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BU College of Engineering receives NEXTCAR grant to develop smart car technology

February 07, 2017

The Boston University College of Engineering announced it is a co-investigator for a $3.36 million grant received by Oak Ridge National Laboratory from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) NEXTCAR program. The grant focuses on developing novel control technologies for connected and automated vehicles with the goal of achieving a 20 percent improvement in vehicle energy efficiency.

The cost of commuter delays has risen by 260 percent over the past 25 years, and road congestion is responsible for about 20 percent of fuel consumption. In the United States, the estimated cumulative cost of traffic congestion by 2030 will reach $2.8 trillion -- roughly equal to current U.S. annual tax revenue. Additional traffic congestion costs to individual consumers will rise from 2014 levels of $1,740 per person to $2,900 per person, an increase of over 60 percent.

"Through this initiative, vehicle energy efficiency will increase by more than 20 percent, reducing oil consumption per mile and cutting greenhouse gas emissions," said Boston University College of Engineering Professor Christos Cassandras, who leads the university's component of this project.
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Other project team members include the University of Michigan and Bosch Corporation. The NEXTCAR program promotes scientific and technological innovations that will advance the economic and energy security of the United States, decreasing dependence on foreign energy sources while reducing energy-related emissions. An additional approximate $850,000 will be contributed to the grant through cost-sharing by the grant partners.

About NEXTCAR

ARPA-E's NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program seeks to leverage vehicle connectivity and automation technologies to optimize vehicle controls and powertrain operation. Using Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies, NEXTCAR projects will enable better communication between and coordination of vehicle-level and powertrain-level actions, improving individual vehicle and, ultimately, fleet efficiency.

About The Boston University College of Engineering

The Boston University College of Engineering creates Societal Engineers who use their skills to advance our quality of life. It ranks among the nation's Top 10 engineering schools in research expenditures per faculty member and hosts innovative education and research programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Boston University

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