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Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
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1

Introduction

BACKGROUND

The U.S. government, through either the administration or the Congress, has generally addressed the supply of energy and its use because of national concerns related to energy independence, national security, the environment and sustainability, and affordability (NAS/NAE/NRC, 2009a). These goals are emphasized to one extent or another depending on the current Congress or administration.

The U.S. transportation sector and the use of light-duty vehicles (automobiles and light trucks) are almost completely dependent on petroleum as an energy source to power vehicles. Since the 1970s, petroleum imports satisfied part of this demand, at times reaching levels of 50 percent or more and in the view of policy makers represented an important U.S. national and energy security issue. However, in recent years, for example, 2010-2014, high global oil prices and the development of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) helped to produce a boom in U.S. oil production from low-permeability geologic formations such as shale; the oil produced is referred to as “shale oil” or “tight oil.” Recent projections by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show a major change occurring in the U.S. dependence on energy imports (EIA, 2016). The combination of increased tight oil production and higher fuel efficiency for vehicles leads to EIA projecting declines in oil imports from 24 percent of demand in 2015 to 19 percent of demand in 2040 under EIA’s reference case (EIA, 2016; Sieminski, 2016). Under EIA’s high oil price scenario, the United States becomes a net exporter around 2025. So, the situation faced by the United States in recent decades has greatly changed. Another issue of concern is volatility. Although the price of petroleum, gasoline, and diesel dropped to low levels in late 2015 and early 2016, the economic environment since 2008 has been one of volatility. Significant eco-

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
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nomic impacts on the transportation sector, the automotive industry, the economy, and vehicle owners can arise from the price volatility of gasoline and diesel fuel.

In addition to these energy security and economic concerns, the automobile also has a significant environmental footprint as a consequence of tailpipe emissions. Furthermore, there are environmental impacts associated with the full life cycle of producing and delivering fuels to vehicles as well as the impacts of vehicle production and disposal if one looks at the sector from a full life-cycle perspective. The combustion of petroleum-derived fuels in the U.S. transportation sector, mostly gasoline and diesel, produces a significant fraction of the nation’s anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as such criteria pollutants as oxides of nitrogen (NOx), nonmethane hydrocarbons, and particulate matter that affect local air quality (EPA, 2016a). Although criteria pollutant emissions from light-duty vehicles have declined dramatically in the past few decades because of improvements in engines, fuels, and emission control systems, there are still some areas of the country that are not in compliance with air quality standards. And as the number of vehicles increases, there continue to be concerns about emissions, especially in urban areas with high concentrations of vehicles. These concerns can be addressed with vehicles having zero tailpipe emissions, for example, with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) or battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

In addition to concerns about criteria pollutants and their impact on local air quality is the desire to reduce GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. When the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline or diesel occurs in vehicle engines, carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced, the major GHG contributing to global warming. The U.S. transportation sector accounted for about a third of total U.S. anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2014, and it is projected by the EIA to still constitute a significant fraction (35 percent) in 2040 (EPA, 2016b; EIA, 2016). Light-duty vehicles comprised about 60 percent of the CO2 emissions from the transportation sector in 2014 (EPA, 2016b). If all GHGs are included (e.g., methane, nitrous oxide), the transportation sector accounted for about 26 percent of U.S. GHG emissions; therefore, the sector is an important source of GHG emissions, especially CO2 emissions.

U.S. DRIVE PARTNERSHIP

The energy security, environmental, and economic issues associated with the transportation sector and with light-duty vehicles can be addressed in a number of ways. One particularly important approach, which is the subject of this report, is to improve light-duty vehicle technologies. For example, if engines are made more efficient and if the fuel economy of vehicles is improved, a vehicle’s fuel consumption per mile can decline and the associated CO2 emitted per mile will also decline. Hence, an important part of the nation’s approach to reducing GHG emissions from light-duty vehicles is to improve automotive technology in a variety of ways that lead to higher fuel economy vehicles that are affordable. In

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
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addition, vehicles that can use alternative sources of energy, such as electricity or hydrogen, can have low GHG emissions if, for example, they are produced using renewable energy sources.

This report contains the results of a review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (the Academies) Committee on the Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership, Phase 5 (see Appendix A for biographical information on the committee members). The government/industry partnership known as U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability) was formed in 2011. As noted in NRC (2013a), it is very much in line with the partnerships that preceded it, namely, the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership and, prior to that, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). The Academies reviewed the PNGV seven times, from 1993 to 2001; the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership three times, between 2004 and 2010; and the U.S. DRIVE Partnership in 2011-2012. The U.S. DRIVE Partnership is considered a continuation of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership and hence the current review a fifth (Phase 5) review. (See previous reports for background on the partnerships, the various technical areas, and issues that the partnerships have addressed [NRC, 2001, 2005, 2008a, 2009, 2010a,b, 2013a,b, 2015a,b].) The committee’s report represents a continuing review of the partnerships that have been formed to address advanced light-duty vehicle and associated infrastructure challenges. The main charge to the committee for this report is to review activities since the fourth review of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership (NRC, 2013a). The full statement of task for the committee is provided later in this chapter.

As noted in NRC (2013a), for decades the Department of Energy (DOE) has funded and supported research and development (R&D) programs related to advanced vehicular technologies and alternative transportation fuels. Under the Clinton administration during the 1990s much of this R&D for light-duty vehicles was conducted under the PNGV. This initial government–auto industry partnership was formed between the federal government and the auto industry’s U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).1 The PNGV sought to improve the nation’s competitiveness significantly in the manufacture of future generations of vehicles, to implement commercially viable innovations emanating from ongoing research on conventional vehicles, and to develop vehicles that achieve up to three times the fuel efficiency of comparable 1994 family sedans (DOE, 2004a,b,c; NRC, 2001; PNGV, 1995; The White House, 1993).

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1 USCAR, which predated PNGV, was established by Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. Its purpose was to support intercompany, precompetitive cooperation so as to reduce the cost of redundant R&D, especially in areas mandated by government regulation, and to make the U.S. industry more competitive with foreign companies. Chrysler Corporation merged with Daimler Benz in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler. In 2007 DaimlerChrysler divested itself of a major interest in the Chrysler Group, and Chrysler LLC was formed, which became Chrysler Group LLC. Chrysler Group LLC then became FCA US LLC (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

The PNGV focused on achieving a significant increase in fuel economy for a family sedan and resulted in unveiling three concept vehicles at the end of that program. Under President George W. Bush a shift in the program took place toward addressing the challenges of developing hydrogen fuel technologies as well as fuel cell vehicle technologies. The FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership2 was established to address these challenges and to advance the technologies enough so that a decision on the commercial viability of hydrogen vehicles could be made by 2015. As the Obama administration took office in early 2009 a redirection began to take place, with reduced R&D on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles and increased attention directed toward technologies for the use of electricity to power light-duty vehicles, with emphasis on plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (or BEVs). However, as budgets were appropriated by Congress, R&D continued across all technologies relevant to fuel cells and hydrogen, as well as those relevant to PHEVs and BEVs. In 2011, the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership morphed into the U.S. DRIVE Partnership, and a U.S. DRIVE Partnership Plan was formally released in February 2012 and updated in 2016 (U.S. DRIVE, 2016). Outside the Partnership, the federal interest in increasing the use of alternative fuels was exemplified by the creation by Congress of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2005 prescribing annual amounts of renewable fuels to be used in transportation. Furthermore, extensive R&D on the production of biofuels is undertaken in DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), which is in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office of Transportation and also outside the Partnership.

Building on participation in the previous partnerships, currently U.S. DRIVE includes the following partners:

  • Automobile industry: U.S. Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR, the cooperative research organization for FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Company)3;
  • Electric utility industry: DTE Energy Company, Southern California Edison Company, and the Electric Power Research Institute;
  • Federal government: U.S. Department of Energy; and

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2 In February 2003, before the announcement of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, President George W. Bush announced the FreedomCAR and Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to develop technologies for (1) fuel-efficient motor vehicles and light trucks, (2) cleaner fuels, (3) improved energy efficiency, and (4) hydrogen production, and a nationwide distribution infrastructure for vehicle and stationary power plants, to provide fuel for both hydrogen internal combustion engines and fuel cells (DOE, 2004b). The expansion of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership to include the energy sector after the announcement of the initiative also supported the goal of the FreedomCAR and Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. The partners in the program included DOE, USCAR, BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Hydrogen (U.S.). During 2008, with increased interest in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles, the electric utilities DTE Energy (Detroit) and Southern California Edison were added (DOE, 2009).

3 Tesla Motors was a member but withdrew in July 2016.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×
  • Fuel industry: BP America, Chevron Corporation, Phillips 66 Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Oil Products U.S.

According to U.S. DRIVE (2016) and as noted in NRC (2013a), the Partnership is a nonbinding, nonlegal, voluntary government–industry partnership. It does not itself conduct or fund R&D, but each partner makes its own decisions regarding the funding and management of its projects. By bringing together technical experts and providing a framework for frequent and regular interaction, the Partnership provides a forum for discussing precompetitive, technology-specific R&D needs, identifies possible solutions, and evaluates progress toward jointly developed technical goals. Its frequent communication among partners also helps to identify potential duplication of efforts and increases the chances of successful commercialization of publicly funded R&D.4 Most of the committee’s review of technology development is focused on the DOE precompetitive R&D programs in the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and in the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, both of which reside within the Office of Transportation, which is part of EERE (see Appendix B). See Chapter 2 for further discussion of the organization of the Partnership and how it functions.

The U.S. DRIVE (2016) vision is that

American consumers have a broad range of affordable personal transportation choices that reduce petroleum consumption and significantly reduce harmful emissions from the transportation sector.

Its mission is to

Accelerate the development of precompetitive and innovative technologies to enable a full range of efficient and clean advanced light-duty vehicles, as well as related energy infrastructure.

The Partnership is focused on advanced technologies for all light-duty passenger vehicles: cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), crossover vehicles, pickups, and minivans. It also addresses technologies for hydrogen production, distribution, dispensing, and storage, and the interface and infrastructure issues associated with the electric utility industry for the support of BEVs and PHEVs (NRC, 2013a). Furthermore, as noted in previous National Research Council (NRC) reviews, the activities and success of the Partnership “can serve as an inspiration and motivation for the next generation of scientists and engineers, and thus contribute to restoring American leadership in research and its application for the public good” (NRC, 2010a, p. 18, 2013a, p. 18).

The Partnership facilitates communication among its partners and examines precompetitive technologies in four broad categories, all of which include potential issues related to the technologies or fuels as follows (U.S. DRIVE, 2016):

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4 The committee views precompetitive government R&D on technology as long-term, high-risk work with regard to its potential transition into commercial viability.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×
  • Vehicles
    • Advanced combustion and emissions control,
    • Fuel cells,
    • Electrochemical energy storage (e.g., batteries),
    • Electric drive and power electronics,
    • Lightweight materials, and
    • Vehicle systems and analysis.
  • Fuels
    • Hydrogen production,
    • Hydrogen delivery,
    • Fuel pathway integration, or
    • Other sustainable mobility fuels as agreed to by the Partnership.
  • Joint vehicles/fuels
    • Hydrogen codes and standards, and
    • Hydrogen storage.
  • Joint vehicles/electric utility
    • Electric grid interaction.

As also discussed in NRC (2013a), the Partnership addresses the technical challenges associated with the envisioned pathways by establishing quantitative performance and cost targets5,6 for precompetitive technologies. These targets and the research related to their attainment are discussed later in this report. Technical teams, as discussed in Chapter 2, specify and manage technical and crosscutting needs of the Partnership. A technical team is associated with each of the bulleted areas noted earlier in the four broad categories. If special issues arise, working groups may be formed (see Chapter 2).

RECENT CHANGES SINCE THE PHASE 4 REVIEW

A number of changes in the regulatory environment, in automotive technology, and in the automotive marketplace have been occurring in recent years, some since the Academies issued its report in 2013 on the fourth review of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership. Industry has taken the lead in the development of fuel cell and plug-in electric vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs). As a result, a competitive commercial environment has arisen as BEVs, HFCVs, and PHEVs enter the marketplace from both domestic and foreign manufacturers, including HFCVs from foreign automotive companies. These changes are affecting the light-duty vehicle environment and indirectly may have some bearing on the strategy of the

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5 DOE defines “goals” as desired, qualitative results that collectively signify Partnership mission accomplishments. It defines “targets” as tangible, quantitative metrics to measure progress toward goals.

6 All references to cost imply estimated variable cost (or investment, as appropriate) based on high volume (500,000 annual volume) unless otherwise stated. “Cost” refers to the cost of producing an item, whereas “price” refers to what the consumer would pay.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

Partnership as it looks to future precompetitive R&D. Some of these changes are briefly reviewed in what follows.

The Regulatory Environment

As discussed in previous reviews by the National Academies, the U.S. government during the past few decades has enacted legislation and policies to help achieve its national goals in the transportation sector (NRC, 2013a). For example, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations have increased and are projected to further increase the average miles per gallon (mpg) for light-duty vehicles and reduce GHG emissions, while federal emissions standards have led to a dramatic decrease in criteria vehicle emissions per mile traveled.7 The increasing levels of CAFE standards have created a need for advanced automotive technologies that will increase the relevance of the precompetitive R&D directed at technology development in the U.S. DRIVE Partnership. Other legislation, as noted previously, such as the RFS, seeks to promote the replacement of petroleum-based fuels with alternative fuels, such as those derived from biomass (NRC, 2011b). Federal R&D helps enable advanced vehicle and fuel technologies to emerge in the commercial marketplace (NRC, 2011a), which can help to address the nation’s energy security, economic, and environmental challenges. In fact, DOE developed a broad set of strategies in its Quadrennial Technology Reviews (QTRs) to address the nation’s energy challenges, including electrifying the vehicle fleet and increasing vehicle efficiency (DOE, 2011, 2015). However, the challenges of doing so on a large scale are formidable.

As noted in NRC (2013a), in addition to the federal legislation noted above, California has programs to reduce emissions of GHGs from vehicles, one of which is the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) program. The state is promoting the adoption of ZEVs—for example, electric vehicles and HFCVs—by setting benchmarks for 2020 and 2025 for infrastructure to support such vehicles as well as for the adoption of such vehicles. California’s Executive Order B-16-2012 aims for there to

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7 In 2010 CAFE standards were enacted requiring light-duty vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) to meet 35.5 mpg by model year (MY) 2016. In October 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a joint rule to further improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first phase of NHTSA’s rule is expected to require fuel economy levels of about 41 mpg in MY 2021. The second phase of the CAFE program, from 2022 to 2025, includes augural standards that are not final but are estimated to require about 49 mpg for MY 2025. EPA is projecting emission levels on an industry-wide average of 163 g/mile of CO2 by 2025, which also includes consideration of air conditioning leakage and alternative refrigerants. EPA’s estimates equate to 54.5 mpg if these emission levels were achieved solely through vehicle fuel efficiency. These standards represent about a doubling from pre-2010 standards that were 27.5 mpg (NHTSA, 2016a). On January 12, 2017, the EPA administrator signed a final determination to maintain the current GHG emission standards for MY 2022-2025 vehicles. See https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/midterm-evaluation-light-duty-vehicle-greenhouse-gas-ghg#final-determination.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

be 1.5 million ZEVs in California by 2025, with supporting infrastructure and a growing market (CARB, 2016). Nine states are following California and requiring automakers to produce zero-emission vehicles (C2ES, 2016). These programs are also stimulating the development of the advanced vehicle technologies that are under development by some of the partners in the U.S. DRIVE Partnership. Furthermore, California passed legislation in September 2016 to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The availability of low-cost natural gas and initiatives by states to promote renewable electric power technologies is leading to lower GHG emissions from the electric power sector. This will affect the full fuel cycle GHG emissions from plug-in electric vehicles.

The Obama administration also placed a strong emphasis on actions to address climate change and reduce U.S. GHG emissions, and the President’s Climate Action Plan was issued by the administration in 2013 (The White House, 2013). In the Climate Action Plan then president Obama reiterated his 2009 commitment to reducing overall U.S. GHG emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. To achieve such a goal will require that light-duty vehicles achieve significant reductions in petroleum use and corresponding GHG emissions. As noted above, more stringent fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles have been enacted, and stricter fuel consumption standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks have also been promulgated. Very recently, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Conference of the Parties, Twenty-first session (COP-21), the United States and other countries reached a historic international agreement to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and to aim to reach global peaking of GHG emissions as soon as possible.8 The intent of this agreement was for the United States to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its GHG emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce them by 28 percent (The White House, 2015) and reach 83 percent reductions by 2050. Other initiatives by the Obama administration included the development of electric supply technologies with reduced GHG emissions as well as incentives for their deployment. As pointed out in NRC (2013a), if a large-scale penetration of BEVs or PHEVs takes place, then the goal of reducing GHGs significantly will require an electricity production system that reduces such emissions significantly compared to the current U.S. electric power system.

Advanced Vehicles

In the past few years, the automotive marketplace has also seen a dramatic change in the diversity of new and advanced automotive technologies emerging, in large part stimulated by the increasing CAFE standards as well as the ZEV mandates, and the improvements that have occurred in batteries, motors, and power

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8 See, e.g., http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

electronic components for use in vehicles. There are now many plug-in electric vehicle models (e.g., the Bolt, Leaf, plug-in Prius, Tesla, and Volt) being offered with substantial battery storage incorporating electrified power trains including pure electrics, that is, BEVs, as well as PHEVs (which also include an internal combustion engine [ICE]). The cost of these vehicles still remains high compared to their conventional ICE counterparts. In addition, a limited number of vehicles with electrified power trains using fuel cells and hydrogen stored on board are being made available. For example, Toyota has made the fuel cell vehicle Mirai available in California and plans on a production run of 3,000 in 2017, and it plans on a smaller fuel cell vehicle by 2019 in Japan, anticipating that it could be selling 30,000 vehicles per year globally by 2020 (Voelcker, 2016). Hyundai is offering the Tucson fuel cell vehicle for lease in California, and Honda is offering leases for the fuel cell vehicle Clarity. Toyota has announced its intention to have all its vehicles be carbon free by 2050.9 One major impediment to a broad availability of fuel cell vehicles continues to be the lack of a hydrogen delivery and refueling infrastructure for providing fuel to these vehicles, as discussed later in Chapter 3.

As pointed out in NRC (2013a), it is likely that in the coming decades there will be a diversity of vehicles and fuels that are commercialized. Some options are lower risk and nearer term than others, and they all face different technical, cost, and market risks. These issues have been explored in depth in other reports and will not be repeated here (see, for example, NAS/NAE/NRC, 2009a,b; NRC, 2008a,b, 2009, 2010a,b, 2011a,b, 2013a,b, 2015a,b; NRC/NAE, 2004). These studies have concluded that, given the high-risk and uncertain nature of many of these technologies and the immense challenge of achieving deep reductions in GHGs and petroleum use, an R&D strategy pursuing a portfolio of possible technological options is the most prudent approach (NRC, 2013a).

Trends in Vehicle Automation and Smart Transportation

Technologies that have been developed independent of the Partnership and that are being pursued for reasons other than support of Partnership goals will nevertheless influence achievement of those goals. These emerging technologies include the following:

  • Deep learning technology, a variant of artificial intelligence, allows inference from the accumulation of experience.
  • Advanced computer chips, like NVIDIA’s recently announced “Xavier,” are beginning to close in on the standard of excellence set by Google: 50 trillion operations per second at under 10 watts of power.

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9 The website for the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 is http://www.toyota-global.com/sustainability/environment/challenge2050/, accessed October 20, 2016.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×
  • Superior sensor technology on board the vehicle can relieve the computational burden by providing more precise data about immediate traffic conditions.

These technologies have advanced rapidly since the Academies’ fourth review of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership and now have the capability to change the urban transportation system in ways that help realize the goals of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership. These advances have occurred largely outside the U.S. DRIVE Partnership.

This section summarizes the manner in which vehicle and systems technologies might change to achieve these vehicle advancements, especially within the urban transportation system. These changes can be summarized under the rubric connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), a term that encompasses a range of technological and infrastructure developments that will allow mainly self-operated vehicles to communicate with each other and with their surrounding environment. The term “connected” refers to vehicles acting in concert via computer/intelligence applications, while “autonomous” refers to a range of computerized functions that assist drivers with tasks like lane keeping and adaptive cruise control and that might eventually relieve human drivers from all operating tasks.

Figure 1-1 was developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to show how automation might develop in stages, ranging from a scale of 0 to 5 representing the level of automation, and illustrating how those levels might evolve. Levels 0 to 2 have the human driver monitoring the driving environment, while levels 3 to 5 involve an automated driving system that monitors the driving environment. The figure shows how the human driver and the system execute the various functions of the vehicle: steering and acceleration/deceleration; monitoring the driving environment; fallback performance of the dynamic driving task; and the system capability for various driving modes. Clearly, these levels will occur in stages, with level 1 already occurring in new vehicles.

Five implications seem most important for U.S. DRIVE:

  1. With the aggregation of human populations in urban areas, especially the large mega-cities, optimized service from shared, autonomous, plug-in electric vehicles (possibly hydrogen too) could do much to achieve the environmental and energy goals of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership.
  2. Most discernible pathways through the transition will require the active participation of metropolitan transportation authorities, who can also be considered to be customers for automated mobility. Solutions are likely to reflect the local economic, demographic, and cultural characteristics of each jurisdiction.
  3. The safety of vehicle occupants and bystanders has become a primary concern of regulators, and the NHTSA has recently released guidelines that provide a general framework for future safety requirements (NHTSA,
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×
Image
FIGURE 1-1 Levels of automation for on-road vehicles.
SOURCE: SAE International, Standard J3016: Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to On-Road Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems, http://www.sae.org/autodrive, 2014. Copyright © SAE International (2014).
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×
  1. 2016b). These standards will influence the markets in which level 4 and 5 automated vehicles first deploy and set the pace of that deployment.

  2. A second issue for the fully automated vehicles (levels 4 and 5 in the SAE levels of automation in Figure 1-1) concerns the transition, when the CAVs must share the limited roadway space with human drivers. The automated vehicles (always rational, attentive, and unemotional) must compete for right of way with human-driven vehicles (sometimes rational, frequently inattentive, and often aggressive). In many traffic situations, humans and automated systems must make joint decisions under levels of uncertainty that cannot be programmed in advance. The issue is less safety than the level of services that a fully automated vehicle can provide.10
  3. Emerging business models for innovation are being built around ad hoc organizations termed “innovation ecosystems.” These ecosystems can serve well in markets where technological advances occur rapidly and unpredictably and where customer demand is highly uncertain (Williamson and De Meyer, 2012). Many innovation ecosystems are being built through the acquisition of startup companies by industry incumbents: for example, Ford has invested $182 million in Pivotal Software, a cloud-computing venture; and Google has acquired four startup companies with the deep learning technologies since 2013, namely, DeepMind, Vision Factory, Dark Blue Labs, and DNNresearch. These new innovation models can move technology into the marketplace more rapidly than the traditional R&D model and so are relevant to the members of the Partnership.

FUNDING

The U.S. DRIVE Partnership is not funded as a line item in the federal budget. As discussed in Chapter 2 and noted in the current chapter, it is a means for exchanging information among the partners, eliciting various opinions on R&D directions, and helping to identify potential duplicative efforts and set targets for DOE technology development. Thus, it does not have a budget. The precompetitive R&D is under the control of DOE and, as noted in this chapter, the two main DOE offices that conduct technology R&D for light-duty vehicles are the VTO and the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). The Vehicle Technologies Office was funded at a level of about $280 million in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and $310 million in FY 2016. The VTO pursues R&D not only for light-duty vehicle technologies but also for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Fuel Cell

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10 Consider a CAV entering New York’s Holland Tunnel, for example. To enter the city through this tunnel, motorists first queue up in eight lanes for the tollbooths. After paying, the traveled way reduces quickly to two lanes. The rules by which human drivers assign themselves priority reflect individual behaviors and hence are ambiguous. Humans are adept at navigating such ambiguities; robots are not. Fully driverless cars could be at a serious disadvantage in competition with a majority of human-driven vehicles.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

Technologies Office was funded at a level of about $97 million in FY 2015 and $101 million in FY 2016. In reviewing the efforts and projects in these offices associated with the Partnership, the committee reviewed projects that the Partnership defined as associated with helping to meet its goals. The DOE budgets of various R&D activities within these two offices will be presented in the various sections in Chapter 3 that discuss the technologies.

COMMITTEE APPROACH AND ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT

The statement of task for this committee is as follows:

  1. Review the challenging high-level technical goals and timetables for government and industry R&D efforts, which address such areas as (a) integrated systems analysis; (b) fuel cell power systems; (c) hydrogen storage systems; (d) hydrogen production and distribution technologies necessary for the viability of hydrogen-fueled vehicles; (e) the technical basis for codes and standards; (f) electric propulsion systems; (g) lightweight materials; (h) electric energy storage systems; (i) vehicle-to-grid interaction; and (j) advanced combustion and emission control systems for internal combustion engines.
  2. Review and evaluate progress and program directions since the Phase 4 review toward meeting the Partnership’s technical goals, and examine ongoing research activities and their relevance to meeting the goals of the Partnership.
  3. Examine and comment on the overall balance and adequacy of the research and development effort, and the rate of progress, in light of the technical objectives and schedules for each of the major technology areas.
  4. Examine and comment, as necessary, on the appropriate role for federal involvement in the various technical areas under development, especially in light of activities ongoing in the private sector or in the states.
  5. Examine and comment on the Partnership’s strategy for accomplishing its goals, especially in the context of ongoing developments across the portfolio of advanced vehicle technologies (e.g., biofuels, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles), the recent enactment of legislation on corporate average fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles, and possible legislation on carbon emissions. Other issues that the committee might address include: (a) program management and organization; (b) the process for setting milestones, research directions, and making Go/No Go decisions; (c) collaborative activities needed to meet the Partnership’s goals (e.g., among the various offices and programs in DOE, the U.S. Department of Transportation, USCAR, the fuels industry, electric power sector, universities, and other parts of the private sector [such as venture capitalists], and others); and (d) other topics that the committee finds important to comment on related to the success of the Partnership to meet its technical goals.
  6. Review and assess the actions that have been taken in response to recommendations from the Phase 4 review of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership.
  7. Write a report documenting its findings and recommendations.

The committee met four times in face-to-face meetings to hear presentations from DOE and industry representatives involved in the Partnership and to discuss insights gained from the presentations and the written material gathered by the committee, and to work on drafts of its report (see Appendix C for a list of committee meetings and presentations). The committee established subgroups

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

to investigate specific technical areas and formulate questions for DOE and other U.S. DRIVE partners to answer.

The committee subgroups also held several conference calls and site visits to collect information on technology development and other program issues. Some members of the committee also attended DOE’s Annual Merit Review (AMR) or served as AMR reviewers in June 2016. Although the committee organized itself into subgroups, the entire committee participated in the final report and the findings and recommendations were agreed to by the whole committee. The Partnership also provided responses to the recommendations from the NRC Phase 4 report, and these are included in the National Academies public access file. DOE budget information included in this report was collected from presentations made to the committee (see Appendix C) as well as from information provided by the Partnership to committee questions. The information gathered enabled the committee to compose and reach consensus on this report.

The Summary presents the committee’s main findings and recommendations. This chapter (Chapter 1) provides background on the Partnership and on its organization. Chapter 2 examines the management of the Partnership and the decision-making processes. Chapter 3 looks more closely at R&D for the various vehicle and fuel technologies that are of interest to the Partnership. Last, Chapter 4 presents an overall assessment of the Partnership’s efforts and comments on some key issues. Appendix D contains a list of acronyms.

REFERENCES

CARB (California Air Resources Board). 2016. “Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program.” July 15. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevprog.htm. Accessed September 12, 2016.

C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions). 2016. “Transportation Sector: ZEV Program.” http://www.c2es.org/us-states-regions/policy-maps/zev-program. Accessed September 12, 2016.

DOE (U.S. Department of Energy). 2004a. FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Multi-Year Program Plan. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/resources/fcvt_mypp.html.

DOE. 2004b. Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure: Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan. DOE/GO-102003-1741. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. http://www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/mypp/.

DOE. 2004c. Partnership Plan: FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. http://www.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/program/fc_fuel_partnership_plan.pdf.

DOE. 2009. “Addendum to the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Plan to Integrate Electric Utility Industry Representatives.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. February. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/program/fc_fuel_addendum_2-09.pdf.

DOE. 2011. Report on the First Quadrennial Technology Review. DOE/S-0001. Washington, D.C. September 27. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/QTR_report.pdf.

DOE. 2015. Quadrennial Technology Review: An Assessment of Energy Technologies and Research Opportunities. Washington, D.C. September 15. http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/09/f26/Quadrennial-Technology-Review-2015_0.pdf.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). 2016. Annual Energy Outlook 2016. Washington, D.C. http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/. Accessed August 19, 2016.

EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2016a. “Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data.” June 29. https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-pollutant-emissions-trends-data. Accessed September 12, 2016.

EPA. 2016b. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014. EPA 430-R-16-002. Washington, D.C. April 15. https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/sources.html. Accessed August 19, 2016.

NAS/NAE/NRC (National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council). 2009a. America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NAS/NAE/NRC. 2009b. Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 2016a. “CAFE-Fuel Economy.” http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws-&-Regulations/CAFE-%E2%80%93-Fuel-Economy. Accessed October 20, 2016.

NHTSA. 2016b. Federal Automated Vehicles Policy: Accelerating the Next Revolution in Roadway Safety. http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/av/index.html. Accessed October 20, 2016.

NRC (National Research Council). 2001. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Seventh Report. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

NRC. 2005. Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: First Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2008a. Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2008b. Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies—A Focus on Hydrogen. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2009. Letter Report on Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, Phase 3. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2010a. Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Third Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2010b. Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies—Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2011a. Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2011b. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2013a. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership, Fourth Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2013b. Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2015a. Cost, Effectiveness, and Deployment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2015b. Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC/NAE (National Research Council/National Academy of Engineering). 2004. The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles). 1995. Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles Program Plan. Draft. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, PNGV Secretariat.

SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers). 2014. “Automated Driving: Levels of Driving Automation Are Defined in New SAE International Standard J3016.” http://www.sae.org/misc/pdfs/automated_driving.pdf.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
×

Sieminski, A. 2016. “Annual Energy Outlook 2016: AEO 2016 Rollout.” Paper presented at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C., June 28. http://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/sieminski_06282016.pdf.

U.S. DRIVE. 2016. US DRIVE, Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability: Partnership Plan. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/08/f33/U%20S%20%20DRIVE%20Partnership%20Plan%20-%20 July%202016.pdf.

Voelcker, J. 2016. Smaller, cheaper Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car coming in 2019, company says. GreenCar Reports, May 9. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1103847_smaller-cheaper-toyota-mirai-fuel-cell-car-coming-in-2019-company-says.

The White House. 1993. Historic Partnership Forged with Automakers Aims for Threefold Increase in Fuel Efficiency in as Soon as Ten Years. Washington, D.C.: The White House.

The White House. 2013. “The President’s Climate Action Plan.” Washington, D.C. June 25. https://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan.

The White House. 2015. “Fact Sheet: U.S. Reports its 2025 Emissions Target to the UNFCCC.” Washington, D.C. March 31. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/31/fact-sheet-us-reports-its-2025-emissions-target-unfccc.

Williamson, P.J., and A. De Meyer. 2012. Ecosystem advantage: How to successfully harness the power of providers. California Management Review 55(1):24-46.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24717.
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Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fifth Report follows on four previous reviews of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, which was the predecessor of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership. The U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability) vision, according to the charter of the Partnership, is this: American consumers have a broad range of affordable personal transportation choices that reduce petroleum consumption and significantly reduce harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Its mission is as follows: accelerate the development of pre-competitive and innovative technologies to enable a full range of efficient and clean advanced light-duty vehicles (LDVs), as well as related energy infrastructure. The Partnership focuses on precompetitive research and development (R&D) that can help to accelerate the emergence of advanced technologies to be commercialization-feasible.

The guidance for the work of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership as well as the priority setting and targets for needed research are provided by joint industry/government technical teams. This structure has been demonstrated to be an effective means of identifying high-priority, long-term precompetitive research needs for each technology with which the Partnership is involved. Technical areas in which research and development as well as technology validation programs have been pursued include the following: internal combustion engines (ICEs) potentially operating on conventional and various alternative fuels, automotive fuel cell power systems, hydrogen storage systems (especially onboard vehicles), batteries and other forms of electrochemical energy storage, electric propulsion systems, hydrogen production and delivery, and materials leading to vehicle weight reductions.

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