Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have received a nearly $95,000 one-year grant from the California Energy Commission to develop an eco-routing algorithm that finds the route requiring the least amount of energy for a trip. The researchers, from the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the Bourns College of Engineering, believe they can extend the range of electric vehicles by at least 10% by taking into account real-time traffic information, road type and grade and passenger and cargo weight.
This is particularly useful given the limited range of electric vehicles. It should really help cut down on what has become known as range anxiety.—Guoyuan Wu, an assistant researcher at CE-CERT and the principal investigator
With the grant from the California Energy Commission, energy consumption data will be collected when an electric vehicle is driven under a variety of real-world driving conditions, including different vehicle speeds, traffic congestion levels, road types, and road grades, with varying number of passengers.
Tables created from the data will be used to develop real-time energy consumption estimate models for the test electric vehicle. The models will then be integrated into an eco-routing algorithm.
The algorithm will then be incorporated into a prototype eco-routing navigation system, which will resemble a small computer screen and be placed on the dashboard. Once in place, testing using an electric vehicle will begin.
Wu will be assisted by co-principal investigators Matthew Barth, director of CE-CERT and the Yeager Families Professor of Engineering, and Kanok Boriboonsomsin, a research faculty member at CE-CERT.
The work on electric vehicles builds upon research by Barth and Boriboonsomsin. They found eco-routing navigation systems can potentially reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 5–15%.