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Vehicle automation requires new onboard sensors, communication equipment, and/or data processing units, and may encourage modifications to existing onboard components (such as the steering wheel). These changes impact the vehicle’s mass, auxiliary load, coefficient of drag, and frontal area, which then change vehicle performance. This paper uses the powertrain simulation model FASTSim to quantify the impact of autonomy-related design changes on a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Levels 0, 2, and 5 autonomous vehicles are modeled for two battery-electric vehicles (2017 Chevrolet Bolt and 2017 Nissan Leaf) and a gasoline powered vehicle (2017 Toyota Corolla). Additionally, a level 5 vehicle is divided into pessimistic and optimistic scenarios which assume different electronic equipment integration format. The results show that 4–8% reductions in energy economy can be achieved in a L5 optimistic scenario and an 10–15% increase in energy economy will be the result in a L5 pessimistic scenario. When looking at impacts on different power demand sources, inertial power is the major power demand in urban driving conditions and aerodynamic power demand is the major demand in highway driving conditions.

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

APA Citation

Chen, Y., Sun, R., & Wu, X. (2021). Estimating Bounds of Aerodynamic, Mass, and Auxiliary Load Impacts on Autonomous Vehicles: A Powertrain Simulation Approach. Sustainability, 13(22), 12405.