Advances in  Automobile Engineering

Advances in Automobile Engineering
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-7670

+44 1300 500008


Aerodynamic Drag Reduction of Emergency Response Vehicles

Taherkhani AR, deBoer GN, Gaskell PH, Gilkeson CA, Hewson RW, Keech A, Thompson HM and Toropov VV

This paper presents the first experimental and computational investigation into the


of emergency response vehicles and focuses on reducing the additional drag that results from the customary practice of adding light-bars onto the vehicles’ roofs. A series of wind tunnel experiments demonstrate the significant increase in drag that results from the light bars and show these can be minimized by reducing the flow separation caused by them. Simple potential improvements in the aerodynamic design of the light bars are investigated by combining Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with Design of Experiments and metamodelling methods. An aerofoil-based roof design concept is shown to reduce the overall aerodynamic drag by up to 20% and an analysis of its effect on overall fuel consumption indicates that it offers a significant opportunity for improving the fuel economy and reducing emissions from emergency response vehicles. These benefits are now being realised by the UK’s ambulance services.