In an effort to boost the range of pure electric vehicles, the University of California, Riverside has come with an interesting solution; an EV-specific GPS.
The university says that by using such a system, an electric vehicle’s range can be increased by 10 percent without any changes to the driveline, but how?
Well, according to an associate professor on the research faculty at Riverside, Kanok Boriboonsomsin; the issue with most current GPS systems is that they look for the shortest distance possible between two points. Riverside’s new system, dubbed the EcoRoute, works differently.
In an effort to optimize a driving route for EV range, it looks at factors such as traffic conditions, (congestion can significantly increase electron usage), the types of road along the route (Expressways can seriously deplete EV range) and even gradients (since steep inclines can eat up EV range, while downhill sections can help increase it via regenerative braking).
The university is also looking at other factors, which could be incorporated, including sensors that measure weight in the vehicle (items in the trunk, how many passengers onboard etc.) and then use that data to help plan the best possible driving route for maximum EV range.
Riverside has received a $95,000 grant from the California Energy Commission and plans to begin trials of its new EV-friendly GPS next year. As for availability, Boriboonsomsin said that will likely be up to the automakers. “We won’t put it on the market ourselves,” he remarked. “Our role at the university is to develop the technology and automakers will decided whether to adopt it.”