The next time the hypermiler in front of you stops you from catching that next green light, take heart. One day, it won't be the driver's fault. There will be algorithms involved. But you migh still be aggravated for not making that light.

Hermann Koch-Groeber, a professor at Germany's University of Heilbronn is working on a transmission system that combines cruise control with the concept of hypermiling, i.e. coasting as much as possible in order to boost fuel economy, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum says. Koch-Groeber is working with Germany-based transmission maker Getrag to develop what's called an 'automated gearbox.' The product factors in road contours to most efficiently guide the vehicle up and down hills and, as a result, there could be a five- to 10-percent fuel-efficiency gain. The math-inclined can take a look at the formulas being used in this PDF.

A prototype for the automated gearbox may be available as soon as next year. That's good timing, especially considering how European automakers need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in order to meet stricter standards from the European Union. In 2012, the European Commission proposed standards that would reduce fleetwide emissions by 30 percent by 2020.


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  • 16 Comments
      • 11 Hours Ago
      Wer fahrn, fahrn, fahrn auf der Autobahn...
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 11 Hours Ago
      My EV's are so efficient I feel free to mash the pedal with no guilt. However this system would do the same thing for EV's
        BipDBo
        • 11 Hours Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        My understanding is that the pulse and glide technique does not help with EVs. Just set the cruise control and relax. Drafting sill helps.
          Aaron
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @BipDBo
          In my own (arguably unscientific) studies, I've found that: 1. Accelerating quickly then throttling back to low power uses about the same power as medium levels of acceleration. 2. Slowly accelerating (to the point where people start to get irritated) is even more efficient, but I am unwilling to drive that way.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @BipDBo
          To be honest I never really hyper mile drive. However in both ICEV and EV I have driven very mellow to get to that refueling station without running out of fuel.
        danfred311
        • 11 Hours Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        pulse hypermiling does not apply to EVs.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Hours Ago
      Nice :) Always impressed when someone goes for the medium-high hanging fruit and (hopefully) finds it, especially if it is a low cost solution that provides great bang for the buck.
      danfred311
      • 11 Hours Ago
      Electric cars is the solution of course but as long as they keep making dumb ICE cars I suppose it would be pretty cool to have a hypermiling mode. Not sure the simpletons would tolerate it though. Being smart is offensive to them.
        Jason
        • 11 Hours Ago
        @danfred311
        Being a mechanical engineer myself, I understand the differences between and the benefits of EVs versus ICE vehicles. But I like internal combustion engines that can repeatedly accelerate quickly and then be completely refueled in 5 minutes. So I guess that makes me a simpleton.
      thecommentator2013
      • 11 Hours Ago
      I use about 0.1 kWh / km....isn't that efficient enough?
        DarylMc
        • 11 Hours Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        That sounds pretty good. Which car uses only 10kwh /100km?
      Lamborandon
      • 11 Hours Ago
      why does bmw have those ugly yellow drl's
      Captain Stu
      • 11 Hours Ago
      BMW was looking into topographic mapping for cruise controls or transmissions. It would be nice if manufacturers could have true learning transmissions & ECUs that would recognize a previously driven route, like to work, and would pick the most efficient mapping, braking and speeds taking into consideration traffic, hills and lights. One of these days everything might integrated enough, sadly maybe through self driving cars. But self driving cars might help realize my dream of drafting trains.
      JB
      • 11 Hours Ago
      Sounds like a good way to improve traffic. Smooth and steady.
      Aaron
      • 11 Hours Ago
      OT: That median is seriously busted up!
      Levine Levine
      • 11 Hours Ago
      You don't need somebody else's algorithm to hyper-mile, just use the one in your head. Are American so stupid that they can't learn how hyper-mile?
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