The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced up to $32 million in funding for 10 innovative projects as part of its newest program: Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR).

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology utilizes on-board or cloud-based sensors, data, and computational capabilities to help a vehicle better process and react to its surrounding environment. With a goal of reducing individual vehicle energy usage by 20 percent, NEXTCAR projects will take advantage of the complex and connected systems in vehicles to drastically improve their energy efficiency.

“Today, cars and trucks are increasingly being outfitted with new technology that provides information about the vehicle’s environment, mostly to make them safer and to help drivers with basic tasks,” said ARPA-E Director Ellen D. Williams.

NEXTCAR technologies offer efficiency-boosting solutions. By integrating these systems with data from emerging CAV technologies, vehicles will be able to predict future driving conditions and events.

“As our vehicles become creators and consumers of more and more data, we have a transformative opportunity to put that new information to the additional use of saving energy in our road transportation system,” said Williams.

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Kara Burns
Kara Burns
Kara Burns is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT.