NREL's sustainable mobility research approaches sustainable transportation as a network of travelers, services, and environments—rather than just vehicles and roads—using connectivity and automation to optimize mobility and increase energy efficiency.
NREL is exploring innovative mobility strategies that have the potential to transform the movement of people and goods, boost the domestic economy, and save time and money. Research focuses on maximizing these returns while minimizing unintended negative consequences, such as increased travel and energy use due to greater convenience.
Held in May 2023, NREL's Envisioning Tomorrow's Sustainable Mobility Systems Workshop explored the research challenges and opportunities for efficient, accessible, and affordable mobility systems of the future.
Research and Development
In correlation with NREL's intelligent vehicle energy analysis efforts, our sustainable mobility research takes a whole-system approach to maximize energy savings, blazing new trails with novel approaches that combine vehicle, building, and infrastructure connectivity and automation to optimize mobility and increase energy efficiency.
Connectivity and Interaction With the Built Environment
Traveler-to-traveler, vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-grid, and vehicle-to-building connectivity to support sustainable trip choices, provide energy storage and backup for renewables, integrate transportation systems with the built environment, and use vehicles to balance building and utility electricity loads.
Automated vehicle controls to improve energy efficiency, safety, and convenience; adaptive cruise control and truck platooning strategies to allow vehicles to travel closer together, reducing drag, energy consumption, and congestion.
Understanding travel behavior and consumer choice leading to the adoption of more fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient travel choices.
Integrated Transportation System Management
Optimum travel mode, time, and route selection based on energy efficiency, road conditions, traffic flow, and travel preferences to reduce miles traveled and traffic congestion.
Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility
Multilaboratory effort to further understand the energy implications and opportunities of advanced mobility solutions that are time-, cost-, and energy-efficient; focuses on behavioral and decision science, connectivity and automation, integrated multimodal freight transportation systems, urban science, and alternative fueling infrastructure. Register for the 2023 webinar series highlighting SMART research insights about connectivity and automation, multimodal travel, transportation electrification, and freight.
NREL researchers publish journal articles, conference papers, and reports about sustainable mobility technologies and systems.BROWSE
Integrated Data and Analysis Tools
Bolstered by world-class computational science and high-performance computing capabilities, our integrated data and analysis tools inform the development of innovative mobility technologies and systems.
See our full collection of tools.
Group Manager, Mobility, Behavior, and Advanced Powertrains