drivers today are used to not having to look for a route themselves; now, they simply enter the required destination in the navigation device. Whether there is enough fuel in the tank to reach the destination without stopping along the way is normally of secondary importance here. However, this is very much an issue for drivers of electric vehicles. The international automotive supplier Continental has therefore created the Simplify your Drive for Electric Vehicles concept vehicle. In the new concept vehicle, drivers can experience how easy operation and intelligent networking of navigation data and vehicle electronics can be transformed into a highly successful means of countering range anxiety in electric vehicles. Up to now, vehicles have estimated the remaining range on the basis of the average consumption over the last kilometers covered. With Simplify your Drive for Electric Vehicles, we are turning the tables, so to speak, and allowing the vehicle to look forward, declares Ralf Lenninger, head of the strategy and development department at Continental’s Interior division. This allows us to make a much more accurate statement regarding the range and the driver does not have to fear a breakdown due to an empty battery.
Depending on whether the driver is planning an extended trip or just has a few short trips to make in the local town, he simply has to push a button on the touchscreen in the center console to set a suitable driving profile when starting the car. For example, if he chooses the Journey profile for a long trip, the vehicle immediately asks him to enter the destination. Simplify your Drive then calculates whether the destination can be reached with the battery charge and prioritizes the vehicle's internal additional consumers in order to ensure an optimized range. In the Fun profile, the EV looks for charging stations along the route. If, by contrast, the driver selects the City profile, the range calculation refers to the home address set in the navigation. If the energy level reaches level, at which it might get critical to get back home, it shows the driver the possible options: start the return journey, switch off additional energy consumers, or a charging station in the vicinity. The driver can see at a glance in which profile the vehicle is currently in: depending on the profile, the design of the display in the dashboard changes. The dashboard consists entirely of a 12.3 inch monitor. The touch display also shows information about the driving profile, from the navigation, the infotainment or the air conditioning system in the center console. Simplify your Drive places the driver's needs center stage. As a result, not only does he not have to deal with calculations or planning, but the concept also demonstrates how smart electronics with intuitive operation can increase acceptance of electric vehicles, says Lenninger.
An even more accurate route to your destination, thanks to telematics and tire pressure monitoring
##IMAGE_3_R##When the Simplify your Drive vehicle is being charged, the driver can use the telematics system AutoLinQ for electric vehicles to monitor the charging process online at any time or to have a text message or e-mail sent to him when the required charge state has been reached. In the future, this function can also be directly connected to the range calculation. The vehicle issues a report as soon as the battery charge for the planned route is sufficient. In addition, it will be possible to include real time data about the current traffic situation or weather in the calculation by means of telematics and the intelligent antenna module in the future. Also other in-vehicle functions are available to make the range calculation even more accurate. Innovative Continental tire pressure sensors installed in the tire's contact surface can calculate the tire pressure and temperature as well as the exact battery charge. They can also include the rolling resistance of the tires in the range calculation. In the future, the proposed solutions that are then worked out for reaching the destination with the current battery charge could include the following: reducing the engine power to a specific level, adjusting the tire pressure depending on the charge, or driving a more efficient route depending on the current traffic situation. The eHorizon technology is already available as standard in trucks and passenger cars. In the future, automated vehicles will have an even more accurate knowledge of the route ahead thanks to eHorizon data generated online and be able to adapt their driving strategy accordingly.