The artificial intelligence of the hybrid Kuga allows the driver to make better use of wheel traction and reduce operating costs. For several decades, AWD systems have made better use of wheel traction on slippery surfaces, sending power to all four wheels, but at the cost of more fuel consumption.
Ford Kuga Hybrid four-wheel drive
Over time, all-wheel drive (AWD) systems have emerged that can determine which wheels have the best traction and distribute more power to them to reduce fuel consumption.
Ford has gone one step further with the introduction of the 4WD Disable System on the Kuga SUV as well as the new Kuga Hybrid. This system uses artificial intelligence to improve economy by controlling the deactivation of the Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (1) when driving conditions are favorable. The system can re-engage all-wheel drive in less than the blink of an eye, once it determines it needs to take advantage of the extra wheel traction available.
While driving on slippery surfaces takes place all year round, Intelligent All Wheel Drive 1 offers special advantages during the winter months when rain, snow and ice regularly make the road difficult for driver and vehicle. Slippery surfaces caused by weather or mud, and oil spilled on the road, were responsible for 8 per cent of traffic accidents in the UK in 2019. (2)
Drivers across Europe are gearing up for winter driving and road trips - if epidemic restrictions allow - under such conditions disabling all-wheel drive and switching to front-wheel drive only with good traction will help maintain a high level of road safety while saving fuel at around 6.5%. (Ford data).
- Four-wheel drive is not only about off-road driving. According to Glen Gould, chief program engineer for Kuga, using all-wheel drive can make the ride smoother, safer and less stressful, especially in winter conditions. “We designed our new Kuga Hybrid to offer customers an economical vehicle, and the AI separating all-wheel drive means they don't have to change anything while driving, yet reap the benefits of intelligent all-wheel drive.
The Kuga Hybrid Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (1) constantly monitors which wheels have the best traction using information from multiple sensors on the vehicle.
The power of the petrol-electric hybrid transmission is seamlessly distributed between the front and rear wheels for smooth handling and precise cornering with torque transfer to the axles in less than 20 milliseconds. In situations where the front wheels lack traction, the system can send up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels.
The advanced 4WD rear-wheel-drive disengagement function uses a special computer and a fuzzy logic algorithm (distinguishing between 0 and 1) to determine whether the rear-wheel drive can be completely disengaged under current conditions, such as while driving. on the highway at positive temperature and dry road surface. Under favorable conditions, the Kuga Hybrid becomes a front-wheel drive car, which minimizes fuel consumption.
Most importantly, the disengaged 4WD rear wheel drive is always ready to be re-enabled if the electronic systems determine that Intelligent 4WD 1 is needed or may be needed in the near future. The AWD transmission electronics monitor information from the vehicle's systems, including traction control and ABS, to determine speed and wheel slip, as well as wiper activation and outside temperature signals to determine weather conditions. It can even determine if the Kuga Hybrid is towing a trailer, making a decision based on this information in as little as 10 milliseconds.
- The term "fuzzy logic" refers to an algorithm that can take into account all kinds of variables before making a decision, just like a person decides what to wear based on the weather forecast, time of year, what is seen from the window, and the goal . about leaving the house,” said Scott Beiring, head of Ford Powertrain Software. - In the case of the Kuga, the intelligent four-wheel drive will not be activated just because the wipers are being used. The algorithm takes into account information from many sensors before deciding whether to connect or disconnect the drive, and does it incomparably faster than a human could.
Ease of ownership of the Kugi Hybrid
Part of the most electrified lineup in Ford history, the new Kuga Hybrid features a fully hybrid powertrain that delivers the highest energy efficiency(3) and the ability to use clean, single-charge electric power with a range that rivals diesel-powered vehicles .
The hybrid SUV is also the first Kuga to combine an electrified powertrain with advanced all-wheel drive (1), available as an option in some markets.
- Driver assistance systems complement the attention of the driver, but do not replace the judgment and needs of the driver in driving the vehicle.
- Kuga Hybrid with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive - fuel consumption from 5.7 l/100 km, CO2 emissions from 132 g/km WLTP (from 5.3 l/100 km and 120 g/km NEDC).