How smart does a car have to be before it starts saving you money and reduces your fuel usage? You can make any car a bit smarter by driving more sensibly, but a team of engineers in the UK has decided to give an SUV a few more microchips and let it try and save fuel for you. Dubbed the Sentience intelligent advanced hybrid vehicle, the 15-month-long project melds telematics with technology that is here today to reduce CO2 emissions of the test vehicle by between 5 and 24 percent, dependent on driving style. The collaborators, including Transport Research Laboratory, Ricardo, Jaguar-Land Rover, Ordnance Survey and Orange Business Services, say that by using readily-available technology, the Sentience technology could be applied to vehicles in the UK without too much cost. If it were, the engineers estimate, total savings in the country would be somewhere between 1.2 and 2.9 million barrels of oil per year.
There are three main components to the Sentience technology:
- Enhanced Acceleration/Deceleration (EAD) in which the vehicle speed is controlled to meet actual and virtual speed limits
- Optimized Engine Load (OEL) in which the hybrid powertrain systems are managed using advanced route knowledge in such a way as to make optimal use of recharging opportunities
- Enhanced Air-Conditioning (EAC) control in which temperature set-points are adjusted prior to and following temporary stops.
More details after the jump.