Driverless Cars May Eliminate Tickets and Traffic LightsNovember 19, 2018
Nothing is worse than an unbearable commute to and from work. With people rushing to get from one place to another, things often prove chaotic. However, with connected, automated vehicles, this chaos could dissipate. By eliminating much, if not all, human input, it would also eliminate the room for human error. A Mechanical Engineering Professor at the University of Delaware has used control theory to develop algorithms that can help enable the future of vehicle driving technology, conserve fuel, and help people reach their intended destination in a quick and safe manner.
Recently, as published in the journal, Automatica, the professor and other professionals from Boston University have developed a solution that allowed for connected and automated vehicles to cross an urban intersection without any traffic lights. Their software, which simulated their results, found that this solution not only conserved fuel and momentum, but also improved travel time.
Less Fuel, No Tickets
The professor and collaborators from the University of Virginia also worked together to formulate a solution that would allow for optimal acceleration and deceleration. At the same time, this would help prevent any rear-end accidents. According to the results of simulated trials, it appears that these connected vehicles would use 19 to 22 percent less fuel and would also get to their intended destinations anywhere from 26 to 30 percent faster than when humans are driving vehicles.
The Future of Research
So far, the professor has received funding for this research and work from two separate U.S. Department of Energy programs, including the Smart Mobility Initiative and the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy’s NEXTCAR program.
He is the principal investigator of a three-year project that is being funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) through its NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program. The purpose of the program is to improve efficiency of an Audi A3 e-tron by a minimum of 20 percent. The University of Michigan, Boston University, Bosch Corporation, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have all partnered on this project.
Potential Negative Effects of New Technology
Though there appear to be many different benefits of converting to a connected, automated vehicle system, it is still important to note that nothing is completely free from error. Should any of the systems in these cars malfunction or stop working, it could result in both physical and automotive damages.
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