Continental integrates engine control and energy flow management into one system

May 16, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive supplier Continental has announced a new Engine Management platform generation, the System 3 (EMS3), which governs fuel injection and ignition with more precision than before. It also coordinates electric automobile motors and monitors their battery charge status. The system thus maximizes the interplay between a hybrid's internal combustion engine and its electric motor.

The EMS3 incorporates another completely new feature: predictive-based energy management (pEM). This software module is based on information obtained from the eHorizon and processes information on the driving style of whoever is behind the wheel. The eHorizon utilizes topographical data and the GPS signal to furnish a three-dimensional profile of the route to the EMS3. However, it doesn't just use that information to calculate energy requirements. Instead, it identifies the segments along the route where recuperation is possible. It determines with what load and where the combustion engine would work more efficiently alone, or where the electric motor would perform better. Thus, the new engine management platform coordinates power and also directs the flow of energy along the drive train.

The system's open architecture, patterned after Autosar standards, also helps diminish the variety of applications along the engine's periphery. Existing subsystems will be able to continue serving in many cases.

Future of the combustion engine: Potential for Co2 Reduction. For full resolution click here.  

Continental believes that the cars of the future will have electric motors, but the classic internal combustion engine will continue to do duty throughout the foreseeable future. Therefore, the challenge to both automotive suppliers and manufacturers will be to come to terms with the great variety of propulsion concepts and to refine them. The initial exuberant expectations of electronic vehicles have given way to a more realistic assessment. Whereas electric vehicles are gaining acceptance very slowly, hybrids are garnering more attention.

The EMS3 engine management system will be a major element in Continental's strategy. It integrates the variable valve control, cylinder shutoff, all the sensors, and the actuators needed to satisfy the Euro 6 norm. It also governs the components in the electrical path of a hybrid vehicle, coordinates electrical devices along the drive train and handles heat management for the battery.

Since storage devices cause the highest costs in a hybrid drive system, the