A Retrofittable Fuel Usage Monitor and Economizer

Period of Performance: 03/18/2008 - 09/18/2008

$99.7K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22901
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Vehicle fuel efficiency is a complex function of many variables, including vehicle condition, vehicle loading, engine condition, terrain, fuel type, and driving style. High fuel costs increase the need to optimize fuel efficiency with respect to as many variables as possible. An affordable, retrofittable intelligent vehicle performance and fuel economy maximization system would have widespread application to military and commercial vehicles. Barron Associates, Inc. and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) propose to develop the Fuel Usage Monitor and Economizer (FUME) - an intelligent, open architecture vehicle performance monitoring and fuel efficiency optimization system. FUME will feature two primary components: (1) vehicle and engine health monitoring and (2) real-time operational guidance to maximize fuel efficiency given the current operating conditions. The vehicle and engine health monitoring component of FUME will build upon an ongoing, related research collaboration between Barron Associates and SwRI. The real-time fuel efficiency optimization component of FUME will combine Barron Associates' online system identification algorithms with fuel property classification technology developed by SwRI. The FUME core intelligent agent will be hardware independent; therefore, the specific instrumentation suite, computing hardware, and user interface may be designed for each unique vehicle class based on space, weight, and budget constraints.