Smart vs conventional motorways: environmental impact assessment under realistic traffic conditions

Marco Guerrieri, Giorgia Peri, Gianfranco Rizzo, Matilde Pietrafesa, Gianluca Scaccianoce

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review


This research aims at assessing the environmental impacts exerted by a smart motorway compared to those of a traditional motorway. The study has global policy implications: it takes into account the impacts due to the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure and the environmental effects produced by the traffic emissions, takinginto account smart technologies and truck platooning regulation. Through a classical LCA approach, 1 km-long smartmotorway with 2 m-high embankment was assumed as the functional unit for the analysis. A realistic traffic condition has been considered. A comparison between environmental effects produced by the use of virgin material andby Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement was made by assuming two maintenance plans. Thanks to C-ITS systems the greatersafety featured by smart motorways has a significant effect on the environmental impact, compared to conventionalmotorways. The impact produced by safety barriers during the life cycle was also estimated. For smart motorwaysthe impact categories GWP, POCP, AP and EP are observed to be considerably reduced in the maintenance phase ofzinc-coated steel safety barriers and in those associated to traffic emissions. It must be noted that in smart motorways vehicle emissions are markedly influenced by the percentage of heavy vehicles travelling in Truck Platooningmode. The results show that concomitant use of lime stabilization and RAP leads to a significant reduction in energyconsumption (up to 35%) and pollutant emissions (up to 34% of CO2) than in case of exclusive use of virgin material.The accidents reduction produce a 30% decrease of GWP, POCP, AP and EP related to safety barriers maintenancephase than the corresponding values of traditional motorway. Truck platooning mode generates GWP reductionclose to 4%. The environmental advantages of a smart motorway increase progressively with the increase ofAADT, platooning truck percentage and heavy vehicles percentage.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine10
RivistaScience of the Total Environment
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2100.2105???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2300.2301???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2300.2312???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2100.2102???


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