Preteckt on the latest developments in aftertreatment system
Automotive IQ sat down with Mr. Sills, CEO and co-founder of Preteckt, and talked about what type of innovations for aftertreatment system could help car makers to reach their emission targets even in diesel vehicles.
Can you tell us a bit about your current role and the projects you are currently working on?
I am CEO and CoFounder at Preteckt. We deliver vehicle prognostics as a service to automotive OEMs, Tier 1 Suppliers, and Fleet Management Companies. We have worked with fleet partners since 2015 to a acquire a diverse and high quality data set: hundreds of sensors per vehicle sampled at up to 10 times per second, saved in perpetuity, and spanning vehicle make, model, year, and utility class. Physical and statistical models are combined with machine learning to provide predictions weeks to months ahead of manufacturer diagnostic trouble codes.
With the current city limits on emissions, car makers are in the tough spot when it comes to emissions regulations. Do you think there’s innovation left to be done to the aftertreatment system that could help car makers to reach their emission targets even in diesel vehicles?
It is always possible to meet an emission target. The question is whether it can be done in a way that is cost-effective compared to competing technologies. Electrification appears to be more likely to produce cost-effective innovation over the next decade.
How do you think maintenance will change within the automated and connected world?
Vehicles are growing increasingly complex. This is increasing the repair cost per unit distance. Automation will both increase the vehicle complexity and remove a critical part of the maintenance feedback system: the driver. At the same time, the fraction of vehicles that are connected to the internet will approach 100% over the next decade. Connectivity will enable vehicles to undergo full diagnostics while they are in use and away from a shop. In turn, you will see accurate just-in-time condition-based maintenance for vehicles while also eliminating the downtime caused by a shop needing physical access to perform diagnostics.
Do you think fleet operators have more challenging responsibilities and role to fill in when it comes to maintenance and emissions?
Inspection and maintenance programs have a significant positive impact on vehicle emissions, and play a critical role in any effort to reduce emissions. As vehicle complexity increases in order to achieve the goal of more efficient operation, diagnostics becomes significantly more challenging and requires both specialized tools and knowledge. Fleet operators must offset these challenges by embracing technologies such as machine learning which can augment human expertise and allow for more efficient fleet maintenance.
What is the benefit of using a prognostic model for diagnostics in the aftertreatment and exhaust systems?
The aftertreatment system causes significant downtime for fleet operators, especially in fleets that do not spend significant time at high speeds. The benefits of using a prognostic model for aftertreatment system diagnostics include reduction in vehicle downtime, and increase in asset utilization, reduction in emissions, and less time spent diagnosing maintenance issues.