Rael Lunch Seminar: A Virtual EV Test Drive

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Where: Room 323 Barrows Hall at the Energy and Resource Group

Please join us for our weekly lunch seminar:

Brief summary: The 'Virtual Plug-in Test Drive' system allows the users to experience a virtual, customized test drive of a Plug-in vehicle using their smart phones or Laptops. Recent research suggests that the citizens' understanding of plug-in vehicles is insufficient to support them in buying these new energy-saving vehicles. While a multi-day test drives will be the ideal means to educate citizens about these vehicles, providing millions of such test drives is impractical. The Virtual Test Drive Project, which has two pilot vehicles already on the road, attempts to overcome this gap. 

Our system pulls real-time driving information from user's vehicle using a cellular telematics device or smart phone every minute. It then “translates” this data into virtual performance for a variety of plug-ins (such as a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt). The user can visits a website that visualizes what their driving day *would have been*, had they been driving a plug-in, including where they would need to recharge their battery, and how much money they would save on fuel.

Biography: Laura Schewel is a gradate student with the Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley. Prior to coming to California, she spent years working on vehicle electrification, at the Rocky Mountain Institute and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.