GM Ventures Sees Potential in Fuel Saving Technology
Tula Technology’s software could be used in GM vehicles
DETROIT – GM Ventures is optimistic that its 2012 equity investment in Silicon Valley-based startup Tula Technology, Inc. will result in a revolutionary new fuel economy technology that could be deployed in future gasoline engine-powered General Motors’ vehicles.
Tula’s Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) technology integrates advanced digital signal processing with sophisticated powertrain controls to create a software-based approach to variable displacement engines. The result makes the most of vehicle fuel economy across a wide range of driving conditions.
Instead of relying on fixed cylinder deactivation or switching between fixed patterns like current multi-cylinder engines, Tula’s DSF technology continuously makes dynamic firing decisions on an individual cylinder basis to deliver the required engine torque for all vehicle speeds and loads while avoiding vibration.
Independent testing commissioned by Tula shows that the application of DSF technology can improve fuel efficiency in a multi-cylinder engine (4/6/8 cylinders) by as much as 15 percent when compared to a vehicle equipped with an engine that does not have cylinder deactivation.
“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.”
Co-investors in Tula with GM Ventures include Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners and Khosla Ventures. Since its founding in mid-2010, GM Ventures’ international portfolio includes investments in more than 20 startup companies.
“We’ve worked closely with GM during this exciting stage of DSF development, and they’ve provided essential financial support while allowing us to run our business with full autonomy,” said R. Scott Bailey, president and CEO of Tula Technology. “Our goal is the same as GM; we both innovate to make the lives of people better.”
About General Motors
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com
About Tula Technology, Inc.
Tula Technology, Inc. is a Silicon Valley based supplier of Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF), a software enabled powertrain technology that integrates advanced digital signal processing with sophisticated powertrain controls to create the ultimate variable displacement engine. Tula’s technology delivers optimal fuel efficiency across a wide range of engine types to the world’s automotive manufacturers, helping them meet fuel efficiency and CO2 mandates at the lowest cost. With headquarters in San Jose, CA, and an engineering center in Plymouth, MI, Tula brings together the best of Silicon Valley and automotive expertise, resulting in 22 patents issued and over 50 U.S. and international patents pending. More information is available at http://www.tulatech.com/.