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Old 02-14-2019, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NYT reporter asking for advice

New York Times reporter Brad Plumer has just asked this question on twitter.
"Is there an optimal highway speed for environmental/emissions purposes?"

Some here on EcoModder may wish to chime in. (Only two replies so far.) Plumer is technically savvy, and asks a lot of questions on twitter to make sure he isn't missing anything.


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Old 02-14-2019, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't like the question because it's 1 dimensional. The optimal speed is zero. Staying home is better for the environment.

Life is an optimization problem; giving up something to gain something else. Optimal environmental speed necessarily is at odds with optimal time to arrival.

It sounds like an uninteresting article, or perhaps 1-sided, which is what the news is these days.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fueleconomy.gov has something to say about it; 50 mph is where the most dramatic drop of fe vs speed occurs.

I don't do twit ter though.

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Old 02-15-2019, 05:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There's no optimal speed as there is no optimal road, nor optimal traffic.

The best speed for economy and safety is often the same as what the car or semi at a reasonable (> 2 seconds) distance ahead of you in the slow lane is doing.
It is a proper excuse for driving that slow while not really hindering other traffic. And few cars want to pass you but not that semi.

The best speed involves adaptation and anticipation and may vary a lot.

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