We've learned about this project at eCarTec Munich back in October 2013, and the news now is that it's ready to roll. Technical University of Munchen (TUM) team created a software app and installed in on 130 smartphones. The phone then were given to Munich taxi and truck drives. The app is designed to track their driving behaviour showing how an EV would perform under the same conditions...
The project name is "Virtual Electromobility among taxis and commercial vehicles in Munich" (VEM), and while Renault/Nissan, for example, is in their third year of EV sales, germans still test, looking for better solutions. They seem to be checking out every single detail and certainly monitor closely how the competition performs. This provides them lots of valuable data about the EV tech development and how consumers accept (or not) such.
The TUM app simulates an EV performance on the smarpthones and we're finding it kind of similar to BMW i's app we have on our own phones. Similar, because we're currently unaware of the exact TUM app params. We do, however, have a personal contact at TUM, so we'll ask for more details.
What we do know so far, though, is that smartphones in question will collect and save data such as the exact vehicles' location vis GPS, and drivers' behaviour – acceleration, slowing down, how the stops, turn etc. Using this data, the app will calculate the energy consumption of a preset electric vehicle and will show respective battery state of charge.
We're keen to know how accurate these simulations will be, but the TUM team will be able to compare. They do it with a real EV running same routes. Won't be able to replicate drivers' behaviour, and range, but will provide valubale data as well.
Actually, it's the range that will most likely be the biggest challenge. That's why they'll use the data for some very important considerations – to find the most appropriate spots for to install charging stations at, on all of the tested routes.
It's seems great to us that someone's checking things out in such a detail – helps alleviating lots of potential errors and expenses. We'll ask if you can get a copy of the app or if the team plans to make it public later.