Systematic Communication Objectives and Teleportation Technology Investigations and Evaluations (SCOTTIE)

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OPEN 2018
East Hartford, Connecticut
Project Term:
05/14/2019 - 06/30/2023

Critical Need:

Despite advances in telecommunications technologies, transportation energy consumption continues to rise. When conducting business, many people prefer to communicate face-to-face, and they regularly travel to visit colleagues, vendors, and customers. If some of these interactions could be conducted using computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies, no travel would be needed, and energy use and emissions would be reduced. However, users will only be willing to substitute CMC technologies for physical travel in some cases, and then only if CMC technologies provide the functionality that they need. Therefore, the underlying causes and motivations for travel must be assessed to determine which trips can be replaced. In addition, various types of human interaction must be examined to understand how CMC technology should perform in order to replace in-person communication.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

United Technologies Research Center will assess the feasibility of using CMC technologies and immersive systems to reduce business travel and its associated energy and emissions. Currently, every roundtrip trans-Atlantic flight emits enough carbon dioxide to melt 30 square feet of Arctic sea ice. This technology (if successful) will displace air travel. The team’s SCOTTIE system will identify the types of travel best suited for replacement by CMC technologies and quantify the minimum CMC system performance needed to satisfy users' communication objectives. The team will then demonstrate the use of currently-available CMC technology in a pilot study.

Potential Impact:

SCOTTIE will use a systems approach to identify critical elements pertaining to the human decision process for selecting Digital Human (DH)-based communications over face-to-face interactions involving travel.


These innovations could lead to dramatically more efficient travel policies, easing strain on the nation’s transportation infrastructure.


Systematic evaluations will identify key obstacles to travel replacement, enabling focused development of transformative DH technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions and energy consumption.


This technology has the potential to optimize business processes to reduce travel-related energy expenditures for sales, servicing, and training.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jenifer Shafer
Project Contact:
Dr. Peggy Wu
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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