Mapping a set of input variables to a single output variable; also optimization of input (ex. Car inputs to fuel economy)

I'm wondering what are the state-of-the-art methods when having to learn the mapping between a set of input variables to a single output. An example is the inputs of a car to fuel efficiency where the data set contained these variables:

  • Time and Date
  • Speed (Kph)
  • Rpm
  • Car tire pressure (psi)
  • Fuel Economy (Liters/gallon)

(I understand the data set is lacking and flawed. But this is just an example.)

Most cases use multiple linear regressions to do this.

Some also use a basic neural network with an input, hidden, and output layer could be used to solve this problem.The input is a m x n array (where m is the number of data points and n is the number of variables (in the above case, 3). And the output is a single variable representing fuel economy. You then compare the predicted fuel economy to the actual and begin optimizing the neural network (back propagation). However I learned that from a relatively old source (2013). I was wondering if there have been new advancements in solving this kind of problem.

Can RNNs (LSTMs) be used to solve this? If the data is measured every minute for example, I have reason to believe that the current fuel economy is affected by the previous car inputs (t-1, t-2, etc.)

I also learned that I can use evolutionary algorithms to optimize this sort of problem. (ex. Whats the fastest I can go while having a fuel economy of 50 L/gal). What are the most popular evolutionary algorithms for this kind of problem? Could anyone recommend any papers or other material that could help me learn more about this?