To encourage automakers to design AVs that improve fuel efficiency, a good place to start is updating test protocols to detect and quantify such improvements. ACEEE’s new white paper recommends that EPA do the following:
Sort automated vehicle features into discrete groups based on capabilities. For example, systems that work only on freeways and combine both LKA and ACC would be treated the same.
Not allow AV features primarily designed to improve safety, such as automatic emergency braking, to earn off-cycle credits.
Design test protocols for each eligible group of AV features.
Design test protocols for features that are already market available or expected to be sold within 3 years.
Award credits based on how often AV features are actually used. EPA should estimate this value and use real-world data for AV features that have already been introduced into the market.