Hinduja flagship commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland has been granted a patent for its invention related to a technology for real-time road slope estimation, which could be used in predictive systems for improving fuel economy of vehicles.
The company’s invention comprises an apparatus for estimation of slope of the road taken by vehicles and by anticipating the upcoming road profile, fuel tank sensors could flag off required actions to save fuel.
Techniques for lowering overall fuel consumption using knowledge of the upcoming road behaviour have been under development by many of the players in the auto industry. All efforts had been based on the premise that the knowledge of future road condition was needed to increase the coordinated operation of vehicle auxiliary systems to decrease fuel consumption.
The Chennai patent office recently granted the patent to Ashok Leyland which filed the application in 2005. Moving the application, the company claimed that, unlike conventional practices, the method proposed in the system is simple, low-cost and uses the existing components of the vehicle to predict the road slope. The system not only gives the estimation of road slope, but also provides information about the trajectory of the road, as the vehicle moves.
The company submitted that the slope could be calculated by using signals captured by two sensors fitted on the fuel tank of the vehicle. The computed slope was proposed to be used for applications such as gear shift advice and predictive systems to improve the fuel economy by anticipating the upcoming road profile.
In a patent document filed by Ashok Leyland at the patent office, the company submitted that the novel system focuses on processing of the elevation and slope data of roads. It is to be used primarily alongside applications with gear shift advisor and predictive algorithms.
Conventionally, there were a slew of ways to estimate road slope. In some of the cases, it is measured by GPS and in some others, use of pressure sensors are recommended. In another instance, slope is measured by monitoring the engine torque, it said.
Backed by good performance in both domestic M&HCV sales as well as exports, Ashok Leyland had reported a 178% growth in its net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 to `449.71 crore, compared with `161.72 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
Revenues during the quarter grew 58% to `7,113.16 crore, against `4,516.29 crore in the same period last year. Revenue and profits were boosted by volume growth of 42% Y-o-Y to 46,627 units (32,838 units).
During the quarter, the company exported 4,289 units, a growth of 46% over the same year-ago period. The LCV segment saw a 45% growth to 10,926 units from 7,554 units in the same period last fiscal.>