Project Title

Eco-Speed Control for Hybrid Electric Buses in the Vicinity of Signalized Intersections

Collaborating Universities

Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore MD 21251

Virginia Tech
1424 S Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Principal Investigator(s)

Hesham Rakha (VT)

Hao Chen (VT)

Mansoureh Jeihani (MSU)

Celeste Chavis (MSU)

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

USDOT: $200,000 (Federal)
Virginia Tech: $150,000 (Match)
Morgan State University: $50,000 (Match)

Total Project Costs

$200,000 (Federal) / $200,000 (Match)

Start Date


Completion Date



The proposed research effort builds on a TranLIVE and Connected Vehicle Initiative UTC project that developed a dynamic Eco-Speed Control (ESC) system designed to reduce the fuel consumption levels of conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the vicinity of signalized intersections. The proposed effort extends previous research to develop algorithms tailored to hybrid electric buses. Consequently, the objective of the proposed study is to develop and test a dynamic ESC system that computes the optimum vehicle trajectories of ICE vehicles and buses in the vicinity of signalized intersections while considering dynamic traffic conditions, vehicle powertrain type and electric battery state-of-charge. As part of this effort, the team will develop ESC algorithms for buses using predictive energy estimation models to identify the optimum speed profiles using information from surrounding vehicles and upcoming signalized intersections. Field tests of these systems will be conducted on the Smart Road test facility. Furthermore, the Morgan State University (MSU) team members will implement and test the proposed ESC algorithm on a driving simulator under different conditions (e.g., roadway speed limit, time to the next signal phase, and vehicle type). The anticipated outcome will be a comprehensive ESC system that is tailored for different vehicle types and engine technologies.


The proposed system will be implemented in test buses and field tested on the Smart Road test facility and within a driving simulator. The proposed ESC system addresses the challenges associated with communication latency, data errors, real-time computation, and smoothness of drive. A preliminary proof-of-concept testing of the proposed ESC system is shown in Figure 1.

engine wheel

Figure 1: Vehicle Onboard Unit Hardware (Left) and Driver Interface (Right) in the VTTI Eco-Speed Control System.


The proposed research will be the first effort to develop and evaluate the fuel savings associated with integrating buses with ESC technology in the vicinity of traffic signalized intersections.