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Software patch could boost MPG in gas-powered vehicles

Software patch could boost MPG in gas-powered vehicles
Darren Murph
Darren Murph|February 11, 2007 8:55 AM
No doubt, we've seen more than a few sensational sounding gizmos aiming to provide (nearly) limitless power and create energy out of thin air, but a simple software patch could enable the vast majority of the world that's still stuck in gasoline-powered vehicles to get better gas mileage. John Kessels at the University of Eindhoven has partnered with Ford to develop software to improve engine performance and save "up to 2.6-percent" in terms of miles per gallon. Quite simply, the patch dynamically switches the dynamo, (which charges the car battery) on and off when it is "particularly inefficient for the engine to power it, thus improving the overall efficiency of the engine." Mr. Kessels even stated that "a simple cable and a software upgrade" was all that would be necessary to boost MPG, and thankfully it's not exclusive to Ford motors. Notably, a fuel savings closer to six-percent could likely be achieved if a "powerful starter motor" was installed to allow your engine to cut off entirely and restart quickly in between long traffic jams, but both methods have a good bit of testing to go through before being deemed non-abrasive to batteries and engine components. But hey, there's nothing a firmware upgrade can't fix, right?
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