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Oak Ridge National Laboratory is delivering scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that accelerate the development of efficient and secure transportation technologies and improve mobility for the nation. Researchers provide key expertise in understanding simulation and integration of advanced vehicle technologies to offer insight on the potential benefits for hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid vehicles, advanced powertrain vehicles, and connected and automated vehicles.

Research assesses cyber vulnerabilities and analyzes data for decision-making in a multi-modal infrastructure. In addition, new methods for electrification are being investigated including the development of power electronics, electric motor, and traction drive system technologies that will surpass current on-the-road technologies, leading to lower cost and better performance. Electrification research efforts focus on wireless power transfer, modeling manufacturing and materials for improved batteries and next-generation batteries, and fuel cells.

Mobility projects include developing a digital twin or replica of the transportation network in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area using radar detectors, cameras, and sensors to create smooth traffic patterns, improve freight transport, and generate energy savings. ORNL is also a research participant in a similar project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, focusing on both air and ground transport. Ongoing simulation frameworks analyzing the impact of connected and automated vehicles demonstrate that an increased number communicating and coordinating on roadways can stabilize traffic flow and reduce fuel use.