Optifuel Lab 3 is a laboratory vehicle developed as part of the FALCON collaborative project. With it, the manufacturer aims to reduce fuel consumption by 13% compared with a standard Renault Trucks T and trailer. Optifuel Lab 3 combines technologies relating to aerodynamics, rolling resistance, driver assistance, energy management and the powertrain. It brings together innovative technologies developed by a consortium of partners comprising Renault Trucks, Faurecia, Michelin, Total, FRUEHAUF, Wezzoo, Benomad, Styl’Monde, Polyrim, Enogia, the IFP Énergies nouvelles, the École centrale de Lyon (LMFA) and the IFSTTAR.
Optifuel Lab 3 is part of the FALCON (Flexible & Aerodynamic Truck for Low CONsumption) project which receives public funding after selection by the French Public Investment Bank BPI France on the 23rd F.U.I. call for projects.
Optifuel Lab 3’s technological developments will focus on optimized tractor semi-trailer combination aerodynamics, connected low-rolling-resistance tires, predictive energy-saving driving assistance and energy management functions, as well as an improved powertrain.
Significant among these is Renault’s predictive energy-saving driver assistance features. Navigation and traffic, meteorological, and tire data from Optifuel Lab 3 will be used by optimized predictive speed and cooling system controllers. This latest system will be equipped with new actuators to maximize energy savings.
These developments will be accompanied by a new Human-Machine Interface specially developed in partnership with the IFSTTAR to provide the driver with an energy-saving, efficient and user-friendly driver assistance system.
Alternator control will be made even more intelligent in order to optimize the balance between electrical energy production and internal-combustion engine fuel consumption.
For Optifuel Lab 3, extensive work will also be carried out on the dual battery device with expected significant weight reduction and improved cold-start performance for the start battery and increased capacity and life time for the living battery.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.