The CIRCLES Consortium, consisting of Vanderbilt University, UC Berkeley, Temple University and Rutgers University-Camden, in coordination with Nissan North America and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, concluded a five-day open-track experiment on . Researchers tested an AI-powered cruise control system designed to increase fuel savings and ease traffic using 100 specially equipped Nissan Rogue vehicles.
The experiment—which ran from through on the I-24 MOTION testbed—is based on the results from an earlier, closed-track study where a single smart vehicle smoothed human-caused traffic congestion, leading to significant fuel savings. A single AI-equipped vehicle could influence the speed and driving behavior of up to 20 surrounding cars, causing a kind of positive ripple effect in day-to-day traffic.
On alone, I-24 MOTION testbed recorded a total of 143,010 miles driven and 3,780 hours of driving. The data from the testbed, combined with vehicle energy models developed in the CIRCLES project, provided an estimation of the fuel consumption of the whole traffic flow during those hours. “The concept we are hoping to demonstrate is that by leveraging this new traffic system to collect data and estimate traffic and applying artificial intelligence technology to existing cruise control systems, we can ease traffic jams and improve fuel economy,” the CIRCLES team said in a joint statement.
The CIRCLES Consortium research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy. Support was also provided by Toyota North America and General Motors.