Automotive features : mass impact and deployment characterization
Author(s)Zoepf, Stephen M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
John B. Heywood.
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Passenger car use is a major driver of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel consumption in the United States. Vehicles continue to incorporate increasing levels of technology, these advances do not translate directly into improved fuel economy. Vehicle weight, interior volume and performance have all grown substantially in the past 30 years, as has feature content. This thesis shows that safety features, emissions controls, and optional equipment account for a total mass that mirrors growth in vehicle mass during this time period. Chief among these are optional features designed to improve the comfort and convenience of passenger cars. This thesis also examines historical deployment rates of vehicle features. Safety features and emissions controls achieve faster deployment rates than other optional features. While these features are those most governed by regulation, it is not clear that regulations push technology deployment rates higher. Automotive product development is complex and features require significant time to overcome deployment constraints. This lag time, from first production use to most rapid deployment across the vehicle fleet, is found to be exponentially decreasing for all feature types and has dropped to approximately a decade. These analyses provide two countering assessments. New vehicles will continue to grow heavier due to the continued incorporation of new features, but technology that may improve overall efficiency can be brought to market ever faster.
Thesis (S.M. in Technology and Policy)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2011.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-111).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program.