1 WIND MEASUREMENT
Our Slogan „Wind Measurement for Every Car” is what we want to realize as a standard in automotive applications such as, but not limited to, cars, trucks, motorbikes with a focus on self-driving applications to optimize energy consumption and drive control systems. We aim to make another “human” sense available to vehicles. Nowadays, the ability to see (cameras, radar, lidar,…), hear (noise cancelling) and taste (lambda probe) are more or less standard – now we even can upgrade the vehicle to have its own feeling.
The vehicle feels the wind. By combining these senses, the future of mobility will become more and more human like and allows the vehicles to make more realistic decisions and further optimize the driving behaviour in (fully) automated vehicles. Wind is one of the main external impact factors on a vehicle. Therefore, the wind plays a crucial role on the behaviour of a vehicle in general and furthermore the energy consumption, aerodynamics and the comfort of the ride.
The point is: we cannot change the wind, and we also must commute on our planned route. But if we don’t know the strength and direction of the wind during our travel, we have no chance to react in any way to the impact of the wind.
- Not with aerodynamic optimizations, because we don´t know for which boundary conditions, we have to optimize them.
- Not by taking a different route, because we don´t know the wind on the alternative route.
windpuls delivers the full range of wind information at the point of interest. It knows its speed, orientation and can transmit the pure wind and speed data to any kind of end-user device.
Our goal is to establish windpuls as the main input for any vehicle to feel the outside conditions and transmit that data to a central data centre, which can process the wind data at any point on the road – optimize the driving behaviour of the single vehicle by adjusting the distance to the other vehicles and also provide a wind map of the area to find out the most efficient route from A to B.
2 EXPERIENCE AND EXPERT
The team of windpuls is set up by experts in their field in the automotive industry and in sports. The founding team, consisting of Mr. Christoph Feichtinger, who is an expert in aerodynamics and product development, and Mr. Klaus Bernkopf, an experienced man- ager and founder of start-up companies, are fully dedicated to developing windpuls to a must have for wind measurement in sports, energy and mobility solutions. We furthermore work with an experienced partner company and experts in electronic development and manufacturing.
3 WHO NEEDS THIS?
There is currently no sensor on the market that gives direct wind information on any moving object. We have identified OEM’s as well as big fleet managers for windpuls as the first moving customers. Especially e-LCV’s or Trucks who drive continuously in pre-defined areas and similar routes can optimize their fuel or energy consumption with our system increasingly by learning to understand their routes better and make more meaningful decisions in route planning. The more vehicles are equipped with that system, the faster it can teach it’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms to learn and support even the individual driver by offering the data from the others.
4 HOW WE DO IT?
windpuls is a physical multisensor which combines kinematic measurements with windspeed and wind-direction measurements in one compact casing. The raw sensor data always stay within the casing and are merged on the internal microcontroller where the calculation of the sensor output is performed. The sensor has its own power supply with usb-C external charging connection.
The calculated output data is transmitted by various types of wireless communications like WLAN, Bluetooth LE or ANT+. The Sensor can be mounted via a “Go-Pro” Mount to any equipment such as a helmet or a bicycle.
5 USE CASES
The main advantage of windpuls is, that it is capable to measure wind and pressure fields in any direction. Having that said, it is obvious that you can optimize the current state of a vehicle driving in a platoon or just behind a single vehicle by telling the driver or the automated system what the most efficient distance to the front running vehicle would be.
By optimizing that distance, the efficiency of driving and thus the fuel consumption of conventional vehicles or the total range of battery electric vehicles can be increased. In the early stage we consider windpuls as a simple notification device for the driver and it is within the driver’s responsibility to adjust the driving speed and distance to the other vehicles. Going one step further, in autonomous vehicles (SAE-Level 3 or higher), windpuls will be integrated via CAN into the vehicles ECU and will adjust these parameters to an optimum automatically while considering all parameters such as safety distance, driving speed and of course wind efficiency. A great advantage of our technology is, that the truck with its windpuls module is completely independent from the others – that means that there is no direct communication between the single trucks necessary because the autonomous system will adjust the distance in real time even if the front runner hits the break or accelerates. No expensive and failure prone radar or lidar systems are necessary anymore to measure the distance and our senor does work reliable under any weather condition. From our recent research, we assume that such an optimization can improve the fuel or battery efficiency of a Truck driving a distance of 1000km in a platoon to as low as 30% of its current consumption.
Market/Users: our target customers for that use case will be big logistic companies who have numerous trucks on the road and therefore, can benefit the most from the increased efficiency of the single vehicles.
Wind Map (Online, Historical)
windpuls records any environmental condition while driving on the road and combines that with the location-based information from the GPS module of the vehicle. We measure the wind direction and strength, measure humidity and temperature as well as road conditions with the integrated gyroscope. Due to the fact, that we do not record any user related data or use any camera system, we do not have any issues with data protection and are fully GDPR conform. Our aim is, to provide windpuls to fleet managers such as the Austrian Postal Service or other last mile delivery services at a minimum price to gather as much data as possible in a short time. The benefit for these first moving customers is, that they will get the data and a basic analysis free of charge after a test period of 6 months and can use that start optimizing their routes. Once, enough users have used windpuls and gather the data we need, we can create a windmap with historical data that acknowledges position, wind strengths and direction, road condition, temperature and weather condition (rain, snow). We will combine that data with the data we also gather from our other business field, where windpuls is used for cyclists and other athletes to get an even better coverage of small roads and areas.
Market/Users: The value of such data is extremely valuable to fleet managers, environmental researchers, city developers and many more – even the tourist, who wants to hike in an area where the wind usually is not that strong can benefit from that data.
With all the information from the previous use case the driver or the fleet manager can evaluate the trips and compare with the previous trips on that route. The more data we gather, the more reliable we can then evaluate which route is the most efficient at what time of the day or how to optimize the route when they have more than one single delivery point.
Market/Users: Postal services, logistic companies
Optimize driving comfort
By measuring the direction and strengths of the wind in real time, our system can provide the ECU with information to react with counter measures from the chassis to eliminate side wind effects that would be harmful to comfort and safety of the vehicle.
Market/Users: windpuls would be useful for every car (especially in luxury vehicles) – so every OEM is a potential customer