Ford Hybrid's EV+ Feature Learns and Automatically Adjusts Powertrain to Deliver More Electric-Only Driving

   Ford Hybrid's EV+ Feature Learns and Automatically Adjusts Powertrain to
                      Deliver More Electric-Only Driving

PR Newswire

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2012

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  oPatent-pending EV+ allows vehicles to learn frequent destinations and as a
    result, changes the way power is used in vehicles such as C-MAX Energi
    plug-in hybrid and Fusion Hybrid
  oLeveraging GPS data from Ford SYNC^®, Ford engineers developed a
    proprietary, predictive software algorithm that automatically adjusts
    powertrain controls based on location to deliver more electric-only
    driving
  oNew Ford innovations have led to a 50-fold increase in hybrid patents to
    nearly 500, which have helped the automaker's lineup of electrified
    vehicles set benchmarks in areas such as fuel economy, performance and
    range

Fordis taking the smarts and performance of its electrified vehicle lineup to
a whole new level with EV+, a patent-pending feature that actually helps
vehicles learn frequent destinations, and delivers to hybrid drivers what they
love – more driving time in electric-only mode.

EV+ is part of SmartGauge^® and is a standard feature on the Ford plug-in
hybrids, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, along with the hybrid versions of
Fusion and C-MAX.

"We know from our research that hybrid drivers want to drive as often as they
can in electric-only mode, especially near their home or frequently visited
locations," said Kevin Layden, Ford director of Electrification Programs and
Engineering. "EV+ not only delivers that capability, but also demonstrates how
Ford puts customer needs and wants above everything else."

EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC^® with proprietary software
algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations.

Once frequent destinations have been learned – such as your home parking
location – EV+ adjusts how the electric power stored in the vehicle's
high-voltage battery is used to power the vehicle. If EV+ determines the
vehicle is nearing a frequent destination, it has the capability to remain in
electric-only mode.

"We already have a GPS unit in every Ford with SYNC, so really it was just a
matter of tapping into that the right way," said Layden. "This is one of the
first examples of how we're looking to make the car smarter, by leveraging on
board data to provide features and services that add value to the driving
experience."

EV+ joins a growing list of roughly 500 hybrid-specific patents Ford has
accumulated in the last 20 years. Patents include everything from the leaves
on the cluster screen of SmartGauge and the hands-free liftgate of the C-MAX
Hybrid and C-MAX Energi to an available EV-only mode button that allows
customers to access electric power on-demand.

Enhancing performance

EV+ was developed by two Ford employees: Ken Frederick, HEV powertrain
calibration engineer, and Matt Smith, product design engineer. They are the
authors of the patent application that was recently published by the U.S.
Patent & Trademark Office.

When engaged, EV+ uses onboard GPS equipment and predictive software
algorithms written by Frederick and Smith to learn the latitude and longitude
of a vehicle and identify locations that are visited on a frequent basis, such
as home and work. The feature can be disabled and the data erased at the push
of a button.

When the feature identifies frequent destinations, the way electric power is
used changes. Specifically, when within a radius of 1/8 mile, or 200 meters,
of a frequent stop, the vehicle has increased capability to stay in
electric-only mode, the internal combustion engine stays off, and an "EV+"
light appears on the dashboard.

"One of Ford's biggest strengths is the quality of our controls and
calibration. We do all of that work in-house and it shows when we deliver a
feature like EV+," said Rob Iorio, Ford Electrified Propulsion Systems
Manager. "No other automaker seamlessly integrates global positioning and
propulsion system control as we have with EV+."

Big data, big challenge

Originally, the plan was to develop a way for vehicles to collect and digest
vast amounts of information to predict and adjust to different driving
demands.

"We wanted a vehicle to perform in a certain way when it hit a certain spot,"
said Smith.

The team quickly discovered that collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of
data needed to make such predictions would require an immense hardware and
software system – one that would demand too many resources, both in terms of
initial development and inside each vehicle.

A breakthrough came, say Smith and Frederick, when they developed a way to
reach their goal without the need to collect and store droves of information.
Instead, their answer was to engineer a way to analyze incoming GPS
information and control distribution of a vehicle's power based on those data.

"We realized that harnessing data already available was the way we could
achieve our goal of improving the entire hybrid vehicle driving experience,"
said Frederick. "Once we had access to the data, we applied machine learning
principles to predict frequently visited locations that would determine what
powertrain controls should be applied to achieve our goal."

Every new Ford with SYNC has GPS equipment built into the SYNC ^ module.

Ford's award-winning SYNC communications and entertainment system enables
voice-activated communication through a driver's mobile phone and interaction
with the car's audio system. Among its many features and options, SYNC
provides location-based services, such as turn-by-turn directions, and now
shares GPS coordinates with EV+.

Additionally, SYNC uses GPS to relay information about vehicle location to
emergency personnel in the event of an accident through 911 Assist^® when the
feature is properly activated.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company(NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides
financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information
regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit
http://corporate.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Website: http://www.ford.com
Contact: Wes Sherwood, +1-313-390-5660, wsherwoo@ford.com; or Alan Hall,
+1-313-594-3744, ahall32@ford.com
 
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