The electric vehicle that plans ahead

Assistance systems for an efficient use of energy in electric vehicles

As part of the joint project "Assistance systems for an efficient use of energy in electric vehicles", the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, studied whether the energy efficiency of an electric vehicle can be increased by using detailed map data as a basis for the longitudinal control and the behavior of the vehicle. In cooperation with Porsche, the project was carried out using a modified Boxster with an electric drive.

Challenge

The objective of the project centered on the development of predictive measures geared to reduce the energy consumption of electric vehicles.

Solution

In order to attain this goal, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) focused on the development of an autonomous longitudinal control. Simply put, at all times the optimal speed was to be set for the vehicle based on detailed route data.

This support was supposed to be integrated into the vehicle as an intelligent adaptive cruise control (ACC). During the course of the project, a test environment was generated in order to test the developed function before its use in the real vehicle. The objective was to have the control units exhibit a behavior identical to their behavior in the real vehicle. The test environment comprised a prototype ECU which sent the commands for the longitudinal dynamics to the engine control unit of the test vehicle. In addition, the entire wiring of the hardware components (e.g. accelerator pedal, brake light switch, etc.) was laid out. In this case, the virtual vehicle was simulated with the open integration and test platform CarMaker by IPG Automotive. A virtual driver conducts predefined test drives on simulated roads that are based on real GPS data. In terms of a validation environment, the researchers opted for a hardware-in-the-loop test bench by IPG Automotive (real-time computer in combination with control units) during the course of the project. Using this test bench, they were able to realize both the development of the energy-efficient driving function and its test.

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"The electric vehicle that plans ahead"