Autonomous Vehicles Have a Wide Range of Possible Energy Impacts (Poster)

Research output: NRELPoster


This poster presents initial estimates of the net energy impacts of automated vehicles (AVs). Automated vehicle technologies are increasingly recognized as having potential to decrease carbon dioxide emissions and petroleum consumption through mechanisms such as improved efficiency, better routing, lower traffic congestion, and by enabling advanced technologies. However, some effects of AVs couldconceivably increase fuel consumption through possible effects such as longer distances traveled, increased use of transportation by underserved groups, and increased travel speeds. The net effect on petroleum use and climate change is still uncertain. To make an aggregate system estimate, we first collect best estimates for the energy impacts of approximately ten effects of AVs. We then use amodified Kaya Identity approach to estimate the range of aggregate effects and avoid double counting. We find that depending on numerous factors, there is a wide range of potential energy impacts. Adoption of automated personal or shared vehicles can lead to significant fuel savings but has potential for backfire.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NamePresented at the Workshop on Road Vehicle Automation, 16 July 2013, Stanford, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-6A20-59210


  • automated vehicles
  • automation
  • autonomous vehicles
  • petroleum
  • transportation
  • travel demand


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous Vehicles Have a Wide Range of Possible Energy Impacts (Poster)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this