Project Title

Connected Vehicle Technologies for Energy Efficient Urban Transportation

Collaborating Universities

Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore MD 21251
443-885-3333
www.morgan.edu

University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-2792
www.udel.edu

Principal Investigator(s)

Ajay Prasad (UD) Email: prasad@udel.edu
Suresh Advani (UD) Email: advani@udel.edu
Hyeon-Shic Shin (MSU) Email: hyeonshic.shin@morgan.edu

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)

US DOT $150,000 (Federal)
UD $115,819 (Match)
MSU $ 34,182 (Match)

Total Project Costs

$150,000 Federal/ $150,000 Match

Agency ID or Contract Number

DTRT13-G-UTC33

Start Date

01/01/15

Completion Date

08/31/16

Description

The University of Delaware has been conducting a very successful Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus Program since 2005 to research, build and demonstrate fuel cell powered buses and hydrogen refueling stations in Delaware. Under funding from the Federal Transit Administration we have successfully demonstrated two 22-ft fuel cell buses with a 140-mile range on our campus since 2007. The buses transport students across campus as part of the UD shuttle bus system. Two larger 40-ft advanced fuel cell hybrid buses will be added shortly. We have also successfully demonstrated a hydrogen refueling station for our bus program since 2007. The buses have been shown to be reliable, safe, and efficient while producing zero emissions.

Several tangible benefits from the UD Fuel Cell Bus Program can be leveraged for the proposed work. First, we have developed a powerful Matlab/Simulink based simulation tool called LFM to simulate the performance of our buses on a variety of driving schedules. This in-house software has been validated against actual data acquired from the buses and it has been confirmed that its key outputs such as hydrogen consumption, battery state-of-charge, and fuel economy are accurate. Second, we have already developed a one-way cellular link between our buses and a server in the lab. Data is continuously recorded by on-board computers and relayed  to the lab server for real-time analysis and fault-detection. We propose to convert this one-way communication into a two-way communication to optimize both the transportation system and the vehicle’s control system in real-time. Hence, we intend to leverage all of our accumulated experience with the UD Fuel Cell Bus Program to make rapid progress with the proposed tasks.

We will use our fleet of fuel cell hybrid buses and our LFM simulation tool to analyze and solve many problems related to urban traffic congestion. We will also conduct simulations with other hybrid vehicle types and  recruit voluntary drivers with such vehicles for validation studies. A traffic model will be set up to simulate   and find the optimal route for individual vehicles based on historical and real time traffic data which can  reduce congestion and save fuel. Then, a two way communication system between sever and bus will be developed to exchange vehicle data and navigation suggestions. Finally, optimization model will be developed to generate the optimal power control strategy for the hybrid bus to improve fuel economy and fuel cell durability under a variety of traffic and weather conditions.

Implementation

After successful validation of the real-time two-way communication system and optimization control system developed and implemented under this program with our UD fuel cell hybrid bus fleet, the route optimization module will be expected to be implemented at TMC/DelDOT to collect and analyze real-time traffic data and provide navigation suggestions to individual vehicles through the communication system. At the same time theon-board control and communication system will be integrated into a single portable device which can beinstalled on our bus fleets and/or other vehicles.  The modules can be expanded in the future for real-time eco-navigation system for local traffic as well as for programming of arterial network to reduce congestion and improve fuel efficiency. The regional demonstration of this system can be easily adapted and combined with future nationwide connected vehicle system to form the intelligent transportation system.

Impacts

The proposed work will provide strategies for route optimization based on real-time traffic data to reduce congestion.  A two-way communication system will be developed in order to upload/download real-time/historical traffic data between DelDOT and the probe vehicle (in our case, the fuel cell hybrid bus which is already equipped with sensors and the ability to transmit data).  On board control system will use the traffic data to optimize power control strategy for hybrid vehicle to maximize fuel efficiency.  A comparison of fuel consumption while engaging traffic data will be conducted on various critical routes to assess the benefit of using real-time traffic data.  The project will provide a solution for the transportation system to maximize its overall efficiency.  In addition, the conjoint survey and market analysis will provide insights on the policy decision-making process for faster technology diffusion.

Web Links to Reports and to the Project website

Final report as of October, 2016: