This project will refine preliminary results from a previous research project, Towards Implementation of Max-Pressure Signal Timing on Minnesota Roads.


  1. What are typical eco-driving benefits that could be achieved when driving through a SPaT corridor?
  2. At what market penetrations of SPaT ACC vehicles will the benefits be sufficient to justify the cost of instrumenting more corridors with SPaT?
  3. Which corridors should be prioritized for SPaT deployment?


  1. Several vehicles will be instrumented with DSRC receivers and GPS tracking to record SPaT data and the vehicle trajectories together.
  2. The project team will conduct traffic flow simulations to study the impacts of higher market penetration on the overall fuel benefits, including the benefits to legacy vehicles which unintentionally use SPaT-based speed controls by following CVs.
  3. Network models will be used to predict changes in route choices as drivers recognize the benefits of fuel savings in the route utility. The numerical predictions of fuel savings will be combined into cost/benefit analyses to inform MnDOT on the future deployment of SPaT on other corridors.

Project Details

  • Estimated Start Date: 08/10/2020
  • Estimated Completion Date: 07/31/2022
  • Funding: Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Principal Investigator: Michael Levin
  • Technical Liaison: Daniel Rowe

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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