The research project was launched in mid-2016 jointly by development tool provider dSpace, tier-one supplier Denso Automotive Deutschland GmbH, RWTH Aachen University, and the University of Paderborn (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), and was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of the project was to bundle multiple vehicle technology topics that had previously been considered independently of each other and thus tap new efficiency potential in the development of hybrid vehicles.
The tool chain developed in the project showed that the predictive control algorithms developed by RWTH Aachen University can achieve energy savings of up to 32 percent. In addition, it was possible to avoid downtimes at red traffic lights. Data from V2X communication (vehicle-to-everything) and from the cloud were used for energy-efficient journeys with as few traffic light stops as possible. The trips were carried out on a virtual circuit through the city of Paderborn. dSpace was the consortium leader of the research project.
In contrast to the previous control system for hybrid drives, which was primarily based on vehicle-internal information, Hy-Nets included data from V2X communication between individual vehicles or the traffic infrastructure. By taking this information into account, the project was able to identify new approaches to increasing efficiency. This included forward-looking energy management, new autonomous driving functions and communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure. The digitalisation of mobility thus opens up promising new possibilities for reducing fuel consumption and emissions in all thematic areas, for example by designing future hybrid drives to meet the needs of the future.
In order to investigate the interaction of real hardware and software of the hybrid drive with complex traffic scenarios, a combustion engine with an electric motor from Denso was set up as a prototype of a hybrid engine and installed in the test field of RWTH Aachen University. There, it was coupled with a powerful dSpace simulator, on which the vehicle model and the immediate vehicle environment of the hybrid vehicle are mapped in detail. The traffic flow and the entire V2X communication were simulated using the Veins simulator from the University of Paderborn. This made it possible to move the hybrid vehicle in complex simulated driving scenarios based on traffic data from the city of Paderborn and data from IGH for traffic signal control.
According to experts, the project shows that individual traffic can be made much more efficient and environmentally friendly by linking digital applications. With the resulting tool chain, more fuel-efficient hybrid drives can now be developed. In addition, the participants in the project were able to gain insights into how the traffic flow can be optimized by V2X connectivity of as many systems as possible.