Study of Alternatives to Reduce Driver Exposure to Diesel Exhaust

The purpose of this study was to study the efficiencies of different idle reduction technologies and to compare their short- and long-term economic costs. The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of diesel emissions that enter a truck cab and to improve air quality in the cab while a driver is resting in a sleeper berth at a truck rest stop. Previous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) research measured air pollution inside truck cabs and sleeping berths while vehicles were idling at a truck stop. The study found that pollution inside truck cabs exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The pollution was worse when trucks were idling. Of all the pollutants from diesel exhaust, particle matter of 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) or less poses the greatest health risks for truck drivers. Potential adverse health effects include asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular issues, and premature death. Therefore, reducing the idling of diesel engines is a critical factor to driver health. Following FMCSA’s initial study, the Agency was determined to conduct a new study to analyze the efficiencies of idle reduction technologies for trucks and to compare their economic costs in order to reduce driver exposure to diesel exhaust and maintain driver wellness and health. This research project focused on diesel particulate matter, which is the pollutant of concern. The following idle reduction technologies were considered: automatic shut-down/start-up systems; auxiliary power units; battery air conditioning systems; electrified parking spaces; filtering devices; fuel-operated heaters; shore connection systems; and thermal storage systems. The effort also took into account the different categories of model year engines (i.e., 1990 and earlier, 1991‒1993, 1993‒2007, and 2008 and later). The outcome of this effort included a literature review and analysis, development of a methodology for the study, implementation of the study, and a final report compiling the results of the study.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $481,078
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kwan, Quon

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Michigan

    2901 Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, Michigan  United States  48109

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    North Avenue
    Atlanta, Georgia  United States  30332
  • Start Date: 20150700
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20161000

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01592638
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2016 7:30AM