CAVs are a technology likely to become widespread in the intermediate future, therefore understanding how these vehicles will change our transportation infrastructure is critical. One question surrounding CAVs concern their net energy effect on balance. Potential energy savings from CAVs might come from more efficient routing, smoother driving, and platooning. Potential increased energy use may come from, among other things, greater trip making activity, more long distance travel, and more power demands on the car.
In order to estimate net energy impacts of CAVs researchers at the University of Texas at Austin first conducted a literature review to estimate the energy effects of CAVs. Researchers then took the potential values for energy savings, estimated from previous studies, for both savings and increased energy use and used these values to inform a simulation model of CAVs. Researchers then randomly sampled different savings and increased usage across a range of CAV and electrification penetration rates.
- CAVs alone may lead to approximately 11 percent energy savings
- Fully electrified CAVs may lead to as much as 55 percent energy savings.