Fuel economy is a key aspect to reduce operating costs and improve the efficiency of long-haul trucks, thus increasing truck competitiveness in the transport industry. A matter of great importance to FPT Industrial, as demonstrated by the brand’s numerous inventions, innovations and patents, including the exclusive and unbeaten HI-eSCR2 aftertreatment system.
With higher efficiency in mind and under the aegis of the European Commission and the European Green Vehicles Initiative EGVI, a contractual Public Private Partnership (cPPP) dedicated to delivering green vehicles and mobility system solutions of the future, the IMPERIUM project (IMplementation of Powertrain Control for Economic and Clean Real driving EmIssion and ConsUMption) was created.
The project’s main objective was to achieve a 20% fuel consumption (diesel and urea) and consequently CO2 reduction compared to model-year 2014 vehicle, whilst keeping the vehicle within the legal limits for pollutant emissions. This demanding challenge was taken up by the IMPERIUM consortium, grouping major European players: leading trucks and engine manufacturers, including FPT Industrial, systems and services providers, universities and research centers.
The IMPERIUM consortium is responsible for 45% of the heavy-duty vehicles manufactured in the EU and can provide a 100% European value chain for the development of future powertrain control strategies for trucks. The specific approach relied on a three-stage improvement of the control strategy:
- Direct optimization of main components control (engine, exhaust after-treatment, transmission, waste heat recovery, e-drive) to maximize performance.
- Global powertrain energy management to coordinate the different energy sources and optimize their use depending on the current driving situation.
- Providing a more comprehensive understanding of the mission, so that the different energy sources can be planned and optimized on a long term.
Since fuel consumption is directly linked to and influenced by the mission, the traffic and the environment, a simulation-based validation strategy was developed to better take into account these different scenarios. The overall objective is the development of new means of predictive and comprehensive powertrain control in an optimal way, exploiting the full potential of the individual systems for each vehicle application and mission.
The newly developed components have been first validated on various platforms such as Hardware in the Loop (HiL), engine testbed and demonstrator trucks, including an IVECO STRALIS powered by FPT Industrial, and then further integrated into this environment for evaluation of their impact on the complete system. The IMPERIUM project developed and demonstrated optimal powertrain control and advanced powertrain concepts for heavy-duty vehicles, integration thereof into test beds and demonstration vehicles and proof of compliance with fuel economy targets (20% improvement compared to the same vehicle with conventional control with consequent CO2 reduction) and Euro VI standards under real driving conditions. IMPERIUM also developed a methodology to determine the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles and the compliance with Euro VI under real driving conditions based on a smart combination of simulations, measurements and tests.