RCube: It Ain't Easy Being Green
BusinessGreen reports that Ricardo, Land Rover, mapmaker Ordnance Survey, mobile giant Orange and the UK's Transport Research Laboratory have banded together to develop the "rCube control system." In theory, the bolt-in computer will combine the [now] familiar real time traffic data with automatic control over a hybrid's engine, batteries, throttle and brakes. Say what? "If you are approaching a junction or a traffic jam and have to stop, the control system will optimise the deceleration to limit how hard you have to brake and maximise the amount of energy that is captured and used to recharge the battery," explains Tom Robinson, senior product group manager for control and electronics at Ricardo. "It means that you get a smoother ride and lower emissions." The scarily-named "Sentience project" promises a prototype rCube-equipped Ford Escape Hybrid by the summer. So… what's hybridless lame duck Land Rover got to do with any of this? And why can't they just teach people to go easy on the gas and the brakes?