Okay, we get it. Your Toyota Prius is already an excellent car with mileage so high that it puts every solo gas using car to absolute shame. But what’s that? You say you want even better mileage from your Prius, so that you can use even less gas because you can run on your car’s battery for a longer amount of time? Well then, you’re in luck, because researchers have just figured out a way to make your gas sipping car even more efficient.
The way they’ve done is to let you track the route that you take to work.
The solution that the Prius has right now is that, when you’re battery runs out of power, the Prius starts using your gas supply. It works, but it isn’t the best use of power by any means.
Now however a system has been developed by Chalmers University of Technology and professor Viktor Larsson that will analyze the daily route that you use to go to work, including any detours to places that you go to regularly (Starbucks anyone?), and once it knows your route will then determine the best way to get the most life out of your battery.
For example, when you’re on the highway your Prius may switch to gasoline as it’s more efficient, saving the stored power in your battery to use when you’re in stop and go traffic closer to the office.
It’s not going to save you a huge amount of money on gasoline by any means, but Prof. Larsson predicts that it could reduce the energy consumption of your Prius by up to 10% and, since the technology behind most hybrid cars is relatively the same, the new device will be able to work on most of them. It simply needs to be able to set up a communication between your car’s battery and engine via the computer in order to do it.
Similar technology has already been developed by Prof. Larsson for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, where testing and simulations have already been carried out. Tests have also been done to see if using a smart phone, in place of the computer server that powers the cars management system, could be an option.
In any case, look for the new technology to arrive sometime in the next few months and help your already ultra-mileage hybrid vehicle to get even more miles out of a gallon of gas and its bank of batteries.