You bought the car. You can find the charging station. But how does the computer of an electric car know how to tell you “how long does the battery last” after a charge? Fortunately, there are technologies that can help.
Arsen Sagoian, Machine Learning Software Engineer at Porsche Engineering Romania, explained in the next article how artificial intelligence is used to estimate the autonomy of an electric car.
We already know that accuracy in estimating the autonomy of an electric vehicle can cause serious concern. Although electric cars are smart and efficient, the charging infrastructure is still considerably underdeveloped, and the approximation margin we could afford to have, without major consequences, for an internal combustion vehicle is no longer allowed in this case.
Accuracy is crucial for a car that has a very heavy battery (compensating quite a bit for the low weight of its engine) and is significantly influenced by factors such as weather, heavy traffic or even the individual behavior of the driver.
As long as people are still worried about how their car might behave and have difficulty planning their long journeys, it is difficult to move from an early stage of adoption to a critical mass stage of adoption.
The infrastructure is indeed developing, but we cannot control and influence its pace of development too much. The best option we have to reassure users and allow their cars to take them safely from point A to point B is to be as rigorous as possible when estimating autonomy.
With many variables to consider, some of them dynamic, accurately estimating the range of electric vehicles is no easy task, so we do what we always do at Porsche Engineering in Cluj – and introduce artificial intelligence into the equation.
How artificial intelligence can be used to estimate the autonomy of an electric car
We encourage drivers and give them more control by installing smart tools on board their vehicles, tools that allow them, for example, to plan their routes accurately even before departure.
We are able to tell them, based on the destination they choose, which routes they need to follow in order to recharge the battery when needed, what are the best starting times to avoid traffic jams and use the most good battery power, but also what can be the duration of their journey, depending on the different departure times during a day.
Of course, we are talking here about longer trips, not about our daily travels through the city. But we all want the electric cars we buy to be able to meet all our travel needs, just as those with internal combustion engines do. And, from this perspective, it does not seem right for us to compromise on departure times.
Preparations that can be meticulous, time-consuming and a little too complex for simple weekend getaways – because we don’t like to think too much about a short trip to the mountains or plan a trip with children in too much detail – the help of artificial intelligence and our tools for estimating autonomy.
They constantly evaluate the complex set of influencing factors that affect the autonomy of an EV electric vehicle and collect real-time data from a variety of sources, which allows them to increase the accuracy of their predictions.
The influencing factors are, on the one hand, constant – such as vehicle and battery type, traction, number of passengers, weight, road infrastructure, recharging mode, availability of recharging points, etc. To these are added some variables, such as the battery itself, driver behavior, route, traffic flow, etc. At the same time, the data is supplemented with some dynamics from online maps, weather portals, traffic information and the battery monitor, as well as the car model and driver behavior.
It sounds great and it’s great, so you can imagine the relief that everyone feels when they don’t have to do a lot of calculations and can safely rely on AI. At Porsche Engineering, we have already incorporated all this knowledge into the on-board instruments that are installed on some top electric models.
They are able to simplify the driver’s experience and allow him to focus on the more pleasant aspects of driving, such as the immense starting power of electric motors or the wonderful quietness of the passenger compartment. We do all this with the clear idea that in this way we contribute significantly not only to the present of the automotive industry, but also to its future, giving people more reasons to fall in love with electric vehicles.