Driving style, road geometry, and traffic conditions have a significant impact on vehicles' fuel economy. In general, drivers are not aware of the optimal velocity profile for a given route. Indeed, the global optimal velocity trajectory depends on many factors, and its calculation requires intensive computations. In this paper, we discuss the optimization of the speed trajectory to minimize fuel consumption and communicate it to the driver. With this information the driver can adjust his/her speed profile to reduce the overall fuel consumption. We propose to perform the computation-intensive calculations on a distinct computing platform called the “cloud.” In our approach, the driver sends the information of the intended travel destination to the cloud. In the cloud, the server generates a route, collects the associated traffic and geographical information, and solves the optimization problem by a spatial domain dynamic programming (DP) algorithm that utilizes accurate vehicle and fuel consumption models to determine the optimal speed trajectory along the route. Then, the server sends the speed trajectory to the vehicle where it is communicated to the driver. We tested the approach on a prototype vehicle equipped with a visual interface mounted on the dash of a test vehicle. The test results show 5%-15% improvement in fuel economy depending on the driver and route without a significant effect on the travel time. Although this paper implements the speed advisory system in a conventional vehicle, the solution is generic, and it is applicable to any kind of powertrain structure.
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