U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This summary report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Back to Publication List        
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-18-037    Date:  September 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-037
Date: September 2017


Eco-Drive Experiment on Rolling Terrain for Fuel Consumption Optimization

PDF Version (3.08 MB)

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®


The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) performs advanced research into several areas of transportation technology for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Office of Operations Research and Development (HRDO) focuses on improving operations-related technology through research, development, and testing.

This report summarizes a research project sponsored by HRDO to evaluate the ability of a longitudinal control algorithm to improve the fuel economy of a vehicle on rolling terrain. These promising results provide an excellent justification for the implementation of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology that would appeal to roadway owners, roadway users, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Brian Cronin, Director,
Office of Operations Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Eco-Drive Experiment on Rolling Terrain for Fuel Consumption Optimization – Summary Report
5. Report Date
September 26, 2017
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Jiaqi Ma, Ph.D.; Jia Hu, Ph.D.; Ed Leslie; Fang Zhou; Zhitong Huang, Ph.D.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Leidos Inc.
11251 Freedom Dr.
Reston, VA
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH6116D00030 Task Order 07
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Highway Operations Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
Code HRDO-20
15. Supplementary Notes
Peter Huang, Ph.D.; Joe Bared, Ph.D. – FHWA Task Managers
16. Abstract
Eco-drive is one of the many theoretical concepts that have been developed to increase vehicle fuel efficiency and improve the sustainability of the entire transportation system within the connected vehicle paradigm. This study proposes an eco-drive algorithm for vehicle fuel consumption optimization on rolling terrains, which frequently cause additional fuel waste because of inefficient transformation between kinetic and potential energy. The algorithm uses the Relaxed Pontryagin’s Minimum Principle (RPMP), is computationally efficient, and is applicable in real time. While similar algorithms have proven effective in simulation with many assumptions, it is necessary to test these algorithms in the field to better understand the algorithm’s performance and thus enable optimal vehicle control in support of eco-driving. Therefore, this study further tested and verified the newly developed algorithms on an innovative connected and automated vehicle (CAV) platform and quantified the fuel saving benefits of eco-drive. The proposed eco-drive system is compared against conventional constant-speed cruise control on a total of 7 road segments over 47 miles. Experimental data show that more than 20 percent of fuel consumption can be avoided on certain terrains. Detailed analysis through linear models also reveals the main geometrical contributors to eco-drive fuel savings. This conclusion can enable a rough estimate of fuel saving potential on given roadways and help State departments of transportation to identify roadways where eco-drive should be implemented. The algorithm and the experiment can also support original equipment manufacturers in developing and marketing this technology to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in the future.
17. Key Words
Eco-Drive, Fuel Economy, Connected Automated Vehicle, Fuel Optimization
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classification (of this report)
20. Security Classification (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101