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  DE-FOA-0001473 Request for Information (RFI) on Energy Efficiency Optimization for Connected and Automated Vehicles Request for Information (RFI) TBD TBD

DE-FOA-0001473: Request for Information (RFI) on Energy Efficiency Optimization for Connected and Automated Vehicles

ARPA-E seeks input from researchers and developers in a broad range of disciplines including automotive vehicle control, powertrain control and transportation analytics regarding the development of advanced energy efficiency optimization technologies for future connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). ARPA-E is requesting information on new and emerging full vehicle and powertrain control technologies that can reduce the energy use associated with automotive transportation, beyond those technologies currently expected to be deployed in future vehicles. These additional energy efficiency optimization technologies may include, but are not limited to, advanced technologies and concepts relating to future full vehicle and powertrain control, individual vehicle and powertrain operation, control and optimization facilitated by connectivity, and the reduction of the fuel and/or energy consumed by future individual vehicles undergoing either human operation or automated operation.

Any potential technical solutions that might be of interest to ARPA-E would ultimately require a demonstrable pathway through commercialization and widespread deployment to reduce the fuel and energy consumed in the current and/or future vehicle transportation fleet. Well-established methods of reducing individual vehicle fuel or energy consumption, such as hybridization, electrification, fuel shifting or alternative fuel substitution, weight reduction, aerodynamic drag reduction, waste energy recovery and parasitic load reduction, are specifically not of interest in this Request for Information (RFI).

The emphasis of this RFI is on reducing the energy consumption of individual vehicles, and not on transportation system technologies such as transportation network optimization, ridesharing, or transportation mode shifting. (ARPA-E has previously solicited technology solutions to minimize energy consumption in America’s surface transportation network through the use of network control mechanisms that operate through personalized signals directed at individual travelers through the TRANSNET FOA ). While it is clear that transportation system optimization is an invaluable energy efficiency tool, the focus of this current RFI is on maximizing the energy efficiency of each individual vehicle (while acknowledging that each such individual vehicle will potentially be an element of a broader transportation system).

A range of improved powertrain control techniques will be made possible in the near future by the increase in information available to on-board vehicles through connectivity such as V2X (e.g. look ahead data), and it is clear that certain further improvements in powertrain controls will occur even without this additional technology. In this RFI, it is envisioned that the future total reduction in energy consumption of an individual vehicle will be due to some combination of improved on-board powertrain controls (with improved real or virtual sensing and/or the use of V2X connectivity and real-time optimization), improved vehicle controls (using real or virtual sensing and/or the use of V2X), new inputs from external or fleet-level optimization, and ultimately the ability to operate in a driverless fashion in the case of automated vehicles (thereby removing the effect of the human driver from the vehicle and powertrain control systems).

Technologies contemplated in this RFI are required to be capable of meeting the prevailing regulated vehicle emissions levels at the expected time of commercial deployment, and must ultimately result in equivalent (or acceptable) vehicle performance, utility, cost of ownership and operation, functionality, drivability, power and energy storage density, reliability and maintainability, without compromise.

From a control point of view, currently vehicles operate in isolation as a collection of single ‘selfish’ entities, even in dense traffic. Developments in connectivity and automation will allow vehicles in the future to operate in a cooperative fashion with other surrounding vehicles. The effects of individual vehicle or powertrain control on the cumulative energy efficiency of a cohort of vehicles undertaking cooperative vehicle behavior have not yet been fully explored.

The focus of this RFI is on the potential improvement in the energy efficiency of each individual vehicle in the automotive fleet, through the improvement of powertrain control and vehicle dynamic control, by utilizing emerging technologies and strategies in sensing, communications, information, control and automation.

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input for ARPA-E consideration to inform the possible formulation of future programs intended to help reduce the total energy used in the transportation sector. This RFI provides the broad research community with an opportunity to contribute views and opinions regarding current and future powertrain and vehicle control technologies, and their use in energy efficiency optimization.

Please carefully review the REQUEST FOR INFORMATION GUIDELINES below, and note in particular: the information you provide may be used by ARPA-E in support of program planning, without attribution. THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ONLY. THIS NOTICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT (FOA). NO FOA EXISTS AT THIS TIME. Respondents shall not include any information in their response to this RFI that might be considered proprietary or confidential.


Responses to this RFI should be submitted in PDF format to the email address by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 1, 2016. ARPA-E will accept responses to this RFI immediately.

Please insert “Response to RFI for DE-FOA-0001473” in the subject line of your email, and include:

  • Your name;
  • Organization;
  • Type of organization (e.g. academic, industry, government, individual, non-profit etc.);
  • Email address;
  • Contact telephone number in the body of your email and;
  • Your responses to the questions posed in the PDF document titled "RFI-Energy Efficiency Optimaization - 01.04.2016" provided below.


  • RFI - Energy Efficiency Optimization - 01.04.2016 (Last Updated: 1/4/2016 12:06 PM ET)

Contact Information

    Please submit your comments in PDF format by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on February 1, 2016. ARPA-E will accept responses to this RFI immediately.

Submission Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: TBD
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: TBD