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.
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).
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