A toolchain enabling Model-in-the-Loop development and assessment of connected control technologies in a virtual real-world environment.

The IMPERIUM project launched in September 2016 with the aim of demonstrating real world fuel savings on heavy-duty long-haul trucks through the application of advanced control and connected technologies.


Funded through the European Commission’s H2020 Programme, Ricardo is working with many partners including Continental, DAF, Volvo, and Iveco to demonstrate a 20% reduction in realworld CO2 emissions relative to a 2014 baseline.

CAE (Computer aided engineering) and simulation techniques are widely deployed throughout the automotive and trucking industry to reduce cost and improve time to market when developing new technological solutions.

Ricardo’s work on the IMPERIUM project tackles the topic of how to assess the impact and benefit of connected predictive control technologies, such as ‘Connected eHorizon’ in real-world scenarios within the context of a virtual engineering environment.

Customer Benefit

Initial results show that the application of predictive energy management control using dynamic preview data of road speed and topology to a conventional vehicle can bring fuel consumption reductions of 5-7% dependent on traffic conditions, with greater relative improvement in heavier traffic. These represent similar levels of fuel consumption reduction to hybridisation, with significantly lower on-cost and weight increase to the vehicle.

Ricardo has a range of control concepts leveraging connected electronic horizon and advanced control techniques such as model predictive control that can be tailored to specific customer applications. Ricardo also has simulation tools and processes for integrating connected technologies and real-world environmental factors, including road condition, traffic, and weather into our Integrated Model Based Development (IMBD) approach.

Ricardo can add value to your business by using our integrated tools to efficiently screen and develop connected controls from concept to production. Our extensive multi-domain modelling capability ensures high quality models at the right fidelity.

These technologies have applications to a wide range of vehicles and architectures from trucks, buses, light commercial vehicles, and passenger cars to off-highway vehicle applications (e.g. mining operations)


Ricardo is using a state-of-theart simulation environment, developed in-house, coupled with advanced control strategies to assess the virtual vehicle performance under real world driving conditions. This leads to a deep understanding of the impact of these technologies on the CO2 emissions, and consequently the running cost, of the vehicle.

In turn, this allows rapid selection of the optimum connected-vehicle technology configuration without relying on extensive fleet testing, giving savings to both development time and cost.

Ricardo has developed a cohesive simulation environment, integrating:

  • High fidelity virtual vehicle and powertrain models using Ricardo’s software solutions
  • Advanced agent-based traffic modelling environments
  • Simulation of beyond state-of-the-art Connected eHorizon
  • Advanced predictive control strategies for a wide range of vehicle sub-systems


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 713783 and from the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract no.16.0063 for the Swiss consortium members.