Success Story: Galileo-Ecodrive - reduces vehicles fuel consumption
Galileo-Ecodrive by Prof Gerhard Güttler, the regional winner for Hesse in 2007, uses actual and prospective information of a road’s geodetic height profile, as provided by a satellite navigation system, for controlling and optimising the operation of auxiliary devices of a car, a truck, a bus or a train to reduce fuel consumption.
Up to 20% of the fuel consumption of modern vehicles is caused by auxiliary devices, such as the generator, air conditioning, power steering or the deep freeze used on trucks for perishable goods, or the moveable parts on a cement mixer.
With Galileo-Ecodrive, given a vehicle’s driving parameters, with road features, especially the height profile, and other parameters such as traffic lights’and stop signs etc., a “location (height) vs. time” trajectory can be anticipated for a few minutes. This information is then used to create control schemes for the car’s engine and energy consumption. From the forecast, which is updated at short intervals, intelligent rules for operating and controlling the auxiliaries are derived.
The control is exercised by a dedicated software which externally changes the auxiliaries’ set points, while all relevant technical and safety restrictions are ‘hard coded’ by the system. The vehicle’s engine and gearbox can also benefit by hooking up/disconnecting motor cylinders or pre-selecting the best gear when facing an uphill/downhill ride. Of course, safety and/or functionality aspects will overrule the energy saving mode by letting the system fall back to conventional control mechanisms.
On average given a typical mileage, possible savings are estimated at one fuel tank filling per year. This corresponds to 3-5% fuel savings. Throughout Europe, fuel savings could amount to up to 2 billion litres per year, thus avoiding the emission of 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The concept, a private research work, is already patented and licensed to interested parties.