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Technical Paper

On-Track Measurement of Road Load Changes in Two Close-Following Vehicles: Methods and Results

As emerging automated vehicle technology is making advances in safety and reliability, engineers are also exploring improvements in energy efficiency with this new paradigm. Powertrain efficiency receives due attention, but also impactful is finding ways to reduce driving losses in coordinated-driving scenarios. Efforts focused on simulation to quantify road load improvements require a sufficient amount of background validation work to support them. This study uses a practical approach to directly quantify road load changes by testing the coordinated driving of two vehicles on a test track at various speeds (64, 88, 113 km/h) and vehicle time gaps (0.3 to 1.3 s). Axle torque sensors were used to directly measure the load required to maintain steady-state speeds while following a lead vehicle at various gap distances.
Journal Article

Real-World Thermal Effects on Wheel Assembly Efficiency of Conventional and Electric Vehicles

It is widely understood that cold ambient temperatures negatively impact vehicle system efficiency. This is due to a combination of factors: increased friction (engine oil, transmission, and driveline viscous effects), cold start enrichment, heat transfer, and air density variations. Although the science of quantifying steady-state vehicle component efficiency is mature, transient component efficiencies over dynamic ambient real-world conditions is less understood and quantified. This work characterizes wheel assembly efficiencies of a conventional and electric vehicle over a wide range of ambient conditions. For this work, the wheel assembly is defined as the tire side axle spline, spline housing, bearings, brakes, and tires. Dynamometer testing over hot and cold ambient temperatures was conducted with a conventional and electric vehicle instrumented to determine the output energy losses of the wheel assembly in proportion to the input energy of the half-shafts.
Journal Article

Developing a Utility Factor for Battery Electric Vehicles

As new advanced-technology vehicles are becoming more mainstream, analysts are studying their potential impact on petroleum use, carbon emissions, and smog emissions. Determining the potential impacts of widespread adoption requires testing and careful analysis. PHEVs possess unique operational characteristics that require evaluation in terms of actual in-use driving habits. SAE J2841, “Utility Factor Definitions for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using 2001 U.S. DOT National Household Travel Survey Data,” published by SAE in 2009 with a revision in 2010, is a guide to using DOT's National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data to estimate the relative split between driving in charge-depleting (CD) mode and charge-sustaining (CS) mode for a particular PHEV with a given CD range. Without this method, direct comparisons of the merits of various vehicle designs (e.g., efficiency and battery size) cannot be made among PHEVs, or between PHEVs and other technologies.
Technical Paper

Direct Measurement of Powertrain Component Efficiencies for a Light-Duty Vehicle with a CVT Operating Over a Driving Cycle

In order to determine the factors that affect fuel economy quantitatively, the power flows through the major powertrain components were measured during operation over transient cycles. The fuel consumption rate and torque and speed of the engine output and axle shafts were measured to assess the power flows in a vehicle with a CVT. The measured power flows were converted to energy loss for each component to get the efficiency. Tests were done at Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the FTP and for two different CVT shift modes. The measured energy distributions were compared with those from the ADVISOR simulation and to results from the PNGV study. For both the Hot 505 and the Cold 505, and for both shift modes, the major powertrain loss occurs in the engine, including or excluding standby losses. However, the efficiency of the drivetrain/transmission is important because it influences the efficiency of the engine.