Rule of thumb: The generally accepted rule is that diesel is worthwhile for people who drive a lot, and that anyone else should choose a gasoline-driven car. After all, a diesel-powered car consumes up to 25 percent less fuel, but gasoline-powered cars are often cheaper in terms of purchase price, insurance, and running costs. In Germany, depending on the model, a diesel-powered car will be worth the extra investment if annual mileage exceeds 15,000 kilometers.
Both powertrains have their strengths: When deciding which powertrain to choose, however, drivers should consider more than just annual mileage: “Both powertrains have their strengths in different vehicle classes. A modern gasoline powertrain makes even affordable compact cars efficient, while an advanced diesel powertrain can keep consumption low and driving enjoyment high in a big station wagon,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. There are similar advantages in other segments as well: while the responsiveness of modern gasoline powertrains makes them stand out in thoroughbred sports cars, the strong torque of the diesel powertrain is best for large SUVs.
Info chart: Bosch has put together a compact chart outlining the information drivers need to make the right choice. The advantages of the two powertrains are compared, and those who are uncertain can decide whether their individual driving profile is best suited to the diesel or gasoline variant. In addition, the info chart provides insights into the German car market, and shows the best-selling gasoline and diesel models.
Collaborative research project to increase efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles
Eco-routing opens energy saving potential of up to 30 percent
Optimized driving strategies reduce energy consumption up to 36 percent
Project co-funded by the European Commission
At its final review in Vigo, Spain, on July 17 and 18, 2014, the European research project OpEneR presented collaboratively developed driving strategies and driver assistance systems that will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of both electric and hybrid vehicles in the future. This greater efficiency will help unlock the market for fully electric and hybrid vehicles: by increasing driving range without enlarging the battery. Engineers and researchers have worked to improve the electrical powertrain, the regenerative braking system, the navigation system, and the surround sensors, as well as on functions that connect these elements with each other. The two fully operational electric vehicles they have built have already demonstrated an impressive potential for making driving in real conditions more economical.
OpEneR, which stands for “optimal energy consumption and recovery based on a system network,” was launched in May 2011. The project partners are the Austrian powertrain development company AVL List GmbH, the Spanish research institute Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia (CTAG), the German research institute Forschungszentrum Informatik Karlsruhe (FZI), the second largest carmaker in Europe PSA Peugeot Citroën, and the German companies Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH. The project is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Program, co-funded by the European Commission – Directorate Communications Networks, Content and Technology. The total budget was 7.74 million euros, 4.4 million euros of this sum in the form of subsidies. The project was led by Bosch.
One task was the development of “eco routing”. This considers the specific needs of an electric vehicle when calculating the best route. The navigation system now continuously factors in the car's real energy consumption behavior. Test drives demonstrated energy consumption savings of up to 30 percent in return for a longer travel time of just 14 percent. Shortcuts in inner-city traffic proved to be a particularly effective way of increasing efficiency.
Various solutions increase driving efficiency It has long been widely accepted that a proactive driving style is the most effective way to reduce fuel consumption. The behavior of the ACC adaptive cruise control has therefore been especially adapted to an economical driving style. Additionally, enhanced map data also includes information on inclines, declines, and speed limits, while car-to-infrastructure communication provides information about traffic lights. These data create an electronic horizon that can be used to further optimize both the ACC function and the coasting function. This feature tells drivers when to lift the accelerator pedal as they approach city boundaries or speed limits. The transmission then switches to idle, making the most of the car's momentum.
An intuitive HMI concept and an attractive cockpit based on a freely programmable TFT display also have been designed to make all the relevant information easy to read. In addition, the enhanced map data makes the calculation of the remaining mileage significantly more accurate and transparent to the driver.
A further major task was to find the ideal interaction between the electrical powertrain and the regenerative braking system. For the best possible recuperation, engineers equipped the two Peugeot 3008 e-4WD demo cars with the Bosch iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster, and an ESP® brake control system specifically adapted for electric vehicles. The powertrain concept comprises two electric motors – one per axle – that can both drive as well as recuperate. On that technical basis, the partners have developed innovative recuperation strategies, including a regenerative brake force distribution between front and rear, optimizing recuperation rates as well as vehicle stability.
To support the development process, the team used advanced co-simulation techniques, including realistic vehicle and environment interaction. A seamless approach was employed to enable fast migration of the developed functions and their simulated test cases for further development and validation on the AVL InMotion™ powertrain testbed.
As these features were incorporated into the two prototypes, numerous test drives were performed. To evaluate the efficiency gain, the simulation tools and testbeds developed by AVL, Bosch, and FZI were used, as well as the private test tracks belonging to Bosch and CTAG, and CTAG's intelligent public road corridor. In comparison to a typical sporty driver, the operation strategies finally resulted in a reduced energy consumption of 27 to 36 percent, with an increase in travel time of between 8 to 21 percent – depending on the driver's willingness to follow the recommendations. Approximately 5 percentage points of the energy consumption reduction are due to intelligent torque distribution between the front and rear electric motors, which has no influence on travel time at all.
About AVL: AVL is the world's largest independent company for the development of powertrain systems with internal combustion engines as well as instrumentation and test systems. AVL is acting in the following scopes of business. Development of Powertrain Systems - AVL develops and improves all kinds of powertrain systems and is a competent partner to the engine and automotive industry. Simulation - In addition AVL develops and markets the simulation methods which are necessary for the development work. Engine Instrumentation and Test Systems - The products of this business area comprise all the instruments and systems required for engine and vehicle testing. For more information, please visit https://www.avl.com/home.
About Bosch: Automotive Technology is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2013, its sales came to 30.6 billion euros, or 66 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Automotive Technology largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. For more information, please visit www.bosch.com.
About CTAG: CTAG, Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia, provides research, development and innovation to the automotive and the transport sector in general. Its 350 professionals work on different areas of the automotive cycle such as concept definition, product development, process analysis and physical validation, being able to cover different project stages, from applied research to product life. In February 2014, CTAG inaugurated new facilities devoted to Electronics and Intelligent Transport Systems including test tracks. More than 150 specialists work nowadays on new intelligent driving technologies which aim to meet current and future needs of the automotive sector. They provide advanced skills in ADAS systems and vehicle automation, connectivity, electromobility and interior comfort, HMI, hardware and software development and validation of electronic systems. For more information, please visit www.ctag.com.
About FZI: Applied research in information technology with reliable knowledge and technology transfer is the core business and competence of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young scientists for their career in university or business as well as self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, research teams at FZI interdisciplinarily develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients. As an independent and non-profit research institution, FZI works for companies and public institutions regardless of company size: from small businesses to large corporations, from local public administrations to the European Union. The FZI House of Living Labs offers a unique research environment for applied research. For more information, please visit www.fzi.de.
About PSA Peugeot Citroën: With its three world-renowned brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS, PSA Peugeot Citroën sold 2.8 million vehicles worldwide in 2013, of which 42% outside Europe. The second largest carmaker in Europe, PSA Peugeot Citroën recorded sales and revenue of €54 billion in 2013. The Group is the European leader in low-carbon vehicles, with average emissions of 115.9 grams of CO2 per km in 2013. PSA Peugeot Citroën has sales operations in 160 countries. It is also involved in financing activities (Banque PSA Finance) and automotive equipment (Faurecia). For more information, please visit www.psa-peugeot-citroen.com.
The price and reliability of a mechanical pump combined with the efficiency of an electric one
“We revisited an established product and refined it down to the smallest detail”
Modular construction makes it possible to tailor the pump to modern gasoline and diesel engines
With its EVOII mechanical vacuum pump, Bosch has shown that conventional components still have considerable development potential. The company has made the economical mechanical pump lighter and much more efficient, putting it on a par with supposedly more efficient yet far more expensive electric vacuum pumps. The Bosch EVOII offers the best value for money on the market and reliably provides the vacuum for the brake booster. Costing up to 75 percent less than comparable electric pumps, this new generation is the ideal solution for modern gasoline and diesel engines. With CO2 emissions of less than 0.4 grams per kilometer, this pump performs just as well as its electric competitors. In addition, the extremely robust unit is contained within the engine compartment, so the driver hears nothing.
To realize this achievement, Bosch took its tried-and-tested pump, of which it has manufactured 45 million units to date, and revised it from the ground up. This new generation is 300 grams lighter than other mechanical vacuum pumps, and more than a kilogram lighter than electric ones. The difference is the thermoplastic rotor: its stable blades can create the necessary vacuum, while overall the unit weighs very little.
The functional principle of the mechanical vacuum pump has been firmly established for diesel engines for a long time. In recent years, there has also been a growing need for vacuum in modern gasoline engines due to the spread of gasoline direct injection, which in combination with engine downsizing reduces fuel consumption by up to 15 percent. As of 2013, some 40 percent of all new cars in Europe had direct fuel injection. Modern direct fuel injection systems need an additional pump, since the vacuum can no longer be controlled by the throttle valve.
The EVOII vacuum pump shows that even as Bosch works on large-scale trends, the company also places value on improving individual components. “With the EVOII, we reexamined an established product and refined every detail,” says Alessandro Fauda, head of development for the mechanical vacuum pump. As a consequence, the product is designed in such a way that it provides the necessary amount of vacuum while still creating the least amount of friction of any product on the market. The efficient design of housing and rotating elements is the result of intensive simulations and calculations. By changing certain parameters, Bosch is able to find the best solution for every engine application.
Another feature of the new generation of vacuum pumps is that they can be tailored to each customer and engine application. Depending on customer requirements, the Bosch vacuum pump can be driven by the crank- or camshaft, a gear or a chain. It can also be integrated with an oil or a fuel pump.
Smartphone camera reads traffic signs on the “drive by”
Technological prerequisites for highly automated driving functions
Get myDriveAssist free from the App Store or Google Play Store
The myDriveAssist app recently developed by Bosch engineers is able to read traffic signs as well as to record and process other information for new vehicle functions. The data is collected by smartphones on the road, then analyzed by a central server and made available once again to the vehicle applications.
Bosch app warns drivers not to speed The Bosch app available free of charge in the App Store and Google Play Store uses the camera integrated in the smartphone to read traffic signs. With its help, the program recognizes traffic signs as it is “driving by” and identifies speed limits, cancellation signs and no-passing zones. In addition, the myDriveAssist app warns the driver visually and acoustically not to exceed the speed limit.
The traffic signs recognized can also be used to update the digital map stored on a central server: the traffic sign the camera identifies and its position as determined by the GPS receiver are reported anonymously to the central server. You could say that the camera “observes” the surroundings “through the eyes of the cars.”
A maze of signs The information on the surroundings that users gather can be very quickly integrated into the digital map. The speed limits can then be automatically shared with and made available to other road users. This means that drivers are no longer dependent on local traffic signs alone; they can reap the benefits of the latest information available across the entire country. The smartphone myDriveAssist app now helps you to make your way through the traffic-sign jungle and increases traffic safety.