Xuewei Qi and a team of UCR researchers are using vehicle connectivity and evolutionary algorithms to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

The EMS combines vehicle connectivity information (such as cellular networks and crowdsourcing platforms) and evolutionary algorithms — a mathematical way to describe natural phenomena such as evolution, insect swarming and bird flocking. This approach was combined with connected vehicle technology to achieve energy savings of more than 30 percent by considering the charging opportunities during the trip. Vehicles will not only learn and optimize their own energy efficiency, but will also share their knowledge with other vehicles in the same traffic network through connected vehicle technology.