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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class


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Virtual e-mobility research project simulates electric vehicles

A fleet of 130 virtual electric cars is set to take to the roads of Munich, Germany, with Technische Universität München (TUM) providing participating companies with smartphones that will be installed in taxis and commercial vehicles to record and process the driving data to reveal how electric vehicles would perform corresponding operational cycles in environmental and economic terms.
Once the smartphones have been handed over, the first phase of the “Virtual Electromobility among taxis and commercial vehicles in Munich” (VEM) project, which entails capturing data on the mobility behavior of the participating drivers, will begin.
From the start of next year, the software developed by TUM’s Institute of Automotive Technology will simulate the operation of an electric vehicle on each of the smartphones. The phones will record the exact location of the vehicle via GPS, along with driving behavior like acceleration, deceleration and turns. The software will then calculate the energy consumption for a freely configured electric vehicle and show the charge status of a virtual battery. Parallel to the simulation phase, the data calculated will be validated with a real electric car.
“This will show various taxi and commercial operators that partial electrification of their fleet would not only be technical feasible, but would already today offer economic and environmental benefits,” says engineer Benedikt Jäger from TUM’s Institute of Automotive Technology.
According to the researchers, the biggest challenge lies in establishing the measures needed for electric vehicles to handle the considerable distances driven by taxis and commercial vehicles every day. One of the most important findings from the project will be the location of additional charging stations that would need to be installed on taxi and commercial routes.
As well as VEM project managers at Munich’s urban utilities provider (SWM) and the central Munich transport organization (MVG), other partners involved in the project include the Munich taxi drivers’ association and the chamber governing professional and skilled trades for Munich and Upper Bavaria. The VEM project is part of the IKT für Elektromobilität II – Smart Car – Smart Grid – Smart Traffic electromobility research program sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Economy and Technology.

3 December 2013


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