The Connected Traveler: A Framework to Reduce Energy Use in Transportation

The Connected Traveler: A Framework to Reduce Energy Use in Transportation

Golden, Colorado
Project Term:
01/20/2016 - 12/31/2018

Technology Description:

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its partners 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. To incentivize travelers to pursue energy-efficient routes, the control architecture will develop algorithms to understand a traveler’s preferences, tailor recommendations to the user, and identify personal incentives that will enable transportation system energy benefits. The Connected Traveler 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.

Potential Impact:

If successful, NREL’s system will demonstrate that energy-efficiency gains in personal transportation can be accomplished through network controls that encourage individual travelers to take specific, energy-relevant actions.


NREL’s system could facilitate a reduction in transportation energy use and help reduce demand for imported oil.


More efficient transportation networks will minimize energy consumption, resulting in improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions.


NREL’s system could help reduce congestion in metro areas without requiring investment in new infrastructure. A more efficient transportation network could further improve the overall productivity within a regional transportation network.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Patrick McGrath
Project Contact:
Stanley Young
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Metropia Inc

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