A fuel tank sensor to improve a car’s efficiency


French startup SP3H wants to improve the efficiency of modern cars by integrating a sensor in the fuel tank that can detect the exact blend of fuel in the car and optimize the performance of the engine in accordance with that fuel blend. Many people don’t realize that there is significant variation in the fuel blends and additives at any given gas station. In places like China, the problem is worse–some fuel being sold can damage an engine.

From Jeff John Roberts’ post:

Now, though, SP3H is producing a mini-version of the sensors for cars that uses near-infrared technology to acquire a “fuel fingerprint” of whatever is in the tank. This information can then be relayed to the car’s central computer system, which can in turn direct the engine to adjust the fuel injection, consumption and treatment process.

Roberts points out that some of the most advanced sensors from the industrial world may make their way into consumer products. The type of sensor that SP3H is working on can read thousands of fuel types though SP3H says it can be produced for $25. Presumably its data must be fed into the main on board computer that sets parameters for things like fuel injection and idle RPM. But its just one more step toward turning automobiles into technology products with advanced analytics.


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