1 3 F o c u s Put in greatly simplified terms, the Connected Powertrain principle means that the powertrain communicates with its driving environment in order to make better use of existing optimization potentials. This can contribute towards the further reduction of vehicle consumption and emission levels. Given the major significance of this novel technology, the international AVL conference “Engine & Environment,” taking place from Sep. 5-6, 2013 in Graz, will be dedicated to this subject. Modern vehicles today are already provided with a vast number of systems and sensors capable of gathering and processing additional information about the driving environment, for example navigation system devices that include traffic reporting and topographical information or adaptive cruise control devices with park distance control. Up until now, the use of this type of information was mainly limited to driver assistance systems and various safety and comfort features. The idea behind the Connected Powertrain concept is this: if the data provided by such systems – and those yet to be developed – are additionally used for the powertrain’s operating strategy, savings can be achieved in S y s t e m O p t i m i z a t i o n consumption and the vehicle’s realworld emissions. This can be used with the classic powertrain – e.g. by applying an optimized gear shifting strategy – or with electrified solutions. Particularly where the hybrid drive is concerned, merely having the option of selecting the most efficient drive system suitable provides for a wide playing field for optimization. “The Connected Powertrain is all about harnessing different types of environment-related information to achieve perfect interaction between all components of the powertrain. This information from the outside can serve to exploit any existing, yet unrealized potential – for example in any hybrid drive – to enhance efficiency. At the moment, no more than around 30 percent of the potential provided by the connection between the components is exploited,” explains Klaus Küpper, Head of AVL Drive System Development. “The important thing now is to exploit this potential, because it is only through a connected powertrain » At the moment, no more than around 30 percent of the potential available due to the connection between the components is used. « Klaus Küper, Head of Drive System Development > The Connected Powertrain enables the optimized interplay of the five elements of the electrified powertrain and their ideal dimensioning.
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