Prof Dr Gerhard Guettler

It is proposed to use the information about a road’s geodetic height profile, gained from a satellite navigation system, to reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption. The system uses actual and prospective
data of the movement of a car (or truck, bus, train) to control and optimize the loading of the battery, the operation of the auxiliary devices and the motor and gearbox management. The actual and the anticipated geodetic height of the car’s position are known from a navigation system like Galileo when a map with height information is used. Knowing the actual driving speed, the future “location (height) vs. time” trajectory can be well “foreseen”. So the vehicle’s energy consumption is optimized by using in-time and future information of route, cruising and motor activity. By this knowledge intelligent rules for operating and controlling the auxiliaries through “virtual control setpoints” are derived. This concept considerably enhances modern strategies which load the battery when the vehicles brakes. Since the parameter space for optimization is significantly enlarged there should be enough space to further reduce fuel consumption. Also, energy consuming devices connected to a vehicle are addressed such as a refrigerator for frozen food or a cement mixer on a motor truck. The vehicle’s energy consumption is perfectly synchronized with its uphill and downhill motion: when driving uphill an extra “energy credit” is drawn from the battery since it is foreseeable when and to what amount the credit can be paid back through the upcoming downward motion.

The concept proposed here is supported by two German patents (DE 10 2005 005 002 and DE 10 2005 024 403) which Dr. Guettler received in 2007 and his pending (announced) European patent No. 1688297. Its basic innovative character is to augment the control of a vehicle’s operation by substantial knowledge about its movement in the near future, and therefore not only relying on its actual driving parameters. The prediction is near to certainty or at least can be described by a well defined distribution of probabilities. The predictive quality is held at a high level by updating in short time intervals.

The concept is useful as an add-on for upper and upper medium class (UMCC) and medium class cars (MCC) from the start and for all other vehicle types in a later phase. Also trucks and buses will benefit from it. In Europe, 15 Mio cars are produced yearly and the stock is about 150 Mio units. The relevant market segment is seen at 1 Mio new cars, buses and trucks p.y. in the beginning. Scaling effects could increase this figure to several million vehicles p.y. through a successful commercial launch.

A conservative estimate of the savings potential per car is one complete fuel tank filling or some 80 to 100 € per year. At present fuel price levels, this would justify a selling price of 300 to 500 € for the complete system or a production cost at 50 % of this amount.

Prof Dr Gerhard Guettler
Physicist and Private Researcher
Kurmainzer Strasse 10
D 61462 Koenigstein im Taunus
phone: +49 (0) 61 74 93 05 12