Facing tough new fuel economy standards, automakers are frantically searching for ways to boost mileage, and General Motors is betting it may have found one of the possible solutions coming out of Silicon Valley.
The maker’s investment arm, GM Ventures, is pumping cash into startup Tula Technology which is developing a system it calls Dynamic Skip Fire. The technology allows a vehicle to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 15% by briefly shutting off individual cylinders when the demand for power is reduced.
“This technology holds the potential to improve fuel economy on select GM vehicles without degrading power capability when it’s required,” said Jon Lauckner, GM chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures. “This joint effort combines software expertise from Silicon Valley with powertrain expertise from General Motors.”