A Workshop about the Future of Automotive Research and Innovation

Future Automotive Systems: Modeling, Design and Control

Tuesday June 29, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM
European Control Conference (Online)

For more information and registration: https://ecc21.euca-ecc.org/workshops/#Workshop2

The automotive industry is undergoing an extensive powertrain transformation process: Conventional engines are being hybridized whilst full-electric vehicles are slowly pervading the market. Different powertrain and energy-carrier technologies are being investigated for applications ranging from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks, whilst sophisticated control algorithms are being studied to minimize their environmental impact.

As we strive for a transition towards a zero-emissions mobility, it becomes more critical that we answer questions about the future of automotive systems:

  • How can we design powertrains that are sustainable and market-competitive?
  • How can we leverage recent advances in vehicles’ autonomy and connectivity, as well as in on-board sensors’ availability and computational power to improve their performance?
  • How can we attain a zero-emissions well-to-kilometers mobility?
  • How can we ensure smooth deployment and integration into the existing infrastructure?
  • How will this affect the transportation infrastructure at large?

This workshop will gather experts from automotive, mechanical, electrical and control engineering, in order to:

  1. identify challenges and opportunities for the future of automotive;
  2. identify modeling, design and control methodologies to address them;
  3. share insights from early deployments and turn such insights into an actionable research roadmap.

Topics of Interest:

  • Theoretical modeling and analysis methods
  • Design and optimization tools
  • Real-time control algorithms
  • Simulation tools
  • Technology infusion
  • Real-world case studies

Intended Audience:

This workshop is geared towards researchers, industry practitioners and public officials whose work involves the design, deployment, operation, or regulation of automotive systems. The workshop will present a variety of tools and studies on the future automotive systems and will prompt fruitful conversations from the variety of stakeholders.


Time Presenter Information
13:00 – 13:30 Mauro Salazar (including introduction)

Optimization for Intelligent Mobility Systems: From Electric Racing to Sustainable Urban Mobility. Nowadays mobility is facing challenges ranging from urban traffic to environmental pollution and noise. The advent of new cyber-physical technologies such as autonomous driving, wireless communication and powertrain electrification might provide us with promising opportunities to face these challenges. Yet how to successfully combine such technologies in order to design and deploy economically-viable, socially-inclusive and environmentally-friendly mobility solutions is still unclear.

In this context, this talk will show how we leveraged optimization methods on research projects ranging from the single-vehicle level to the transportation-system level. In particular, I will first present convex models and optimization algorithms to control fully-electric race cars in a time-optimal fashion. In addition, I will present how we extended such methods to general powertrain design problems. Second, I will give an overview on the work we have been doing on the broad topic of Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand—whereby self-driving cars provide on-demand mobility—including game-theoretical optimization models to analyse the challenges and potential benefits stemming from these new mobility paradigms in intermodal settings.

13:30 – 14:00 Anouk Hol Market trends and innovations in e-bus development. The presentation will discuss challenges of (HVAC) system design in electric buses and solutions to tackle these challenges by control strategies that trade-off between energy consumption and passenger and driver comfort. Furthermore we’ll elaborate on the market trends in the battery capacity and charging performance demands.
14:00 – 14:30 Christopher Onder

Alternatives to conventional combustion engines for mobility: 
Possible solutions and some of their control and optimization problems.
The need to reduce the CO2-output of our society forces us to substitute fossile fuels. Electrification is an obvious solution, but synthetic fuels are an option as well. First, a study on synthetic fuels which takes into account the efficiencies of all necessary steps will be presented. Then, control-oriented solutions to the energy management of a battery assisted trolley-bus and some concepts to increase the efficiency of combustion engines are demonstrated.

14:30 – 14:45 Break  
14:45 – 15:15 Arjo Van Der Ham

Vehicle Performance Modelling at the center of the concept and design phase to halve the energy consumption of Electric Vehicles. Lightyear was founded in 2016 with the mission to provide clean mobility for everyone. The founding team won multiple editions of the World Solar Challenge with the development of ultra-efficient solar-powered family cars. The key to the development of highly efficient vehicles is in making the correct concept choices consequently throughout the design process. To facilitate this, Lightyear has developed the Vehicle Performance Model and staged it in the center of the engineering process to make sure that every decision is made with efficiency in mind. That has resulted in the development of Lighyear One - to be launched in 2022 - a five seater electric vehicle twice as efficient as current offerings on the market that receives about 70% of its energy demand from the solar panel on the roof and hood in a typical usage scenario.

15:15 – 15:45 Stephanie Stockar, The Ohio State University

Towards 30% of Energy Reduction in Light Duty Passenger Vehicles. Recent Advancements and Future Challenges.Over the past few years we have observed an increase in the integration of connectivity and automation features in both passenger and commercial vehicles.

Currently, Vehicle to Vehicles (V2V) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communication technologies are primarily implemented as driver assistance systems with the aim of increasing safety and driver comfort. However, the availability of additional sensing and actuation provides a unique opportunity to exploit different layers of connectivity and automation to achieve unprecedented vehicle efficiency improvements. In 2016, the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) launched the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program, a 3-year research and development program with the goal of demonstrating a 20% fuel economy improvement in real-world driving conditions, exploiting the use connectivity and Level 1 automation to co-optimize vehicle dynamics and powertrain controls. The program has been extended in 2021 and will focus on demonstrating additional energy saving features to reach 30% efficiency improvement on passenger vehicles upfitted with Level 4 automation.

Integrating the information on future driving conditions provided by V2V and V2I communication for eco-routing, eco-driving and powertrain optimization (including auxiliaries) has been proven to be an effective approach for generating significant vehicle energy savings. This presentation will provide an overview of the technology roadmap implemented to integrate advanced vehicle dynamics and powertrain control algorithms with connectivity and automation, and outlines the main technical challenges that must be overcome as we move towards Level 3 automation and beyond.

15:45 – 16:00 Break


16:00 – 16:30 Simona Onori Pushing the Envelope in Battery Estimation Algorithms. Battery Management Systems (BMSs) manage the charging and discharging of the battery providing estimates of state of charge and health during its use to protect the battery from misuse, ensure safety and longer duration. In this talk, we discuss the Stanford Energy Control lab’s recent research on advanced BMS using control theory tools, electrochemistry and hardware validation. Specifically, we will discuss state of health estimation using advanced observer design and its battery-in-the-loop validation.
16:30 – 17:30 Final discussion on future directions  

Workshop organizers

Mauro Salazar is an Assistant Professor in the Control Systems Technology group at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zürich in 2019. Before joining TU/e he was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Autonomous Systems Lab at Stanford University. Dr. Salazar’s research is at the interface of control theory and optimization, and is aimed at the development of a comprehensive set of tools for the design, the deployment and the operation of sustainable mobility systems. Dr. Salazar received the Outstanding Bachelor Award and the Excellence Scholarship and Opportunity Award from ETH Zürich. Both his Master thesis and PhD thesis were recognized with the ETH Medal, and he was granted the Best Student Paper award at the 2018 Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference.

Theo Hofman is an Associate Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research interests are developing integrated design methods that provide system-wide solutions for complex dynamic engineering systems. This research incorporates several related fields: automated computational design synthesis for discrete topology design using platform-based methods and constraint programming techniques, integrated plant and control design using model-based approaches. Current applications are high tech powertrain systems for the automotive and maritime engineering field. Results are new computer-aided engineering tools for product design making complex products affordable in a reduced time and new insights by applying these methods for a large range of fields that incorporate co design and design space exploration.

More information about the presenters

Anouk Hol (29) joined VDL in 2015 after finishing her master in mechanical engineering at the University of Twente (NL). VDL presented its first e-bus in 2013 at the UITP Geneva. After that full scale implementation of electric busses happened very fast. Today VDL sold more than 900 e-buses and their e-buses drove already more then 100 million kilometers. To keep up with the rapidly growing market, VDL is investing a lot in model development of the bus and its components. These models are used to map the energy flows in the vehicle and estimate the range of their buses. Furthermore the models are used to help selecting components, system design, development of new control strategies and to do vehicle energy management to improve the bus driving range. VDL Bus & Coach is currently introducing a new model city bus to the market. This city bus is completely designed around the electric powertrain.

Christopher Onder is a Professor with the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Controls, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He received the Diploma and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from ETH Zürich. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and a book on modeling and control of engine systems. Dr. Onder received the BMW Scientific Award, the ETH Medal, the Vincent Bendix Award, and the Watt d'Or Energy Prize.

Arjo van der Ham is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Lightyear. He is responsible for the Research, Design, Engineering and IP departments and focuses on the core technology development such as in-wheel motors and solar panels. His interests are on how to further automate engineering tasks, integrate tools and workflows and parametrize designs to decrease time to market new technologies. Arjo holds a MSc from Eindhoven University of Technology in Electrical Engineering with specialization in power electronics.

Stephanie Stockar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University and affiliated faculty with the OSU Center for Automotive Research. She earned her BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland in 2007 and 2010, respectively, and obtained her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2013. Before joining the MAE department at OSU in 2019, she was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University.

Dr. Stockar conducts research is in the area of optimal control of energy systems with applications to automotive systems and the built environment. Her research approach hinges upon the multidisciplinary integration of thermo-fluid sciences with dynamic systems, modeling, optimization and control theory. Dr. Stockar’s work has been funded by Ford Motor Company, Stellantis, ARPA-E and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Dr. Stockar is a winner of the 2020 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in Engineering and Applied Science and the 2021 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

Simona Onori is an Assistant Professor in Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University where she also holds a courtesy appointment in Electrical Engineering. She is also an adjunct professor at the International Center for Automotive Research, Clemson University. Upon joining the Stanford faculty, she funded and currently directs the Stanford Energy Control lab where she leads a team of graduate/undergraduate students, postdocs and international visiting scholars conducting cutting edge research on experiments, modeling, control and optimization algorithms for transportation and grid-storage systems. 
She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the SAE International Journal of Electrified Vehicles and she is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 2015. She is the recipient of the 2020 U.S. DoE Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award, Category Research, the 2019 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence, Clemson University, the 2018 Global Innovation Contest Award by LG Chem, the 2018 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award and the 2017 NSF CAREER award. She is the recipient of the 2012 Lumley Interdisciplinary Research Award by the Ohio State University College of Engineering and the TechColumbus 2011 Outstanding Technology Team Award.
She is a Senior Member of IEEE and served as chair of the IEEE CSS Technical Committee of Automotive Controls and currently vice-chair of the IFAC Technical Committee of Automotive Controls TC 7.1.
She is co-author of a book and two book chapters on hybrid vehicles and more than 120 publications in peer reviewed journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings.  She earned a Laurea Degree in Computer Science from University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of New Mexico, and a PhD. in Control Engineering from University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.
https://onorilab.stanford.edu - Simona’s google scholar



Control Systems Technology

The mission of the CST group is to develop new methods and tools in the area of Systems Theory, Control Engineering and Mechatronics. The research focuses on understanding the fundamental system properties that determine the performance of mechanical engineering systems, and exploiting this knowledge for the design of the high-tech systems of the future.