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Can Connected Cars Save Fuel?

For a long time, we have been talking about the connected car and how in-car connectivity would enhance the driving experience — from compelling infotainment to effortless navigation. More than a year ago, Aricent developed a connected car solution that enables automotive components and systems manufacturers to create advanced in-car infotainment systems and media entertainment platforms to enrich the driver's experience.

However, with the further evolution of the connectivity space and the Internet of Things coming closer to reality, the connected car space is set to evolve beyond infotainment. The new possible use cases have much more significance. They relate to fuel efficiency and safety. Yes, a connected car can help save a lot of fuel and time, along with keeping you safe. We think these factors will drive the adoption of connected car solutions more than anything else.

Even though it will take some time for the ecosystem — from government regulations and devices to service provider platforms — to get ready, we are very close to the uptake. We see the ability of a connected car ecosystem to save fuel as one of the biggest product differentiators for automakers.

Let's see how a connected car can help save fuel or increase fuel efficiency. There are possible use cases, and we need technology to evolve, along with the ecosystem, before it works as we wish. Many car companies, including Audi, are already experimenting with the ability of a connected car to save fuel.

As all drivers know, the major factors that increase fuel consumption are rapid acceleration, red lights (stops), traffic jams, bad roads, rough braking, and incorrect tire pressure. The basic idea is that, if we can control these factors through connectivity and data analytics, we can reduce fuel consumption significantly.

Stoplight/red light management
A connected car communicates with traffic lights, collects and analyzes data, and lets the driver know how fast he should drive to get the next light when it turns green. This can improve fuel economy by helping the driver optimize speed and avoid unnecessary stops.

Similar benefits can be derived by avoiding long toll queues. The car can communicate with toll systems (if they have been upgraded to support the technology) or can fetch real-time data/maps/images from Google Earth and run quick analytics to predict the jam at the toll booth.

Another case could be that a connected car can communicate with traffic lights via cellular networks (4G for data), note how long a light will stay red, and either alert the driver to start the engine or auto-start the engine 3-4 seconds before the light turns green.

Read the full article on EBN's sister publication EE Times .

16 comments on “Can Connected Cars Save Fuel?

  1. Daniel
    April 10, 2014

    “A connected car communicates with traffic lights, collects and analyzes data, and lets the driver know how fast he should drive to get the next light when it turns green. This can improve fuel economy by helping the driver optimize speed and avoid unnecessary stops”

    Vijay, this will improve fuel efficiency or rash driving? I think it prompt the drivers for a rash driving inorder to cross the next signal before it turns red. Such driving can create more accidents too.

  2. SP
    April 10, 2014

    Yes on paper this all looks real and quite possible. Connected car can save fuel. But in reality if the driver keeps driving after calculating to get the signal green, it can only lead to disaster. Even sometimes Google maps picks up the route that is in bad condition but considered shorter and what if there is no signal, you loose connection and end up spending more fuel.

  3. Daniel
    April 11, 2014

    “Yes on paper this all looks real and quite possible. Connected car can save fuel. But in reality if the driver keeps driving after calculating to get the signal green, it can only lead to disaster. Even sometimes Google maps picks up the route that is in bad condition but considered shorter and what if there is no signal, you loose connection and end up spending more fuel.”

    SP, the thing is we are look for positive and best assumptions and calculations. But in real scenario, it can lead to certain other chaos like speed and rash driving, violating lane principles etc

  4. Adeniji Kayode
    April 11, 2014

    @jacob, you are right on that . As our cars are becoming sophisticated day by day so also drivers need to become more careful and knowledgeable about dependency on electronics influencing their decision- making. we are in the era of ” machine- supported human race” and no going back.

  5. Adeniji Kayode
    April 11, 2014

    @SP, Well, that still shows that the best computer still remain the brain that nature has given to man.There is a limit to which we can hold these electronics resposible for any failure or consequences. We are still very much responsible for our decisions and actions though machines can help us in making them.

  6. Adeniji Kayode
    April 11, 2014

    SP, the thing is we are look for positive and best assumptions and calculations. But in real scenario, it can lead to certain other chaos like speed and rash driving, violating lane principles etc And that is why I said we are still responsible for our decisions and actions.

  7. prabhakar_deosthali
    April 11, 2014

    In my opinion, the connected car can become fuel efficient if the driving control is alos kept with the automatic control system and not with the human driver.

    If the Human driver is allowed to override what the machine thinks right, then all the advantages of the conencted car infrastructure will get nullified .

  8. Daniel
    April 14, 2014

    “As our cars are becoming sophisticated day by day so also drivers need to become more careful and knowledgeable about dependency on electronics influencing their decision- making. we are in the era of ” machine- supported human race” and no going back.”

    Adeniji, you are right. Such things can creat more dependency and can create such issues.

  9. Daniel
    April 14, 2014

    “In my opinion, the connected car can become fuel efficient if the driving control is alos kept with the automatic control system and not with the human driver.”

    Prabhakar, you are right. More automation can create vechile more fuel efficent and comfortable. At the same time it can temp drivers for careless driving too

  10. Adeniji Kayode
    April 16, 2014

    @Jacob, The more sophisticated our electronics become, the more safe we seems to get but the more lazy we sometimes get too

  11. Daniel
    April 21, 2014

    “The more sophisticated our electronics become, the more safe we seems to get but the more lazy we sometimes get too”

    Adeniji, sophisticated means about its easiness and comfort. That can create more dependency with the device and hence finally a stage where we cannot leave with out that.

  12. Wale Bakare
    April 21, 2014

    We are all moving towards smart citiies/villages, no doubt about it. The more we seek to integrate physical devices to the internet, complexity grows. This makes the cyber physical devices more challenging  – real time applications and others.

    Lazy? Well may be people in other professions would need to learn newer things so as to keep up with the future opportunities.

     

  13. Wale Bakare
    April 21, 2014

    I cant disagree with you. I dont really think human involvement would have great impact as such. Once a car lighting, breaking and stoping are being controlled by an external controller(s), the jobs now rest on the car.

    Nevertheless, we are going to put more loads on the car's ECUs. What's powering the systems?

  14. Daniel
    April 24, 2014

    “”That can create more dependency with the device and hence finally a stage where we cannot leave with out that.” – We'll just live in the cars forever, then”

    Rich, noty nly about car, its truw with most of the day to day using devices

  15. Eldredge
    April 25, 2014

    @Rich – I've seen some cars that look like they are already being lived in…but I don't think these were connected cars.

  16. Daniel
    May 4, 2014

    “”Rich, noty nly about car, its truw with most of the day to day using devices” It's very true that that's true.”

    That's true Rich.

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