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Smarter Traffic by Optimized Refueling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236209D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-11
Document File: 5 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

"Smarter Traffic by Optimized Refueling" combines a vehicle driver assist (or motor management) system with a gas station locator and a navigation system as input/output devices for a new component "refueling recommender". This refueling recommender suggests reachable service stops on the route according to a provided preference definition list: Suggested are a method and a system which, during the voyage, automatically perform the following steps: - Collect service station information along the future vehicle positions within the vehicle‘s current range on the route according to the navigation system - Calculate repeatedly the best refueling stop by considering: fuel consumption (detour relevance), travel time (detour relevance), number of refueling stops, extra fuel consumption when driving with completely filled tank, service station opening hours, availability of required energy source, price of energy source (current and outlook) - Compile a list of recommended service stations on the route in range

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Method and System for Optimized Refueling to Support Smarter Traffic Policies

Refueling a vehicle today

Energy sources (also referred to as fuel) for vehicles include gasoline, natural gas, and electrical energy. They are stored within the vehicle in an appropriate energy storage device like tank or battery.

Service stations (also referred to as gas stations) do not always offer all types of energy sources. Esp. natural gas and electrical energy are uncommon, thus not available area-wide.

However, the refueling demand of a vehicle is usually recognized by the driver when the vehicle's energy storage device is almost empty. Then, the driver has to rely on an appropriate service station in reach. Although not optimal, this method works more or less well for common gasoline vehicles, but is less appropriate for uncommon natural gas or electrical energy vehicles.

Moreover, this method does not allow for refueling at the best preferences of the driver or fleet provider (e.g. optimizing range of vehicle, using certain service station chain, finding best price etc.). Fulfilling those preferences must be managed by the driver and well-timed in advance of the refueling demand. This requires planning capacity of the driver. Especially, long-distance driving cannot be managed optimal regarding refueling since the driver is in charge of driving the vehicle.

Driver assisting systems (range control of the vehicle, navigation system, mobile applications like gas station finder and fuel price informer) are available. However, they are not integrated but stand-alone components. The integration of those components has to be done virtually and repeatedly for each single refueling demand by the driver. Changing driver-vehicle tuples, as it is the usual situation for rental car fleet providers, even does not allow the actual driver to include vehicle-specific parameters into the refueling consideration (e.g. gut feeling about range of vehicle is not available).

This approach is "by design" less exact and differs in quality for each refueling action compared to how an integrated and automated system would perform those tasks for the driver.

Since such system is not available today, fleet providers depend on each individual driver to manage refueling at their pre-defined preferences.

This situation is failure-prone in regard to safe driving. Also, traffic flow is impacted negatively, and pre- defined preferences are often not met: as one demonstrative example, a cost benefit cannot be realized.

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Optimized refueling a vehicle makes traffic smarter

Suggested are a method and a system which, during the voyage, automatically perform the following steps:

- Collect service station information along the future vehicle positions within the vehicle's current range on the route according to the navigation system

- Calculate repeatedly the best refueling stop by considering: fuel consumption (detour relevance), travel time (detour relevance), number...