Integrated Vehicle Power & Thermal Management

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Project Term:
03/17/2017 - 09/30/2020

Technology Description:

The University of Michigan will develop an integrated power and thermal management system for connected and automated vehicles (iPTM-CAV), with the goal of achieving a 20% improvement in energy consumption. This increase will arise from predicting the traffic environment with transportation analytics, optimizing vehicle speed and load profiles with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, coordinating power and thermal control systems with intelligent algorithms, and optimizing powertrain operation in real time. The additional information made available by V2X and new sensors provides a look-ahead preview of traffic conditions unavailable in vehicles without connectivity. This information can be used to enable intelligent decision-making at multiple levels in powertrain and vehicle control. Key to this project is the team's approach for managing vehicle heat loads and thermal management. Thermal loads have to be properly managed, as they affect multiple vehicle attributes including energy consumption, emissions, safety, passenger comfort, etc. Compared to power delivery, thermal loads cannot be served instantaneously - they take more time to respond to changes, making their prediction much more important. The team's proposed technology includes four solutions: managing and optimizing propulsive power and auxiliary thermal load, predictive thermal management of connected and automated vehicles, optimizing powertrain and exhaust aftertreatment systems by anticipating future conditions, and integrating powertrain and vehicle thermal management systems. The proposed strategies will be applicable for a range of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid-electric, and all-electric powertrains.

Potential Impact:

If successful, the University of Michigan’s project will enable at least an additional 20% reduction in energy consumption of future connected and automated vehicles.


These innovations could lead to a dramatically more efficient domestic vehicle fleet, lessening U.S. dependence on imported oil.


Greater efficiency in transportation can help reduce sector emissions, helping improve urban air quality and decreasing the sector’s carbon footprint.


Innovations would further solidify the United States’ status as a global leader in connected and automated vehicle technology, while a more efficient vehicle fleet would reduce energy cost per mile driven and bolster economic competitiveness.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Marina Sofos
Project Contact:
Prof. Jing Sun
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


San Diego State University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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