MIT Awarded $4 Million Grant to Design & Trial Energy-Saving Travel Program

MIT awarded Dept. of Energy grant to create and deploy energy-saving travel information and incentives system

MIT News, August 6, 2015. Image credit: WikimediaImages

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced that MIT researchers, along with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts (UMass), received a $3,990,128 grant to design, build, and trial a new system to incentivize people to adapt their travel choices to conserve energy.

The grant will be used to develop and test a Mobility Electronic Market for Optimized Travel (MeMOT). It will use real and simulated personal travel data to reward people to shift their routes, departure times, modes of travel, and vehicles based on live information they receive from MeMOT. Incentives will include points awarded based on energy savings that can be redeemed both in real-time and in the future for travel-related and other benefits at local participating vendors.

The researchers will develop a system model using data obtained from existing sources and new volunteers to simulate the transportation network of the greater Boston area. A network simulator will be used to model a wide set of traveler behaviors and vehicle types, and the team will adapt the simulator to dynamically measure energy use as changes occur to the transportation network and travelers’ behavior.

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