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Sustainable Mobility

This is the January 2016 issue of the Transportation and Hydrogen Newsletter.

January 26, 2016

Photo of a red electric vehicle in front of ESIF

A recent mobility workshop showcased an array of plug-in electric, hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Image by Ellen Jaskol/NREL 35097

Summit Explores the Future of Dynamic Mobility Systems
NREL brought together local and national thought leaders to discuss the convergence of connectivity, vehicle automation, and transportation infrastructure at the Future Energy Efficient Mobility Workshop. The collaborative setting allowed attendees to explore the opportunities and challenges that will accompany a more connected dynamic system, where travelers and transportation resources can be used to optimize mobility and significantly enhance both safety and energy efficiency.

Sustainable Mobility Initiative Takes Systems-Based Approach to Energy-Efficient Transportation

The automotive industry is rapidly investing in systems that enhance safety through automation and meet increasing customer demands for connectivity. Working with industry, research, and government partners, NREL is leveraging these automation and connectivity innovations as part of its Sustainable Mobility Initiative, approaching sustainable transportation as an intelligent, integrated, and dynamic network of travelers, services, and environmentsrather than just vehicles and roadsto optimize mobility and significantly reduce energy consumption.

Researchers Join Colorado Department of Transportation in RoadX Project

NREL recently formed a partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in deploying advanced technology to reduce the cost of transporting goods, improve highway safety, and decrease congestion as part of the state's $20 million RoadX transportation project. NREL will draw on its longstanding expertise in vehicle-to-grid integration, data analysis, and vehicles and fuels research to provide CDOT with the systems-level expertise needed to realize this vision for next-generation mobility.

"Connected Traveler" Merges Communications Technology with Automation and Behavior Science

NREL's Connected Traveler project, part of the U.S. Department of Energy's new Travel Response Architecture using Novel Signaling for Network Efficiency in Transportation (TRANSNET) program, is maximizing the accuracy of predicted traveler behavior in response to real-time feedback and customized incentives that promote energy-efficient travel choices. The team, a coalition of transportation modeling and behavior experts from universities, industry, and NREL research groups, supports a sophisticated mix of behavior theory, vehicle connectivity, transportation modeling, and mobile technology to boost energy efficiency for personal trips and the overall transportation system.

Study Reveals Potential Fuel and Emission Benefits of Automated Mobility District

With emerging technologies, travel behavior may shift from personal vehicles to automated transit systems. An NREL study shows that a campus-sized (ranging from four to 10 square miles) automated mobility district has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 4% to 14% depending on various operating and ridership factors: the relative efficiency of the vehicles, the occupancy of vehicles within the district, and the ratio of supplanted vehicle miles traveled.

Disruptive Strategies Show Potential for Deep Reductions in Petroleum Use

Emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies, transportation demand reduction strategies, breakthrough biofuel technology research, and changes in the built environment hold the potential for dramatic combined reduction of energy use for personal travel and freight transport. U.S. Department of Transportation's Clean Transportation Sector Initiative and DOE's Transportation Energy Futures project identify emerging and disruptive technologies and strategies with the potential to reduce emissions and petroleum significantly by 2050.

Learn more about NREL's Sustainable Mobility RD&D.