|November 20, 2007
Audi “Clean Air, a Viable Planet” Initiative
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Audi Engineers at the company's California Electronic Research Labs believe that the next step in reducing carbon dioxide emissions will come through "connected" vehicles.
Ralph Weyler, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing, Audi AG, announced today at the Los Angeles Auto Show that Audi is working with three California universities on six multi-year research projects. The efforts are aimed at reducing CO2 emissions through more intelligent interactions between driver and car, cars on the road, and in the collection and distribution of real-time traffic patterns. The name of the project is "Clean Air, a Viable Planet." Audi researchers are working with the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Riverside, and Stanford University.
Daniel Rosario, Audi manager of Connected Vehicles, in explaining the research said that the shortest route to a destination is not necessarily the optimized CO2 route.
"The path between two points can be measured in distance, but it can also be measured in the amount of carbon dioxide that our vehicles emit," he said. "Through this research we believe that information provided by connected vehicles will allow a driver to decide the best route to achieve the lowest CO2 emissions."
The technology exists today to connect vehicles, now researches and engineers need to integrate these technologies into what Rosario calls an "Intelligent Vehicle Network".
"The goal is sustainable transportation," said Rosario. "Driving behavior can improve fuel efficiency by 20 percent. This initiative could improve that by another 20 percent."
Audi ‘Clean Air, A Viable Planet’ research initiative
Audi is aware of today’s environmental challenges and is actively engaged in promoting cutting-edge, emissions-reduction technology in its products. In order to accelerate the development of fuel-efficient vehicle concepts with lower emissions, Audi and its California Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) are supporting research programs at selected California universities as part of a wide-ranging research initiative with the motto ‘Clean Air, a viable planet’. The vision of this initiative is to create connected, intelligent vehicles that are capable of collaborating with their users and with each other to preserve the environment.
After an open request for proposals, six, multi-year research projects have been selected for funding at University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Riverside, and Stanford University:
(1) AudiStreets (UC Berkeley, California PATH) is focused on generating and sharing very reliable and up to the minute transportation information, including traffic on major freeways, as well as neighborhood roads and even alternatives to driving such as public transportation routes. The major research questions are to determine how many varied data sources are needed to create a network of dynamic transportation information and what are the best technologies to make your Audi a great communicator.
(2) Environmentally Friendly Navigation (UC Riverside) will use the traffic information generated by AudiStreets together with up-to-date map attributes such as road grade and speed limit to provide the most environmentally friendly navigation route options to Audi’s MMI navigation system, and empower our customers to make viable, emissions-friendly, routing decisions.
(3) Smart Engines (UC Berkeley) brings the engine into the information loop, using real-time data from the AudiStreets network to allow automated engine control decisions that are emissions-friendly. Imagine an Audi that already knows that the road ahead is steep and that the weather there will be cold and can adjust its transmission and climate control beforehand to improve the comfort of the drive as well as its overall efficiency.
(4) Smart Nodes (Stanford University) makes intelligent reuse of existing sensors on your Audi. Taking advantage of the small cameras that are already on your Audi to help make parking effortless and keep you driving safely in your lane, the research team hopes to capture periodic images while driving so as to classify traffic density and incidents and generate valuable information that can be shared by the AudiStreets network as our vehicles collaborate to ease their way around traffic.
(5) Incentive modeling and user behavior (Stanford University) will investigate different incentives to promote the use of environmentally friendly features and environmentally friendly driving behavior. We know our customers are already eco-conscious but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to know how we can give them an extra nudge to think green.
(6) Vibration energy harvesting (Stanford University) will aim to create micro electro-mechanical systems that can turn minute vehicle vibrations into a clean energy source for our very efficient on board Audi sensors. Ultimately, the goal is a lighter Audi with less wiring that is very self-aware through a distributed network of sensors spread out throughout its body.
We hope that the Audi “Clean air, a viable planet” initiative will pave the way to sustainable transportation in the United States in promoting innovative research and technology solutions for emissions reduction and individual mobility.
About Audi of America, Inc.
Audi's declared objective is to offer each and every customer driving pleasure and sustainable mobility. Our achievements speak for themselves - sportiness, emotional design, quality and environmental awareness all find a common form of expression in the brand with the four rings. We see CO2 reduction as a social responsibility. Consequently, Audi pursues an all- embracing climate strategy that takes account of all the corporate divisions. It is the expression of the company's enduring commitment to society and environmental protection and is, for this reason, an integral part of the corporate social responsibility. Our products are produced on the basis of a modular efficiency system. This holistic approach takes account of all CO2- related factors, including engine and drive concepts, aerodynamics, body technology and electronic assistance systems. From mid-2008, Audi will offer the cleanest diesel in the world with the all new Audi A4 3.0 TDI with ultra low emission system. Compared to the average fleet consumption of petrol engines typically fitted in the USA, the TDI offers a fuel saving of as much as 35 percent. We are also pursuing new developments in alternative biofuels and hybrid power systems as well as techniques to influence driver behavior. Information regarding the Audi brand and products can be found at http://www.audiusa.com/.
About the Electronics Research Laboratory
The Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Palo Alto, California, is a high-tech think-tank that has been developing new technologies for Audi cars and other brands within the Volkswagen Group since 1998. With a current team of 40 engineers and research specialists, the ERL focuses on accelerating automotive innovation for future production vehicles. Positioned in the heart of Silicon Valley, the ERL works closely with many of the world's leading high-tech companies, start-ups, and universities. Information regarding the ERL can be found at http://www.vwerl.com/.