In a bid to make hybrid cars even more eco-efficient, Ford has developed a system that learns your journeys so that it knows when to use petrol, electric power or a bit of both.
Known as EV+, the technology uses Ford’s Sync software and some clever proprietary algorithms to calculate the nature of the journeys you make the most. This information can then be used to work out the destination of subsequent journeys and what sort of power should be used to get you there.
Currently, hybrids indiscriminately use a combination of petrol and electric power based on how hard you accelerate or whether you’re travelling up or down a hill, but this isn’t always the cleverest solution. If your journey happens to involve a steep hill, but the total distance of that journey is relatively low, EV+ can keep the car in electric-only mode to reduce unnecessary petrol consumption.
Not only can cars equipped with the tech calculate whether to stick to electric only propulsion because you’re travelling a short distance, they can also calculate when and where best to use electric power for longer journeys.
If the idea of EV+ seems annoying for any reason, it can be switched off via a button on the dashboard if you so desire.
“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.”
“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,” congtinued 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.”
The technology is currently in the concept phase, but it’s scheduled to make an appearance in the Ford C-MAX Energi, Fusion Energi and the hybrid versions of both as standard when Ford deems it ready for public use.