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Ricardo to Develop Fuel Efficient Vehicle for U.S. Army

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The US subsidiary of Ricardo has been awarded a contract for the development of a new vehicle under the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program launched by TARDEC, the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan.

The FED program, launched in late 2008, has the overarching goals of improving military vehicle technology, reducing fuel consumption on the battlefield, and reducing the nation's dependence on oil. Ricardo will apply its expertise in the development and manufacture of special vehicles and advanced automotive technology to create a demonstration vehicle that maximizes fuel economy while maintaining the capability and performance of light tactical wheeled vehicles.

The new contract award is for the second phase of the program, focusing on the detailed design of a demonstration vehicle. It builds upon the initial phase in which Ricardo applied its Total Vehicle Fuel Economy (TVFE(TM)) systems engineering expertise to evaluate current and emerging technologies that can improve fuel efficiency over the entire vehicle. TVFE focuses on evaluating all vehicle systems to optimize fuel economy and performance.

Ricardo's TVFE modeling and simulation capabilities were used to predict the performance of thousands of combinations of requirements, technologies and architectures. The effort drew upon the company's full range of automotive systems expertise including compression-ignition engines, hybrid propulsion, transmission and driveline systems, controls and electronics, thermal management, chassis, suspension and structures. Simulation results and innovative systems engineering methodologies were used to develop vehicle concepts for demonstration. Technologies were selected for both their potential both for immediate implementation into the existing fleets of military vehicles, and for improvement of the next generation of vehicles under development.

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