New Electric Vehicle “Eco-Routing” Navigation System Cuts Energy Use up to 51%

EV-rangeThere are already a lot of navigation tools for driving on the market, ranging from basic add-on GPS units to smartphone-based mapping and navigation tools, but most of them focus on either cutting the driving distance or the driving time, not necessarily energy or fuel consumption, but a new navigation system targeted to electric vehicles could help EV drivers cut their energy use by a significant percentage.

Researchers at the University of California Riverside have developed an “eco-routing” navigation system for electric vehicles that has the ability to cut EV’s energy use by up to 51%, and the results from road tests indicate the system could be ripe for commercialization. James Ayre, at our sister site CleanTechnica, has the story.

New Vehicle Navigation Tool Can Cut EV Energy Use By As Much As 51%

A new vehicle navigation tool that can cut EV energy use by as much as 51% has been created by researchers at the University of California – Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.

The new tool — an “eco-routing” navigation system — works by taking into account a variety of different data, including: real-time traffic information, road type, road grade, and others.

The system was tested/developed on three routes around the Riverside campus. Three different types of navigation systems — shortest distance, least time and least energy — were developed on these via road testing and computer simulations.

Some of the primary findings of this testing:

  • Energy savings between 25% and 51% when they took the route that the navigation system said would take the least amount of time. The tradeoff is that the travel distance increased between three percent and 19%.
  • Energy saving between five percent and 25% when they took the shortest distance route. But, the time tradeoffs were sometimes significant, ranging from 8% to 96%.
  • Taking the least energy route without any constraint on travel time did not make sense in some cases, because the increasing in time can be as high as 186%. At the same time, the route distance may increase by about 16%.

The press release from UC Riverside provides more:

With the California Energy Commission funding, the UC Riverside researchers conducted more than 100 trips on the road from March 2013 to July 2013 using a 2013 Nissan Leaf. They selected three origin-destination pairs designed to provide different driving route options because of real-time traffic conditions and variables such as road grade and road type. The routes varied in distance from 18.6 miles to 23.2 miles.

After incorporating the data from the road tests into the eco-routing navigation system algorithm, the researchers conducted more than 4,000 trips with the same destination points but by using a numerical simulation.

“The significant saving in energy consumption, compared to conventional navigation systems, indicate our system, with some future adjustments, has significant potential for commercialization,” stated researcher Guoyuan Wu, the principal investigator on the project.

The researchers recently explained their findings in a report to the California Energy Commission.

Image Credit: Luis Sanz

[Originally published at CleanTechnica.]

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