Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) An Innovation Hub to Future-Proof Connected and Autonomous Technologies

NEXTCAR Initiative

Nextcar diagram

U.S. Department of Energy Project

“Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles,” or “NEXTCAR,” is a U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)-sponsored project that aims to develop technologies that will utilize emerging connectivity infrastructure. A Purdue University-led team of industry leaders are focusing on technologies that benefit line-haul Class 8 trucks with an emphasis on platooning vehicles. This three year, $5 million project intends to assess the fuel efficiency benefits of an integrated, connectivity-enabled, vehicle and powertrain control system for diesel-powered on-highway trucks. The goal is a net vehicle fuel consump-tion reduction of up to 20% demonstrated through engine and vehicle validations with an incremental vehicle cost increase of under $3,000.

Peloton truck

Key Concepts

  • Targeted 20% fuel efficiency improvements
  • Vehicle and engine validations
  • Variable, remote powertrain calibrations
  • Cloud-based powertrain control optimizations
  • More efficient two-truck platooning using connectivity-enabled shift coordination and lead truck predictive cruise


  • Cummins Inc.
  • Peloton Technology
  • Peterbilt Motors Co.
  • NREL
  • ZF TRW

Worker in test lab Workers in test lab

Project Partners


Gregory Shaver
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University