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Energy-efficient motion control of connected and autonomous vehicles

   Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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  Dr J Fleming, Dr W Midgley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Recent years have seen good progress in reducing CO2 emissions of developed nations, primarily due to renewable energy and other changes in electricity generation, but there has been much less reduction in emissions from personal transportation. Evidence shows that changing the way road vehicles are driven, adjusting following distances, improving anticipation of traffic flow, and employing smoother acceleration and braking behaviour (known as ‘eco-driving’) can reduce fuel usage and emissions by 10% or more, and for electric vehicles (EVs) reduce energy usage and increase range by a similar amount.

In an autonomous vehicle, this could be done automatically by the motion controller, and recent work has shown how to do this while ensuring safety and respecting the typical following distances, speeds and accelerations used by human drivers. This project aims to further develop these energy-efficient control techniques into practically implementable controllers, investigating their performance in simulations of vehicles using data from existing autonomous vehicle and naturalistic driving datasets.

Secondary objectives are to incorporate feedforward information available via vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication, and to evaluate the effect on traffic of such motion controllers in microscopic traffic simulations, for example using the open-source tool SUMO. Successful candidates will develop sought-after skills in optimisation and model predictive control (MPC), modelling of EV powertrains and simulation of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘SAM22'
If awarded, the studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. While we welcome applications from international students, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified end of March 2022.
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