GM Banking On Dynamic Cylinder Deactivation For Improved Fuel Economy

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
gm banking on dynamic cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy

General Motors has played with cylinder deactivation technology since the days of Carter, sometimes successful, sometimes with more disastrous results.

With Tula Technology’s Dynamic Skip Fire, GM is banking on the former.

The technology — a result of the automaker’s 2012 equity investment in the startup via GM Ventures — uses “advanced digital signal processing with sophisticated powertrain controls to create a software-based approach to variable displacement engines.” This allows for a dynamic approach for cylinder management, with individual cylinders to be activated or deactivated on a case-by-case basis while maintaining proper torque at all speeds/loads and avoiding vibration issues.

GM believes employment of DSF could improve fuel economy among its various models by as much as 15 percent compared to other cylinder-deactivation methods, such as its Active Fuel Management system used by the likes of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, among others.

As for when DSF might appear, Tula CEO R. Scott Bailey couldn’t say much about the timeline, but that his investor views the technology as “production worthy,” per an interview with Autoblog. Other investors in Tula include Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners and Khosla Ventures.

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jan 07, 2015

    Are they going to use that new gauge design in the photo for the ATS?

  • Occam Occam on Jan 08, 2015

    What is the advantage of this over forced induction, where the blower can create a higher 'virtual' displacement as needed. It would seem that more displacement and forced induction are two ways to do the same thing (bring in more air, adding more fuel to keep the ratios in line, and gaining more power as a result.) The V8-6-4 was a good concept that GM fumbled on implementation. The same goes for turbocharging and all-aluminum blocks (F-85 Rocket V8).

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.