More than 100 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the Daimler AG (formerly DaimlerChrysler) test fleet are operated by ordinary drivers in real-world driving conditions around the world. For development purposes only, each vehicle is equipped with a powerful telematics system that captures data on vehicle performance and driver usage patterns—from the vehicle’s GPS coordinates, fuel tank fill level, and vehicle velocity to the position of the gas pedal beneath the driver’s foot. Our team is responsible for translating the millions of drive files accumulated by the test fleet into MATLAB based automated reports and Web applications.
Daimler engineers use these tools to understand vehicle usage patterns, track fuel consumption, plan hydrogen refueling infrastructure, and understand how driving patterns affect vehicle performance. By examining this data, Daimler can evaluate not only the vehicles’ health, but also the best locations for future hydrogen fueling stations, and identify characteristics of vehicle use to create a diverse vehicle base for future fleet operation.
By Tim McGuire, Taylor Roche, and Andreas Weinberger, Mercedes-Benz RDNA, Inc.
This article was published in The MathWorks News & Notes, 2008