What lies in the future of Electric-powered Autonomous Vehicles?

Autonomous vehicles involve increased energy use amounting to cost associated with these vehicles. The increased power needs are significant enough to reduce vehicle range drastically, suggest some. This thus will eliminate the possibility of electric autonomous vehicles. Instead, autonomous vehicles need to be gas-electric hybrid, claim analysts.

Meanwhile, the automotive industry is experiencing two revolutions side-by-side. One, transition to electric power, and, second, rise of autonomous vehicles. Energy consumed by self-driving cars may be more to power sensors and computer systems for safe navigation. These cars drive more smoothly than people-driven cars, thereby reducing energy use.

Despite Increased energy Use, Autonomous Vehicles display advantages

On the other hand, an overall increase in energy use has other benefits. This includes reduce of driving range, reduce to require more frequent charging of battery, and reduce to cause faster battery degradation. Meanwhile, the fear among many for electric vehicles to have a shorter range than gas cars makes them believe electric autonomous vehicles can’t exist. To address this concern, the research team investigated the effects of automation on vehicle range.

How automation affects the vehicle range is what the research team vied to know. And, to quantify the trade-off of having electric and automated in one car.

The team calculated the energy demands of self-driving cars employing vehicle dynamics-based model. This helped to discover the amount of power required for safe autonomous driving. For this, the team included extra drag from automation technology and smoother driving of computer control.

Whilst a decrease in driving range observed, this wasn’t significant enough to remove the possibility of electric-powered autonomous vehicles. However, it was greater in cars that employed protruding sensors resulting in increased drag.

Following the research, design choices made with respect to aerodynamic design of sensors and energy-efficiency of computing hardware will decide if the two revolutions are in sync.