Advanced Computing, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence Research Opportunities for Energy-Focused Transportation Science

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) technology landscape is complex and rapidly evolving, which provides both tremendous opportunities and formidable challenges. Significant alterations to the mobility landscape are underway due to the advent of vehicle and infrastructure connectivity, autonomous driving, and rapid passenger- and freight-vehicle electrification. Advanced computing will play an increasingly important role in enabling the EEMS program to understand and identify the most important levers to improve the energy productivity of future integrated mobility systems. It is also driving new approaches to mobility and the research to unlock an affordable, efficient, safe, and accessible transportation future. Driving much of this change is the collection, analysis, and strategic use of massive amounts of diverse, complex data from infrastructure and vehicles with on-board sensors and data storage and transmission capabilities. Diverse and representative data are key to implementing approaches to maximize mobility energy productivity. While high-fidelity modeling of integrated transportation networks has strengthened our understanding of dynamic movement and behavior patterns, existing tools must be expanded beyond their current focus. This work necessitates data infrastructure investments (e.g., secure-streaming data platforms driven by ubiquitous sensors and video analytics) as well as investments in critical capabilities for large-scale automated analysis and organization using modern machine learning, statistics, and artificial intelligence. Other chief needs include agile, large-scale storage that can be quickly searched and queried for relevant data to support validation and model development, data-sharing agreements, and formatting standards for key data types. The future of public transit must be explored in greater detail, research must inform design, and opportunities must be identified for improving the mobility productivity of public transit in both urban and rural America.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-2C00-79589


  • advanced computing
  • data science
  • energy efficient mobility systems
  • mobility
  • transportation


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