It is the age of Information Technology, an era ruled by information and artificial intelligence. Even the vehicles that we drive today require their own versions of AI to deal with unforeseen circumstances that a human driver could not possibly handle. Ford has equipped its Kuga Hybrid with an Artificial Intelligence that has made four wheel drives much more fuel efficient.
What has this new Artificial Intelligence tech done in the Ford Kuga Hybrid, you ask? Well, to put it simply- you can now drive a four wheel drive vehicle without having to stress about the heavy fuel expenses it incurred every single time before. The idea and technology is just as revolutionary as when the all-wheel drive system started using AI to monitor all four wheels and then supply more power to the wheels with higher traction. Four-wheel drive systems are very popular among adventurers and off-roaders; however, the one thing that it is infamous for is its notoriously heavy fuel consumption as compared to regular two-wheel drives in spite of many countermeasures.
Glen Goold, Kuga chief programme engineer stated, “All-wheel drive isn’t just for heading off-road – the extra traction can make journeys smoother, safer and less stressful for drivers, particularly in wintry conditions. We designed our new Kuga Hybrid to help drivers save on fuel costs, and the artificial intelligence of AWD disconnect means they can do exactly that while still getting all the benefits of Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.”
In the Kuga Hybrid, Ford offers a probable answer to all fuel-related worries of a 4WD. The new AI that Kuga has been equipped with monitors its wheels, not to supple more power but to switch off its Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. The AI does this only when it decided that driving conditions are favourable enough to drive without this system, thereby increasing fuel efficiency. With the onslaught of winter-weather, AWDs become an ideal choice for drivers even though fuel tolls are quite heavy. However, now drivers can easily make the choice, seeing as how the new system reduces fuel intake by 6.5%.
An algorithm known as ‘fuzzy logic’, that works in contrast to what its name suggests, accurately determines whether the Intelligent All-Wheel Drive can be disconnected in a particular physical setting or not. The Intelligent system monitors and smoothly allocates power to front and rear wheels, and it is further monitored by this new algorithm for maximum efficiency.
“’Fuzzy logic’ refers to the algorithm, which can take into account all sorts of variables before making a decision, just as you or I might do when deciding what to wear based on the weather forecast, the time year, looking outside and where we’re going,” said Scott Beiring, Ford driveline applications supervisor. “For Kuga, that means Intelligent All-Wheel Drive 1 won’t engage just because the windscreen wipers are on. The algorithm takes into account information from a number of sensors before deciding whether or not to engage, but does so much faster than any human could.”
Even though the fuzzy logic disconnects Kuga’s Intelligent AWD according to its own judgement, drivers do not have to worry about switching it on in case of any sudden occurrence. The algorithm is very much capable of doing so and that too in a fraction of the time it would take the drivers to manually do it themselves, all it needs are 10 milliseconds to arrive at a decision. Just as any other algorithm, the fuzzy logic also derives its results by judging a set of variables, weather and road conditions are just some of the factors that its sensors record continually.
Kuga’s purely hybrid powertrain combines with its Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system and now even the Fuzzy Logic algorithm has made it a forerunning vehicle in its electric roster. A highly-performative hybrid vehicle, with impressive performance charts and emission standards has become even more formidable with a simple yet radical new addition- an algorithm that helps it maintain fuel efficiency.
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