Researchers at Riverside University in California have developed a software-based control that improves the efficiency of hybrid electric vehicles by more than 30 percent.
A paper on their research was published in the Intelligent Transportation Systems section of the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The research was led by Matthew Bart, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Riverside University, and Schweighi, an environmental researcher at Burns Institute of Technology.
The software is built on an "evolutionary" algorithm that simulates the process more efficiently over time.
In this study, the researchers were inspired by flying birds' energy savings through biological evolution and formation processes.
Generally, hybrid cars are equipped with a simple energy management system to switch between electricity and gas operation.
The researchers found that a more sophisticated software-based approach to switching from gas to electricity and again from electricity to gas was more efficient.
According to the researchers, a simple management system does not play a role.
"In real life, the energy management system (EMS) has to provide real-time information because drivers can switch routes, traffic is unpredictable, and road conditions can change," Ching said.
The energy management system developed by Chi and his team relies on wireless information sources, such as cellular networks and evolutionary algorithms, based on natural phenomena such as biological evolution and insect populations.