Mechatronics meets the plug-in hybrid this month at IEEE Spectrum Online:
Drivers use all manner of data these days to travel efficiently, and vehicles should follow their lead, according to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee mechatronics expert Yaoyu Li. He predicts that vehicles privy to data in the latest GPS-enabled electronic navigators — which download real-time traffic data to update route suggestions on the fly — will provide substantial fuel savings in the decades to come.
An uninformed plug-in is almost certain to discharge its battery power either too quickly or too slowly. If it simply uses the battery until it is discharged, it will lack an electric option for later stop-and-go situations where running the internal combustion engine is inefficient. Alternatively, if the plug-in acts like a conventional hybrid and lives in the moment, blending its electric and gasoline energy based on the driving conditions that second, it is likely to arrive at its destination with leftover battery charge. Either way, the plug-in will have consumed more gasoline than necessary.
Continue reading “GPS-enabled Software Boosts Hybrid Vehicle Efficiency”