TRW green concept highlights fuel efficiency potential

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: energy management
TRW Automotive Holdings Corporation is demonstrating a number of ways in which it is supporting vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and emissions - beyond powertrain solutions. In addition to developing fuel efficient steering, braking and heating ventilation and air conditioning technologies, TRW is demonstrating how its driver assistance systems could be used to support driver behavior and further optimize fuel consumption.

Peter Lake, executive vice president, Sales and Business Development said: "There is more to fuel efficiency than just powertrain. While 60 to 70 percent of the fuel's energy input to the vehicle is lost in the powertrain and driveline, the remaining 30 to 40 percent offers great opportunities for improved energy use. This includes driving habits - which can have a major impact on fuel consumption. We could think about the concept of a 'Green Button' within the vehicle, which automatically ensures that the driver is travelling in the most fuel efficient mode.

"Several of TRW's current systems could be used to manage improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions levels. Working on the theory that a driver could select a 'fuel efficient mode,' systems would respond to optimize both safety and fuel efficient driving patterns. It has also been demonstrated that driver assist systems can help to improve traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion - a potentially significant contribution to reducing harmful emissions."

For example, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) would maintain a safe driving distance while optimizing acceleration and deceleration rates with fluctuations in traffic flow to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. (1) Research carried out on vehicles equipped with ACC technology over a five-month period revealed that fuel consumption was reduced by three percent.

In addition, map and positioning data could communicate with the ACC system to manage power and acceleration based on information regarding the grade of upcoming hills or sharpness of bends. Intelligent camera systems can read traffic signs and communication devices can receive signals from road infrastructure to anticipate speed reductions or traffic signals to begin deceleration and optimize energy recovery during stopping. As another example, TRW's video-based Lane Guide System would ensure the most efficient road trajectory to eliminate wasteful friction caused by additional steering maneuvers.

  TRW fuel efficient technologies include:

   Slip Control Boost (SCB) and ESC-R: TRW's regenerative braking systems
    (ESC-R and SCB) provide full stability control and work seamlessly
    within a hybrid system to provide brake blending between the friction
    brake system and the deceleration provided by the electric motor.
    Regenerative braking is used in full hybrid powertrains to recover
    brake energy to help recharge the batteries rather than dissipating
    the energy through heat in the friction brakes.  Regenerative braking
    can provide up to 7 percent fuel efficiency benefits, and TRW's
    systems are key enablers to implement full hybrid powertrain systems
    that can provide over 30 percent fuel efficiency benefits.
   With TRW Electrically Assisted Steering systems, energy for the
    steering assist is provided via an electric motor rather than via a
    hydraulic pump driven by the vehicle's engine. Therefore, energy
    consumption of the power steering system is about 75 percent to 85
    percent lower than a conventional hydraulic steering system, thereby
    reducing overall fuel consumption by up to 4 percent. In addition, by
    decoupling the steering system from the internal combustion engine,
    EAS systems are a critical enabler to start-stop systems, hybrid
    electric vehicles, and electric vehicles that cannot rely on engine
    power to provide steering assist at all times.
   Driving Behaviour
   Radar sensors: TRW's 24 GHz and 77 GHz radar sensors offer ACC
    functionality, which ensure consistent driving behavior and result in
    a positive impact on fuel consumption.
   GPS: TRW systems can be linked with GPS information indicating
    upcoming curves / inclines and ensure the correct gear is chosen.
   Video sensors: TRW's video sensors offer lane guide functionality,
    which allows the driver to steer in the most direct route within the
    lane - using less energy from the steering system. Traffic sign
    recognition capabilities can also optimize driving patterns.
   TPMS: TRW offers direct and indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
    - informing the driver when tires are under inflated to improve
    rolling resistance and reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent.
   Climate Control
   TRW's Efficient Comfort Control system minimizes energy draw on
    vehicle powertrains, while maintaining occupant comfort through
    advanced HVAC control algorithms, contributing up to 5 percent fuel
    efficiency gains.
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