More companies are looking to go green and cut energy consumption by using new software programs that monitor and minimize power use, according to a Journal article today. One company that has been especially active on this front is delivery giant United Parcel Service, which has created its own software to optimize driving time—and thus fuel consumption–on many of its routes.
UPS has also come up with new tech to attack global warming in other ways, including software that helps keep planes off the tarmac more. With almost 600 jets, the Atlanta company ranks as one of the biggest airlines in the world. As part of its environmental effort to curb emissions, UPS is looking to cut down on the amount of fuel its planes consume by reducing the amount of time jets spend idling on the tarmac before they take off, UPS chief information officer David Barnes tells the Business Technology Blog.
In December 2006, UPS began a pilot project with the Federal Aviation Administration of using software to better coordinate ground traffic at Kentucky’s Louisville International Airport, where UPS has its worldwide air hub. Together, the freight carrier and FAA compiled a digital map of all the activities that take place on the tarmac—from unloading baggage to movements of equipment trucks—and putting that information in the hands of air-traffic controllers, Barnes says.
Early results show the improved coordination has resulted in a drop in the amount of time UPS jets spend idling on the taxiway. “This is changing the whole way planes leave the ramp, because we don’t want to start engines until we’re ready to take off,” Barnes says.
So far, UPS hasn’t yet quantified the savings from the runway effort. But Barnes says the company is encouraged, and is also teaming with the FAA on another way to make its planes use less energy: Let pilots descend in a straight glide when landing, rather than having to descend, level off, and descend again under current aviation rules that he says...