Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Ardalan Vahidi

Committee Member

John Wagner

Committee Member

Phanindra Tallapragada

Committee Member

Yunyi Jia

Committee Member

Antonio Sciarretta


Automated vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems bring computation, sensing, and communication technologies that exceed human abilities in some ways. For example, automated vehicles may sense a panorama all at once, do not suffer from human impairments and distractions, and could wirelessly communicate precise data with neighboring vehicles. Prototype and commercial deployments have demonstrated the capability to relieve human operators of some driving tasks up to and including fully autonomous taxi rides in some areas. The ultimate impact of this technology’s large-scale market penetration on energy efficiency remains unclear, with potential negative factors like road use by empty vehicles competing with positive ones like automatic eco-driving. Fundamentally enabled by historic and look-ahead data, this dissertation addresses the use of automated driving and driver assistance to optimize vehicle motion for energy efficiency.

Facets of this problem include car following, co-optimized acceleration and lane change planning, and collaborative multi-agent guidance. Optimal control, especially model predictive control, is used extensively to improve energy efficiency while maintaining safe and timely driving via constraints. Techniques including chance constraints and mixed integer programming help overcome uncertainty and non-convexity challenges. Extensions of these techniques to tractor trailers on sloping roads are provided by making use of linear parameter-varying models. To approach the wheel-input energy eco-driving problem over generally shaped sloping roads with the computational potential for closed-loop implementation, a linear programming formulation is constructed. Distributed and collaborative techniques that enable connected and automated vehicles to accommodate their neighbors in traffic are also explored and compared to centralized control. Using simulations and vehicle-in-the-loop car following experiments, the proposed algorithms are benchmarked against others that do not make use of look-ahead information.



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