Quantifying the benefits of vehicle modifications on in-service fuel consumption requires detailed data about vehicle fuel consumption as a function of the driving environment – speeds, elevations, weather, etc, as well as computer models of vehicle performance.
The SRF has developed an android-phone-based data logging system which captures a wide range of data during normal vehicle operations, in service. The data set includes vehicle motion, GPS, engine performance, driver input, weather and traffic; logged at frequencies up to 100Hz. This data is sent automatically to a database system operated by the SRF researchers, enabling many vehicles to be logged simultaneously.
Statistical analysis of the test data enables precise assessment of the benefits of vehicle modification such as aerodynamic improvements, low-rolling-resistance tyres, light-weighting, driving style, etc. It also enables accurate mathematical models of vehicle fuel consumption to be identified.
Reliable information about the benefits of vehicle modifications and accurate computer models of vehicle performance enable operators to ask ‘what-if’ questions about possible future decarbonisation strategies and possible cost reductions.