ARPA-E announces $60M in funding for innovative crop and vehicle programs

The NEXTCAR program is providing up to $30 million in funding to create new control technologies that reduce the energy consumption of future vehicles by using connectivity and vehicle automation

ARPA-E

Dr. Ellen Williams (right), Arpa-E director: ‘We want power to be easy.’ Photograph: ARPA-E

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced up to $60 million in funding for two new programs that aim to solve some of the nation’s most pressing energy challenges by accelerating the development of novel energy technologies.

The first program, NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road vehicles (NEXTCAR) seeks to develop new technologies that decrease energy consumption of future vehicles through the use of connectivity and automation.

The second program, Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) seeks to improve crop breeding for root and soil function to allow for greater carbon storage in plants.

“We must continue to invest in programs that encourage the scientific community to think boldly and differently about our nation’s energy future,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams.

“The NEXTCAR program’s focus on exploiting automation to improve energy efficiency in future vehicles and the ROOTS program’s exploration of carbon capture using crops demonstrate ARPA-E’s unique and forward looking approach to energy innovation.”

ARPA-E

Prototype of Google driverless cars.

NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated on-Road-vehicles (NEXTCAR)
Significant research and development is underway to make future vehicles more connected and automated in order to reduce road accidents and traffic fatalities, but these technologies can also be leveraged to improve energy efficiency in future vehicles.

The NEXTCAR program is providing up to $30 million in funding to create new control technologies that reduce the energy consumption of future vehicles by using connectivity and vehicle automation.

The program seeks transformative technological solutions that will enable at least a 20 per cent reduction in the energy consumption of future Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), compared to vehicles without these technologies.

For more information and to view the full funding opportunity announcement, please click here.

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