MOdify Drivers’ behaviour to Adapt for Lower EmissionS (MODALES)

Road transport is a major source of pollutants as well as greenhouse gas emissions. While cleaner engines bring improvements, there is insufficient knowledge on how user behaviour affects emissions from different sources: engine, brakes and tyres. The EU-funded MODALES project researches behavioural aspects affecting these emissions. It aims to decrease the amount of air pollution arising from traffic by educating through dedicated training, awareness campaigns and a driver assistance app. MODALES will examine factors and solutions in driving, maintenance, retrofits, on-board diagnostics and legal aspects, to advance an user-centric method and to test it under real conditions. The result will strengthen low-emission driving and maintenance behaviour, as well as driver and vehicle testing regimes.


The impact of road traffic on local air quality is a major policy concern and there have been numerous projects aiming at improving underlying vehicle and fuel technologies, traffic management and enforcement. MODALES will contribute to a substantial reduction in air pollution from all types of motorised road vehicles by encouraging the adoption of low-emission oriented driving behaviour and maintenance choice, improving the effectiveness of OBD devices and retrofits. The main goal of MODALES is to advance the fundamental understanding of the co-variability of user behaviour and vehicular emissions from powertrain, brakes and tyres, and modify user behaviour via dedicated training, including a driver assistance app and awareness campaigns, in order to support effective air quality plans and enforcement strategies to be developed by local and national authorities.

MODALES proposes a user-centric approach to addressing all of the challenges which on the one hand enhance low-emission practices and on the other hand suppress high-emission behaviour by researching, developing and testing a number of innovative and complementary solutions in four key areas (namely, Driver, Retrofits, EOBD and Inspection) in order to substantially reduce vehicle emissions from 3 main sources (i.e. powertrain, brake wear and tyre wear).

The results will be used as evidence with adequate quality to guide the derivation of effective driving practices and training courses for different user groups. MODALES echoes the European Commission’s ambition to open up global markets in transport services, through the creation of a worldwide platform for sharing and exchanging innovative solutions, experience and best practices for low-emission practices.

The Consortium is led by ERTICO – ITS Europe (European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination Organisation – Intelligent Transport Systems & Services Europe) and the Leeds team led by Dr Haibo Chen at the Institute for Transport Studies. This project has a special focus on the legal issues of tampering in the 28 Member States, in which legal and regulatory situations vary. Dr Basu’s involvement is to research what these issues are and to identify the recommendations the project can make to the EC.

Project website