DENVER - Intermap Technologies Corp. announced it has provisioned a grant to Auburn University to investigate and evaluate ways to save fuel using the Company's GIS 3D road geometries. The project's initial focus is on achieving simulation results and designing a predictive cruise controller and automatic gear shifting algorithm to calculate optimal vehicle speed and gear selection that improve fuel economy and operating costs.
A significant amount of the fuel expense in the heavy trucking industry is attributed to changes in road slope. In an effort to address this problem, Intermap has sponsored a research team headed by Dr. David Bevly, assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Auburn University's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
Eaton Corporation, one of the world's major suppliers of heavy duty transmissions, is serving in an advisory role and sees significant efficiency opportunities in the project. “We are looking forward to the results of this work,” states Daniel G. Smedley, manager of advanced automation & control for Eaton Corporation's Truck Technology group. “It opens up a new avenue of pursuit to help our customers get more miles out of a gallon of diesel fuel.”
According to Wei Huang, a member of Bevly's research team leading the research effort, the project is unique in two ways, "First, the designed system is tested with real commercial 3D road geometry. Then, the influence of the road geometry and sensor accuracy on fuel economy is investigated. The 3D road geometry and GPS- based control system is designed to reduce the heavy trucks' fuel consumption. The system consists of vehicle state estimators, the road geometry, and an optimal control system."
GPS technology is applied to estimate the truck position, while Intermap's 3D road geometry is used to identify information on the road slope that lies ahead. An optimal control system is then designed to predict and achieve ideal truck velocity and/or engine speed, based on the road geometry, with the consideration of fuel consumption and travel time. The basic function of this optimal control system is to automatically gauge when best to accelerate, decelerate, or change gears going into and coming out of slopes and curves.
"Early results have shown that truck fuel consumption can be reduced up to three percent without significantly increasing traveling time, when compared with a conventional cruise control system," adds Huang. According to the American Trucking Association, motor carriers spent $103.3 billion on fuel in 2006. Increased fuel efficiency will help carriers reduce their fuel consumption and overall operating costs — potentially saving approximately $3 billion dollars and a billion gallons of diesel per year. The Auburn study will also look at the tradeoffs between increased travel time and additional fuel savings.
“This is exciting news for the industry,” states Eric DesRoche, senior vice president of Intermap's Automotive & Consumer Electronics division. “We are proud to be part of such a unique and visionary project that has the potential of reducing our vehicle carbon footprint and providing a substantial savings for the trucking industry.”
About Intermap Technologies
Intermap (TSX: IMP.TO, AIM: IMAP.L) enables customers to facilitate better decision-making and create applications for numerous commercial, governmental, military, and consumer products through the purchase of high quality and affordable 3D geometric datasets. The Company is proactively remapping entire countries and building unprecedented national databases, called NEXTMap®, consisting of highly accurate digital geometric maps that include elevation data.
Demand for NEXTMap® data is growing as new commercial applications are emerging, including geographical information systems (GIS), engineering planning, transportation, automotive, navigation, flood, irrigation, environmental management and planning, telecommunications/wireless network planning, aviation, simulation, and 3D visualization. Internet applications include virtual tours, topographic maps, and computer games. Datasets are also used to add interactive intelligence to airborne and satellite imagery.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intermap employs more than 500 people worldwide, with additional offices in Calgary, Detroit, Jakarta, London, Munich, Ottawa, and Prague. For more information, visit www.intermap.com.
Kevin Thomas, Vice President, Marketing
Intermap Reader Advisory
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