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Driver induced coasting of a motor vehicle

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248426D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-28
Document File: 7 page(s) / 106K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

According to the present disclosure, a facilitated method for initiating coasting (freewheeling) of a motor vehicle is achieved. The method comprises: receiving a signal generated at an initiative of a driver of the vehicle and at a point in time determined by the driver, said signal indicating that coasting is desired; and, in response to the receipt of said signal, controlling a powertrain of the vehicle such that the vehicle is coasted. The signal may be obtained from an input means provided in connection with an accelerator pedal of the motor vehicle, such that the driver can provide said signal by tapping the accelerator pedal. The driver can thereby easily and intuitively generate the signal.

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Driver induced coasting of a motor vehicle

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a method for driver initiated coasting (or frewheeling) of a motor vehicle. By a motor vehicle is herein intended a vehicle which is powered by an internal combustion engine and/or by an electric motor. In particular, but not exclusively, the method is intended for use in a heavy motor vehicle such as a truck or a bus.

During coasting, the powertrain is disengaged such that there is no mechanical connection between the engine/electric motor and the gearbox. In other words, there is essentially no power transmitted through a gearbox from the engine/electric motor to driving wheels of the vehicle. This may be achieved by opening a clutch or by engaging a neutral gear of the gearbox.

BACKGROUND AND PRIOR ART

Automatic coasting of a motor vehicle whose vehicle speed is controlled by means of a speed regulating cruise control may typically be initiated when information relating to topographic information about the road section ahead of the vehicle is available, and when an analysis of this information indicates that coasting would be suitable. Topographic information is used in various cruise control systems and may be retrieved in different ways. The road gradient may e.g. be determined on the basis of map data from digital maps containing topographical information, in combination with positioning information, e.g. GPS (global positioning system) information. In systems where there is information exchange between vehicles, road gradients estimated by one vehicle may also be made available to other vehicles.

Coasting may in many cases reduce the fuel consumption of the vehicle and it is therefore desirable to set the vehicle to coasting when suitable. However, the cruise control typically defines limits for when automatic coasting can be initiated based on the retrieved topographic information, or other information relating to road and/or traffic conditions.

In a motor vehicle equipped with a speed regulating cruise control but without means for retrieving and/or analysing topographic information, automatic coasting is typically not initiated.

In both cases mentioned above, if the driver wants to initiate coasting, for example in order to let the vehicle coast to a place where he/she wants the vehicle to stop, coasting has to be initiated manually by e.g. opening the clutch or by shifting to a neutral gear. This operation inactivates the cruise control. The cruise control therefore has to be reactivated at a later stage, if the driver so wishes.

In a motor vehicle equipped with an automatic gearbox and driven manually by a driver, i.e. without speed regulating cruise control, the driver can initiate coasting manually by shifting to a neutral gear or by disengaging the clutch. However, this requires shifting back to a drive gear once the driver wishes to abort the coasting.

Methods for driver initiated coasting have been previously disclosed in e.g. US20030...