Use Case

Predictive Powertrain Control

Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) actively controls speed, braking and automated transmission functions. PPC has been shown to reduce collisions by up to 20% and reduce fuel consumption by approximately 5%, lowering CO2 emissions.
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Predictive Powertrain Control
What is Predictive Powertrain Control?
PPC is a Level 1 ADAS function, according to the five levels of autonomous driving described by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE).

In combination with the TomTom ADAS Map, PPC systems are familiar with road topography, curvature, speed limit and traffic signs, meaning trucks, passenger and electric vehicles can automatically respond in a manner that delivers the most fuel-efficient performance, and increase driver safety and comfort by accurately anticipating and responding to the road ahead.

The ADAS Map is used to determine the safest and most efficient speed and knows when to slow down for upcoming curves and junctions, communicating with the vehicle’s system to automatically change the speed. This ensures that the speed is safe and comfortable. It also avoids sharp braking and sudden acceleration, which is not only unsafe but fuel inefficient.

User reviews indicate that PPC sometimes even takes curves at a faster but more appropriate speed than human drivers, as it knows the road geometry ahead.

PPC can also enable pro-active gear shifting, based on ADAS Map content. For example, if the vehicle knows it is approaching a steep hill, it will shift accordingly on its own. The TomTom ADAS Map also provides gradient and speed limit information that is used as input for coasting. In combination, these automated functions contribute to up to 5% in fuel savings for our customer Daimler Trucks.
How does Predictive Powertrain Control work?
TomTom ADAS Map data communicates with vehicle systems to create a safer and more comfortable PPC experience. To access the ADAS map data, Virtual Horizon software is needed to communicate the information in ADASIS v2 protocol over the vehicle controller area network (CAN). Virtual horizon is used to integrate knowledge of the road ahead into the driving strategy. An additional horizon “reconstructor” resides in the ADAS ECUs, providing input for braking and acceleration. The software architecture of PPC is different than that of most vehicles, separating the ADAS Map from navigation and placing it in a different ECU.

In the context of providing a virtual horizon, the implementation relies on on-board maps which are manually updated only at very low frequencies. For higher-end ADAS applications, a “connected virtual horizon” can be provided by amending the on-board map data with dynamic additions such as traffic, road work, or accidents data. Also, for these use cases map updates would be provided more frequently.
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