Trucking product idea - need opinions from real truckers

Thread starter #21
I am a student at MIT. I am a junior in Mechanical Engineering and am taking a class called Venture Engineering taught bill Scott Stern and Bill Aulet. This is a project for that class.
 

8978

** Commie Express **
Supporter
#22
Sounds better. We have many people on here posing as this and that just looking to write an App. I'm not a trucker. I'm a software engineer working at a lab in Norwood, MA. I use to work at MIT in the 90's. Symbolics next door also. Office above Legal Sea Foods in Kendal square. F&T diner back then with the best greasy cheeseburgers.

My specialty is Micro's and embedded systems. I'm assuming your talking maybe accelerometers, G forces sensors, GPS for speed? Stuff like that?

Sounds like a good idea. Something telling the driver when to up shift and down shift? Adding 1mpg to your average would be a HUGE improvement.
 
#29
I am a student at MIT. I am a junior in Mechanical Engineering and am taking a class called Venture Engineering taught bill Scott Stern and Bill Aulet. This is a project for that class.
MIT, check out the new automatic transmissions in 2018 Freightliner that use GPS data to look ahead and shift for maximal fuel economy speed management tocsee what's out there. You want to do a real useful app? Plug into that ECM and monitor that engine data to compute newtonian engine force applied, then correlate it with GPS data to TELL US HOW HEAVY WE ARE!!!! ( It could only be measured going up hill and accellerating, but gps has altitude data) That would save many miles if we can see we are light enough to not scale. Phase 2? Find away to measure something (with air bags maybe) on drive axles to tell us our specific drive axle weight, so we can deduce trailer axle weight from first app. A cheap way to do self weighing trucks with existing equipment will make you forever loved by us, amd save us lots of money.
 

Ranger_375

Well-Known Member
#30
MIT, check out the new automatic transmissions in 2018 Freightliner that use GPS data to look ahead and shift for maximal fuel economy speed management tocsee what's out there. You want to do a real useful app? Plug into that ECM and monitor that engine data to compute newtonian engine force applied, then correlate it with GPS data to TELL US HOW HEAVY WE ARE!!!! ( It could only be measured going up hill and accellerating, but gps has altitude data) That would save many miles if we can see we are light enough to not scale. Phase 2? Find away to measure something (with air bags maybe) on drive axles to tell us our specific drive axle weight, so we can deduce trailer axle weight from first app. A cheap way to do self weighing trucks with existing equipment will make you forever loved by us, amd save us lots of money.
umm your second phase is standard equipment on some trucks.
1493446934823-1115799890.jpg


taken from my dashboard before I sleep in my prostar.....lol
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#31
MIT, check out the new automatic transmissions in 2018 Freightliner that use GPS data to look ahead and shift for maximal fuel economy speed management tocsee what's out there. You want to do a real useful app? Plug into that ECM and monitor that engine data to compute newtonian engine force applied, then correlate it with GPS data to TELL US HOW HEAVY WE ARE!!!! ( It could only be measured going up hill and accellerating, but gps has altitude data) That would save many miles if we can see we are light enough to not scale. Phase 2? Find away to measure something (with air bags maybe) on drive axles to tell us our specific drive axle weight, so we can deduce trailer axle weight from first app. A cheap way to do self weighing trucks with existing equipment will make you forever loved by us, amd save us lots of money.
Right Weigh is a product you hook to your drives and tandems that reports axle weights based on air bag pressures. Fairly accurate. You can do the same with air pressure gages and a calculator to convert pressure to weight.

Pretty cheap too
 

GAnthony

Well-Known Member
Supporter
#32
Hey everyone,

I am a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and I am working on a product that improves the fuel efficiency of trucks. I need help from working or retired truck drivers to determine how to best design this product to be attractive and helpful to real drivers.

My team's basic idea is to build a device that monitors engine data and provides the driver with real time prompts to take certain actions to improve fuel efficiency - think shift lights on drag cars, only designed to optimize fuel efficiency, not acceleration. These actions would include shifting gears at optimal times when hill climbing or descending as well as acceleration timing. The device would not be linked to the truck controls at all so the driver would would retain complete control of the truck. It would simply provide the driver with a resource that indicates the best times to take certain actions to improve fuel efficiency and save fuel money. These prompts could appear on a lcd screen, through verbal cues, or in some other way.

Please tell me your thoughts. How could this idea work well? How could it not?
All responses are welcome.

Thank you,
Sam
i do believe that many trucks now have this already with the onboard computers, or other plug-in devices.

the vebals cues may be an ok thing, as still to this day, even the best of the best trucks built, can still be a bit noisy inside. especially if a driver has a radio blaring music. or he/she is talking on the cb radio, and your device cuts in to say something.
 
#33
Right Weigh is a product you hook to your drives and tandems that reports axle weights based on air bag pressures. Fairly accurate. You can do the same with air pressure gages and a calculator to convert pressure to weight.

Pretty cheap too
I didn't know about that, ironpony. Thx for info, I will look into that.

I still think my idea is cool. I'm not a physics guru, but I remember some stuff from high school. When a trailer accelerates around a right or left 90 degree turn, we all know how the trailer tracks. The interesting part is that the trailer tires take a shorter route, then catch up. So I think with just engine data on the force generated around the turn, and enough info to plot the turn (gps? Steering angle in truck computer?) the truck computer could actually figure out both the drive weight and trailer weight on its own, given the steer weight. (Easy acceleration early in turn hard later =heavy trailer axles, vice versa = heavy drives)

What you're talking about would probably be way more accurate, but for an MIT guy looking for an engineering challenge, full weights from engine computer might impress the employers.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
#34
When a trailer accelerates around a right or left 90 degree turn, we all know how the trailer tracks.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people got through school after failing basic fifth-grade geometry. Just yesterday, I was waiting at a right turn for the cross road's left turn lane to clear so that my trailer wouldn't take out the light pole on the corner. No fewer than three cars went around me blaring their horns and either giving me the WTF hands-up shrug or simply flipping me off. Apparently, their belief is I should have just taken out the light pole or run over four of the cars waiting to turn left.

Basic geometry, folks.. not much I can do but wait. Sorry for inconveniencing you for 35 seconds.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
#35
like it would be even so difficult as to need a riteway.


diameter of air bags, a sensor in the air supply to the bags and a little 3rd grade math.