Research project led by Ricardo develops fuel-saving air-con system
11 May 2009

The Sentience project, an automotive technology research project led by British engineering firm Ricardo, has unveiled an intelligent air-conditioning system that could increase fuel economy by more than 10 per cent in real-world driving conditions.

EU calls for 'greener' air-con systems

Blog: the great air-con con

The system, called Enhanced Air Conditioning (EAC), works in conjunction with a hybrid or stop-start powertrain, ensuring that, when the motive power is purely electric or when the stop-start system cuts the engine, the air-con compressor does not run.

In the Sentience project testbed vehicle, a Ford Escape Hybrid, the system is also linked to a sophisticated mapping and mobile communication system that controls the speed and direction of the car. The EAC system can therefore predict potential stopping points, and can plan when the air-con may need to be switched off, further helping to reduce fuel consumption.

The Sentience project is a collaboration between Ricardo, Jaguar Land Rover, the Transport Research Laboratory, Ordnance Survey and Orange business Services.

Matt Rigby

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic