Self-Driving technology likely to save fuel

A team of researchers plans to find out if the autonomous technologies and vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems can help drivers to be more fuel efficient. Many are thrilled about the idea of an autonomous vehicle. When all cars communicate and know their whereabouts, you will be able to relax while commuting in full safety and in a shorter time. But the development of self-driving technologies may also lead to a cleaner environment by reducing the energy and fuel needed by autonomous cars. In this regard, the University of Michigan and the Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago and Idaho National Laboratory are conducting a joint research into whether vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology can also help drivers to be more fuel efficient. The Department of Energy said it would grant the program 2.7 million dollars, as it expressed a strong interest to learn more about connected and automated vehicles, a field which is very important for the agency. “Nobody knows the magnitude of what the energy savings of connected and automated vehicles will be,” said Peter Sweatman, the Director of U-M Mobility Transformation Center. “We’re going to actively collect the data to do that.” There will be 500 test vehicles, driven by volunteers on their daily routes, all cars fitted with devices to collect energy consumption data. The project also plans to study how drivers react to various functions in connected and automated vehicles, and whether any resulting change in behavior affects energy consumption. “Reducing emissions and saving fuel are expected to be significant benefits once connected and automated vehicles are on the road in large numbers,” said Huei Peng, MTC associate director and a principal investigator in the Department of Energy project. Via The Detroit Bureau