Ford software maximizes hybrid efficiency System uses GPS data to find favorite locations


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will use a littleFord
navigation wizardry on two
of its hybrids: the C-Max
Energi plug-in and
Fusion.
The system will use GPS
data and an algorithm to
predict when a driver is
close frequented
destinations. The car will
adjust powertrain controls
to maximize efficiency.Ford
calls the feature EV+, which
is part of SmartGauge,
standard on the Fusion
Energi and C-Max Energi
plug-ins and on hybrid
models.
“We know from our
research that hybrid
drivers want to drive as
often as they can in
electric-only mode,
especially near their home
or frequently visited
locations,” said Kevin
Layden, Ford director of
electrification programs and
engineering.
The system, developed by
Ford employees Ken
Frederick and Matt Smith, is
in the process of being
patented.EV+ learns the
latitude and longitude of
frequent stops and can
switch the car into electric-
only mode when nearing
home or work.The feature
can be disabled with a
button.
When the car gets within a
radius of about 1/8 mile of a
frequent stop, the EV+ sign
lights up on the dash, and
the driver can silently coast
to the destination.
The original plan was for
the system to collect all the
data and change the car’s
performance based on
location. The team
discovered that it would
take too much hardware and
software, and would demand
too many resources from
the vehicle. Smith and
Frederick developed a way
to do the same thing using
only GPS data.
“We realized that
harnessing data already
available was the way we
could achieve our goal of
improving the entire hybrid
vehicle driving experience,”
said Frederick. “Once we
had access to the data, we
applied machine learning
principles to predict
frequently visited locations
that would determine what
powertrain controls should
be applied to achieve our
goal.”

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