Clemson University Joins Autonomous EV Project - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  July 30, 2021

Clemson University Joins DOE-Funded Autonomous EV Project

Clemson University is receiving its first autonomous vehicle system through a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE is giving $4.3 million to Optimus Ride for the development of its autonomous electric shuttles to be used on the 1,400-acre campus. The company will use the funds for data collection, research and development for advancing autonomous vehicle technology and adoption and is partnering with Clemson University, University of California, Berkeley, and Argonne National Laboratory. Together this coalition will analyze rider behavior and adoption and examine the potential sustainability impact electric AV shuttles can have when deployed at scale.

“College campuses offer a unique opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and increase the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles,” Sean Harrington, CEO of Optimus Ride, said in a statement. “Our vehicles have proven to be more energy efficient than traditional, human-driven, fossil-fueled shuttles, and we’re excited to verify and deliver the many benefits AVs have to offer to campuses like Clemson’s and beyond.”

The project is part of the DOE’s $60 million effort to fund 24 research and development projects focused on decarbonizing transportation, particularly passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks.

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