Combining Connected Vehicle Technology and Evolutionary Algorithms

Engineers at UC Riverside have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

A photo of researcher Xuewei Qi standing in front of a smart vehicle being developed at UCR.

Xuewei Qi and a team of UCR researchers are using vehicle connectivity and evolutionary algorithms to improve the efficiency of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Development and Evaluation of an Evolutionary Algorithm-Based Online Energy Management System for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles,” a paper describing the research, was recently accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. The work was led by Xuewei Qi, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering, and Matthew Barth, CE-CERT director and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCR.

PHEVs, which combine a gas or diesel engine with an electric motor and a large rechargeable battery, offer advantages over conventional hybrids because they can be charged using household electricity, which reduces their need for fuel. However, the race to improve the efficiency of current PHEVs is limited by shortfalls in their energy management systems (EMS), which control the power split between engine and battery when they switch from all-electric mode to hybrid mode.

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Professor Liao Establishes Alliance in Shanghai

Recently Jiayu Liao, associate professor of bioengineering in the Bourns College of Engineering, established an alliance with the National Center for Drug Screening (NCDS) in Shanghai, the only national center specializing in screening for new drugs in China.

As part of this partnership, two bioengineering doctoral candidates, Vipul Madahar, and George Way, were invited to work at NCSD’s laboratories in Shanghai for six months, and they will be working on joint research projects funded by both Chinese and American governments.

Jiayu Liao

“This is a significant launch point for UC Riverside’s bioengineering international research collaboration, and it also reflects on our college’s continuous efforts in international research and student exchange programs,” said Jun Wang, director of Student Development and International Initiatives at Bourns College of Engineering.

The center has established collaborative relationships with UC San Diego, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Southern California.

UCR will be the first to send students to China for the initiative. NCDS will cover living expenses and will award a stipend for two students, Liao said.

“I think this is very exciting, and an important event, not only for me but also for UCR. Together, the National Center for Drug Screening of China, and the Chinese National Compound Library, are the only high throughput screening centers in China. They hold the largest compound library open to the public in the world,” Liao said.


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