Connecting Travelers to Reduce Energy Use in Transportation
This project will create a network architecture that approaches sustainable transportation as a dynamic system of travelers and decision points, rather than one of vehicles and roads, in order to create personalized energy-saving opportunities. The project will use currently available demographic and transportation data from an urban U.S. city as a test bed for energy reduction. Our diverse team of collaborators will integrate concepts from transportation engineering, gamification, and behavioral economics to incentivize travelers to pursue energy-efficient routes using a mobile application. The control architecture based on these concepts will be embedded in the app. Data collection from system modeling (using online crowd-sourced experimentation) and consumer validation via backend analysis of app data will allow us to develop algorithms to understand a traveler's preferences, tailor recommendations to the user, and identify personal incentives that will enable transportation system energy benefits. If successful, this framework will provide local transportation authorities and individual travelers with a tool to identify personal travel decisions that balance quality of service with energy efficiency.