Ford to Demonstrate Cloud-Based Technology to Optimize Plug-In Powertrain Efficiency

Posted on October 18, 2011

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Ford researchers will demonstrate smart electrification technology that uses cloud-based computing and data to optimize a plug-in hybrid’s powertrain efficiency at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems.

At the Google I/O conference in May, Ford introduced its research and innovation into using the cloud to predict driver behavior in order to optimize vehicle control systems and improve vehicle performance attributes such as fuel or hybrid-electric efficiency.

Ford’s commitment to the technology was further showcased when the Ford Evos Concept was introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The Evos Concept explores the potential for connecting a vehicle to the cloud in order to tailor the driving experience based on variables such as personal tastes and moods of the driver.

A video of the presentation given at the Google I/O conference

In the example that will be featured at the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, researchers will show how a prototype Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) could use a combination of cloud-based and proprietary technology to learn when to switch from being gasoline-powered to all-electric upon entering a lower emissions zone. Cities such as London, Berlin and Stockholm already have such zones.

Ryan McGee, technical expert, Vehicle Controls Architecture and Algorithm Design, Ford Research and Innovation, who is presenting at the conference, said if a vehicle was able to predict exactly when it might be entering such a zone, it could optimize itself to comply with regulations and at the same time optimize energy usage over the total distance of the route by switching the engine to all-electric mode at specific times.

Work is now under way to study the feasibility of incorporating variables such as driver style and habits into the optimization process, so Ford can further enhance vehicle control systems and allow car and driver to work together to maximize energy efficiency.

via Ford

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