(19)
(11)EP 3 192 713 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 14901782.4

(22)Date of filing:  09.09.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60W 10/00(2006.01)
B60W 50/08(2012.01)
B60K 6/547(2007.10)
B60W 50/14(2012.01)
B60W 20/00(2016.01)
B60K 6/48(2007.10)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/073785
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/038680 (17.03.2016 Gazette  2016/11)

(54)

HYBRID VEHICLE CONTROL DEVICE

HYBRIDFAHRZEUGSTEUERUNGSVORRICHTUNG

DISPOSITIF DE COMMANDE DE VÉHICULE HYBRIDE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/29

(73)Proprietor: NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD.
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 221-0023 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • SAWADA, Takanobu
    Atsugi-shi Kanagawa 243-0123 (JP)
  • MIHARA, Kiyotaka
    Atsugi-shi Kanagawa 243-0123 (JP)
  • TANI, Masayuki
    Atsugi-shi Kanagawa 243-0123 (JP)

(74)Representative: Global IP Europe Patentanwaltskanzlei 
Pfarrstraße 14
80538 München
80538 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-94/16304
JP-A- 2011 025 778
JP-A- 2012 095 519
US-A1- 2012 053 772
US-A1- 2012 232 730
JP-A- H08 240 435
JP-A- 2011 184 013
US-A1- 2011 153 127
US-A1- 2012 116 626
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention relates to a hybrid vehicle control device that controls a drive source according to a driving mode of a hybrid vehicle having a drive source comprising an engine and a motor.

    Background Art



    [0002] Conventionally, a hybrid vehicle control device is known that is mounted on a hybrid vehicle including a drive source having an engine and a motor, and a navigation system that acquires travel environment information of a planned travel route, wherein the hybrid vehicle control device sets an accelerator operation schedule to be in a low fuel consumption travel when on a planned travel route, and displays a recommended accelerator operation based on the set accelerator operation schedule (for example refer to the Patent Document 1).

    Prior Art Documents


    Patent Documents



    [0003] Patent Document 1: Japanese Patent No. 4905516.

    [0004] US 2012/232730 A1 discloses a hybrid vehicle control device mounted in a hybrid vehicle having a drive source that includes an engine and a motor, and a navigation system that acquires travel environment information on a planned travel route, and comprising: a drive source controller that carries out control of the drive source in accordance with a driving mode of the hybrid vehicle, the drive source controller being configured to selectively control the drive source to operate in one of an EV mode and an HEV mode as travel modes, wherein the hybrid vehicle comprises, as the driving modes, a travel plan mode that sets a travel plan to control the travel mode of the drive source for low fuel consumption travel based on the travel environment information and an assumed requested drive force of a driver, and an eco-mode that controls the drive source to prioritize fuel efficiency over power performance by decreasing a target drive force with respect to an accelerator operation amount.

    [0005] US 2012/053772 A1, which discloses the technical features of the preamble of claims 1 and 2, refers to setting an energy saving operating mode that is manually settable, to operating a drive source by determining whether to automatically activate an REX operating mode in order to reach the destination based on a route data from a navigation system, and to inducing the driver to set the energy saving operating mode on condition that it has been determined that the REX operating mode is unnecessary.

    [0006] US 2012/116626 A1 refers to implementing an engine operating strategy based on predicted route data. In the engine operating strategy, a fuel economy mode is set on condition that the distance to be driven by the vehicle is less than the distance the vehicle can travel in a charge depleting mode before switching to a charge sustaining mode.

    [0007] WO 94/16304 A1, which also discloses the technical features of the preamble of claims 1 and 2, refers to selecting an energy efficient route as a route used for estimating available driving range and to automatically setting an economy mode as a default driving mode.

    [0008] US 2011/153127 A1 refers to applying a route-learned powertrain programming that automatically selects a driving mode from among an economy mode, a sport mode and a long-distance mode throughout a duration of a route.

    Summary of the Invention


    Problem to be Solved by the Invention



    [0009] However, the conventional hybrid vehicle control device only displays a recommended accelerator operation; therefore, while a driver can be aware of the recommended accelerator operation, there are cases in which the driver cannot carry out the recommended accelerator operation depending on the road conditions, weather conditions, etc. As a result, there is the problem that the accelerator operation will not be in accordance with the accelerator operation schedule, and that a presumed drive source control cannot be carried out.

    [0010] In view of the problem described above, an object of the present invention is to provide a hybrid vehicle control device that is able control the drive source in accordance with a travel plan.

    Means of Achieving the Object



    [0011] The object described above is achieved by providing a hybrid vehicle control device according to claims 1 and 2.

    Effects of the Invention



    [0012] Here, even if a travel plan is set based on travel environment information, there are cases in which the actual drive source control is different from what is assumed, depending on how the driver drives. In contrast, since the selection of the travel plan mode is linked with the setting operation of the eco-mode in the hybrid vehicle control device of the present invention, if the eco-mode is set at the time of selecting the travel plan mode, it is possible to suppress the requested drive force in order to reduce variation in the driving of the driver.

    [0013] It is thereby possible to suppress an unexpected engine start caused by the driving of the driver, and to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0014] 

    [Figure 1] is an overall system view illustrating a hybrid vehicle to which is applied the control device of a first embodiment.

    [Figure 2] is a flowchart illustrating the flow of a driving mode setting process that is executed by the vehicle control unit of the first embodiment.

    [Figure 3] is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode/actual vehicle speed/actual travel mode when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of a first comparative example.

    [Figure 4] is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode/actual vehicle speed/actual vehicle speed mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of the first embodiment.

    [Figure 5] is an overall system view illustrating a hybrid vehicle to which is applied the hybrid vehicle control device of a second embodiment.

    [Figure 6] is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of a second comparative example.

    [Figure 7] is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of the second embodiment.

    [Figure 8] is a flowchart illustrating the flow of a driving mode setting process that is executed by the vehicle control unit of another example of the present invention.


    Embodiments to Carry Out the Invention



    [0015] An embodiment for implementing the hybrid vehicle control device of the present invention is explained below based on the first embodiment and the second embodiment illustrated in the drawings.

    (Embodiment 1)



    [0016] First, the "Overall system configuration of a hybrid vehicle," the "Configuration of the vehicle control system," and the "Configuration of the driving mode setting process" will be separately described regarding the configuration of the hybrid vehicle control device of the first embodiment.

    [Overall System Configuration of a Hybrid Vehicle]



    [0017] Figure 1 is an overall system view illustrating a hybrid vehicle to which is applied the hybrid vehicle control device of the first embodiment. The overall system configuration of the hybrid vehicle of the first embodiment will be described below, based on Figure 1.

    [0018] The hybrid vehicle S according to the first embodiment is a rear wheel drive FR hybrid vehicle (one example of a hybrid vehicle). The drive system of the hybrid vehicle S comprises an engine Eng, a first clutch CL1, a motor/generator MG, a second clutch CL2, an automatic transmission AT, a transmission input shaft IN, a propeller shaft PS, a differential DF, a left drive shaft DSL, a right drive shaft DSR, a left rear wheel RL (drive wheel), and a right rear wheel RR (drive wheel), as illustrated in Figure 1. FL is the left front wheel and FR is the right front wheel.

    [0019] The engine Eng is a gasoline engine or a diesel engine, and a drive source of the hybrid vehicle S. In the engine Eng, engine start control, engine stop control, valve opening control of the throttle valve, fuel-cutoff control, and the like are carried out based on engine control commands from a vehicle control unit 1. A first clutch CL1 is connected to the engine output shaft via a flywheel FW.

    [0020] The first clutch CL1 is a clutch that is interposed between the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG, in which engagement/slip engagement/disengagement are controlled by a first clutch control hydraulic pressure produced by a hydraulic unit, which is not shown, based on a control command from the vehicle control unit 1. One example of this first clutch CL1 to be used is a normally closed dry single-plate clutch, in which the steps from full engagement → slip engagement → full disengagement, are controlled by a stroke control that uses a hydraulic actuator having a piston, and which maintains full engagement by a biasing force of a diaphragm spring. This first clutch CL1 acts as a mode switching means that switches between an electric vehicle mode, having only the motor/generator MG as the travel drive source, and a hybrid vehicle mode, having both the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG as the travel drive sources.

    [0021] The motor/generator MG is a synchronous motor/generator, in which a permanent magnet is embedded in the rotor and a stator coil is wound on the stator, and which is a drive source of the hybrid vehicle S. This motor/generator MG is controlled by applying three-phase AC that is produced by an inverter 2, based on a control command from the vehicle control unit 1. The motor/generator MG may be operated as an electric motor that is rotationally driven by receiving a power supply from a battery 3 to start the engine Eng or to drive the left and right rear wheels RL and RR (this operating state is hereinafter referred to as "powering"), or may function as an electric generator that generates an electromotive force at both ends of the stator coil and charges the battery 3, when the rotor receives rotational energy from the engine Eng or the left and right rear wheels RL and RR (this operating state is hereinafter referred to as "regeneration"). The rotor of the motor/generator MG is connected to the transmission input shaft IN of the automatic transmission AT.

    [0022] The second clutch CL2 is interposed between the motor/generator MG, and the left and right rear wheels RL and RR, in which engagement/slip engagement/disengagement are controlled by a second clutch control hydraulic pressure produced by a hydraulic unit, which is not shown, based on a control command from the vehicle control unit 1. Examples of the second clutch CL2 to be used include a normally opened wet multi-plate clutch, or a wet multi-plate brake that can continuously control the oil flow amount and the hydraulic pressure with a proportional solenoid.

    [0023] The automatic transmission AT is a stepped transmission that is interposed between the motor/generator MG, and the left and right rear wheels RL and RR, and in which, for example, stepped gear stages of seven forward gears/one reverse gear are automatically switched in accordance with the vehicle speed, accelerator position opening amount, or the like. A propeller shaft PS is coupled to the transmission output shaft of the automatic transmission AT. Then, the propeller shaft PS is connected to the left and right rear wheels RL and RR via the differential DF, the left drive shaft DSL, and the right drive shaft DSR. In the first embodiment of a plurality of frictional engagement elements that are engaged at each gear stage of the automatic transmission AT, an optimum frictional engagement element (a clutch or a brake) that is disposed in a torque transmission path and that conforms to a predetermined condition is selected to be the second clutch CL2. That is, the second clutch CL2 is not newly added as a dedicated clutch that is independent of the automatic transmission AT.

    [0024] The hybrid vehicle S comprises an electric vehicle mode (hereinafter referred to as "EV mode") and a hybrid vehicle mode (hereinafter referred to as "HEV mode"), as traveling modes according to differences in the driving mode, that is, differences in the travel drive source.

    [0025] The "EV mode" is a mode in which the first clutch CL1 is released and in which traveling is carried out by only the driving force of the motor/generator MG, with the engine Eng stopped. The "EV mode" comprises a motor traveling mode and a regenerative traveling mode. The "EV mode" is selected when the required drive torque is low and when a remaining charge amount of the battery 3 (hereinafter referred to as "battery SOC (abbreviation for State of Charge)") is secure.

    [0026] The "HEV mode" is a mode in which the first clutch CL1 is engaged and in which traveling is carried out by the drive force of both the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG. The "HEV mode" comprises a motor assist traveling mode, a power generation traveling mode, and an engine traveling mode. The "HEV mode" is selected when the required drive torque is high, or when the battery SOC is lacking.

    [0027] Furthermore, the FR hybrid vehicle S comprises a "normal mode" and a "travel plan mode" as driving modes according to differences in the control method of the drive source. Furthermore, an "eco-mode", a "sports mode", and a "normal mode" are provided as driving modes according to differences in the control method of the drive source when in the "normal mode" and the "travel plan mode."

    [0028] The "normal mode" is a mode in which a traveling mode is selected by searching a preset traveling mode setting map (not shown) based on a driver's requested drive force, and the drive source is controlled according to the selected traveling mode at any given time. The setting of the "normal mode" is automatically carried out when the "travel plan mode" is not set.

    [0029] The "travel plan mode" is a mode in which a travel plan (planned travel mode) is set for low fuel consumption travel based on travel environment information on a planned travel route that is set by the navigation system 4, to be described later, and the drive source is controlled according to the travel plan. That is, in the "travel plan mode," the planned travel route is first divided into a plurality of sections and the driver's requested drive force is assumed for each section based on the travel environment information. Then, the traveling mode in each section is set according to the assumed requested drive force, to configure the travel plan (planned travel mode). Then, the drive source, such as the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG, is controlled to be in low fuel consumption travel when in a traveling mode that is set by the travel plan.

    [0030] In the "travel plan mode," when a requested drive force that is different from what is assumed is generated due to the manner in which the driver drives, and there is no other choice but to select a traveling mode that is different from the travel plan, the traveling mode that is selected based on the actually generated requested drive force of the driver is given priority. In addition, the setting of the "travel plan mode" is carried out by the driver manually turning ON a setting button, which is not shown.

    [0031] The "eco-mode" is a mode that prioritizes fuel efficiency over power performance, and in which the drive source is controlled so as to suppress the fuel consumption rate more compared to the "sports mode" and the "normal mode." That is, the target drive force is set to a smaller value than the "sports mode" or the "normal mode" with respect to the same accelerator operation amount. The setting of the "eco-mode" is carried out by the driver manually turning ON a setting button, which is not shown, as well as being automatically carried out in conjunction with a selection of the "travel plan mode", as described later.

    [0032] The "sports mode" is a mode that prioritizes power performance over fuel efficiency, in which the target drive force is set to a larger value with respect to the same accelerator operation amount compared to the "normal mode" and in which the drive source is controlled so as to realize the target drive force having a relatively large value. The setting of the "sports mode" is carried out by the driver manually turning ON a setting button, which is not shown.

    [0033] The "normal mode" is a mode in which a predetermined target drive force is set in advance with respect to the accelerator operation amount, and in which the drive source is controlled so as to realize the target drive force. The setting of the "normal mode" is automatically carried out when the "eco-mode" or the "sports mode" is not set.

    [Configuration of the Vehicle Control System]



    [0034] The vehicle control system of the FR hybrid vehicle S in the first embodiment comprises a vehicle control unit 1, an inverter 2, a battery 3, a navigation system 4, and a communication unit 5, as illustrated in Figure 1.

    [0035] The vehicle control unit 1 (drive source controller) is provided with a micro-computer, peripheral parts thereof, and various actuators, etc., and a vehicle speed information from the vehicle speed sensor 6A, an accelerator position opening amount information from the accelerator position opening amount sensor 6B, a battery SOC information from an SOC monitoring unit 6C, which constantly monitors the battery SOC, climate information from a climate sensor 6D, which comprises a thermometer, a hygrometer, etc., and detects the climate state such as temperature, humidity, rain, snow, wind, etc., and travel environment information on a planned travel route from the navigation system 4, are input thereto.

    [0036] The vehicle control unit then controls the rotational speed and the output torque of the engine Eng, the engagement/slip engagement/disengagement of the first clutch CL1 and the second clutch CL2, the rotational speed and the output torque of the motor/generator MG, and the gear shift stage of the automatic transmission AT. In addition, the vehicle control unit 1 executes a driving mode setting process, to be described later. Furthermore, when the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode, a travel plan on a planned travel route is set for low fuel consumption travel based on the travel environment information that is input from the navigation system 4, and the drive source such as the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG is controlled according to this travel plan.

    [0037] The navigation system 4 comprises a storage unit 4a, a calculation unit 4b, and a display (not shown). The storage unit 4a stores road information, such as the road radius of curvature, gradients, intersections, traffic signals, railway crossings, crosswalks, speed limits, and toll booths, etc., and map information including road attribute information (expressways, arterial highways, general roads, residential areas, etc.). The calculation unit 4b receives signals from satellites and detects the absolute location of the hybrid vehicle S on earth. Then, reference is made to a map stored in the storage unit 4a to identify the location where the hybrid vehicle S is present (current position), and the planned travel route from this current position to the destination is set. This planned travel route, as well as the road information and the road attribute information (travel environment information) on the route are input to the vehicle control unit 1. In addition, the display, which is not shown, is provided in the cabin interior, to be visible by the driver.

    [0038] The communication unit 5 is connected to the navigation system 4 and carries out a wireless communication (telematics communication) with a data center 8 having traffic information, traffic data statistics, traffic jam information, etc., via a communication network such as a wireless base station and the internet, which are not shown. This "communication" is bidirectional, with which it is possible to transmit information from the navigation system 4 to the data center 8 via the communication unit 5, and inputting information received from the data center 8 via the communication unit 5 to the navigation system 4.

    [0039] Various devices can be employed as the communication unit 5, including cellular phones, DSRC, and wireless LAN.

    [Configuration of the Driving Mode Setting Process]



    [0040] Figure 2 is a flowchart illustrating the flow of a driving mode setting process that is executed by the vehicle control unit of the first embodiment. Each step of the flowchart in Figure 2, representing the content of the driving mode setting process, is described below.

    [0041] In Step S1, it is determined whether or not the driver has input the destination and a planned travel route from the current position to the destination has been set by the navigation system 4. The input of the destination includes not only a driver's operation, but also cases in which the destination is inferred by the navigation system 4 from the past travel history, or the like. If YES (planned travel route set), the process proceeds to Step S2. If NO (planned travel route not set), the process repeats Step S1.

    [0042] In Step S2, following the determination that the planned travel route is set in Step S1, it is determined whether or not the "travel plan mode" is selected in a state in which the eco-mode is not selected. If YES (eco-mode = OFF, travel plan mode = ON), the process proceeds to Step S3. If NO (eco-mode = ON or travel plan mode = OFF), the process proceeds to END.

    [0043] In Step S3, following the determination that eco-mode = OFF and travel plan mode = ON in Step S2, the "eco-mode" is automatically set, and the process proceeds to Step S4. That is, when the "travel plan mode" is selected in Step S2, the selection of this "travel plan mode" is linked to the setting operation of the "eco-mode." Here, since the "travel plan mode" is already selected in Step S2, the "eco-mode" is selected in parallel as the driving mode.

    [0044] In Step S4, following the setting of the eco-mode in Step S3, a travel plan on the planned travel mode is set, and the process proceeds to Step S5.

    [0045] Here, the setting of the travel plan assumes the driver's requested drive force based on the travel environment information for each section after dividing the planned travel route into a plurality of sections.

    [0046] Then, the traveling mode for each section is set according to the assumed requested drive force. The "travel environment information" that is used when setting the travel plan includes road information and road attribute information from the navigation system 4, vehicle speed information from the vehicle speed sensor 6A, accelerator position opening amount information from the accelerator position opening amount sensor 6B, battery SOC information from the SOC monitoring unit 6C, climate information from the climate sensor 6D, as well as ambient information obtained by cameras and radars, which are not shown.

    [0047] In Step S5, following the setting of the travel plan in Step S4, a control of the power train, including the drive source comprising the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG, is carried out according to the set travel plan, and the process proceeds to END.

    [0048] Here, since the "eco-mode" is set, the drive source is controlled so as to suppress the fuel consumption rate more compared to the "sports mode" and the "normal mode." That is, a relatively small target drive force is set with respect to the accelerator operation amount by the driver, and, for example, the vehicle speed is suppressed.

    [0049] Next, the actions are described.

    [0050] First, the "Travel plan setting action and problems thereof in the hybrid vehicle control device of the first comparative example" will be described, followed by a description of the travel plan setting action of the hybrid vehicle control device according to the first embodiment.

    [Travel Plan Setting Action and Problems Thereof in the Hybrid Vehicle Control Device of the First Comparative Example]



    [0051] Figure 3 is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode/actual vehicle speed/actual travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of the first comparative example. The travel plan setting action and problems thereof in the hybrid vehicle control device of the first comparative example will be described below, based on Figure 3.

    [0052] In the hybrid vehicle control device according to the first comparative example, when the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode, the driving mode that is already set from among the "eco-mode," "sports mode," and the "normal mode," is continued. For example, if the "travel plan mode" is selected in a state in which the "eco-mode" is not set and the "normal mode" is set, a travel plan is set while continuing the "normal mode," and the drive source is controlled while continuing the "normal mode" according to the set travel plan.

    [0053] That is, first, the planned travel route is divided into a plurality of sections (here, section 1 - section 5), as illustrated in Figure 3. Then, the travel environment information is acquired for each section, and the inferred vehicle speed is calculated based on this acquired travel environment information. The inferred vehicle speed shall be the average vehicle speed of each section.

    [0054] Then, a travel plan (planned travel mode) is set based on this inferred vehicle speed; here, the planned travel mode is set to the "EV mode" if the inferred vehicle speed is smaller than a switching threshold that is set in advance, and the planned travel mode is set to the "HEV mode" if the inferred vehicle speed is greater than or equal to the switching threshold. The planned travel mode thereby becomes the "EV mode" in section 1, section 2, and section 4, and becomes the "HEV mode" in section 3 and section 5. That is, it is possible to achieve a low fuel consumption travel by traveling in the "EV mode," having only the motor/generator MG as the travel drive source, in section 1, section 2, and section 4, and by traveling in the "HEV mode," having the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG as travel drive sources, in section 3 and section 5. The planned travel mode may be determined and set, based not only on the inferred vehicle speed, but also on gradient information, the inferred number of times of start/stop inferred from traffic jams and the number of traffic signals, and the inferred efficiency of the power train such as the presence/absence of an acceleration scene.

    [0055] In contrast, the vehicle speed when the driver is actually traveling is indicated by the actual vehicle speed. Here, the actual vehicle speed exceeded the inferred vehicle speed in sections 1 to 4, and the actual vehicle speed fell below the inferred vehicle speed in section 5. Since the "normal mode" is set at this time, the drive source is controlled so as to realize a predetermined target drive force that is set in advance with respect to the driver's accelerator operation amount. In other words, the driver's accelerator operation is directly reflected on the actual vehicle speed.

    [0056] When in this "travel plan mode," the traveling mode that is selected based on the driver's requested drive force that is actually generated is given priority over the traveling mode that is set in the travel plan. Accordingly, in section 1, section 4, and section 5, in which the actual vehicle speed falls below the switching threshold, the actual travel mode is set to the "EV mode." On the other hand, in section 2 and section 3, in which the actual vehicle speed exceeds the switching threshold, the actual travel mode is set to the "HEV mode."

    [0057] As a result, in section 2 and section 5, the drive source is controlled by a traveling mode that is different from the travel plan (planned travel mode). Consequently, a problem arises in which a low fuel consumption travel cannot be carried out, and the fuel efficiency deteriorates.

    [Travel Plan Setting Action]



    [0058] Figure 4 is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode/actual vehicle speed/actual travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of the first embodiment. The travel plan setting action in the control device of the first embodiment will be described below, based on Figure 4.

    [0059] In the hybrid vehicle control device according to the first embodiment, when destination information is input to the navigation system 4 by an operation of the driver, a planned travel route from the current position to the destination is set based on map information, etc., that is stored in the navigation system 4. It is thereby determined YES in Step S1 in the flowchart illustrated in Figure 2 and the process proceeds to Step S2; then, if the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode, the process proceeds from Step S2 → Step S3, and the "eco-mode" is automatically selected.

    [0060] The "travel plan mode" and the "eco-mode" will thereby be set in parallel as the driving modes.

    [0061] If the "eco-mode" is set, the process proceeds to Step S4 and a travel plan is set. Here, in the same manner as the control device of the first comparative example, the planned travel route is first divided into a plurality of sections (here, section 1 - section 5). Then, the travel environment information, such as road information and vehicle speed information, is acquired for each section from the navigation system 4 and various sensors, and the inferred vehicle speed is calculated based on this acquired travel environment information.

    [0062] It is assumed that reducing variation in the driver's driving is possible by the "eco-mode" being set at this time, and it becomes easy to infer the accuracy of the travel environment information, such as the vehicle speed, acceleration and deceleration, electric power consumption, and fuel consumption on the planned travel mode.

    [0063] Then, the travel plan (planned travel mode) is set based in the inferred vehicle speed. Here, the planned travel mode is set to the "EV mode" in section 1, section 2, and section 4 since the inferred vehicle speed is smaller than the switching threshold, and the planned travel mode is set to the "HEV mode" in section 3 and section 5 since the inferred vehicle speed is greater than or equal to the switching threshold.

    [0064] It is thereby possible to achieve a low fuel consumption travel by traveling in the "EV mode" in section 1, section 2, and section 4, and by traveling in the "HEV mode" in section 3 and section 5.

    [0065] Then, when the travel plan is set, the process proceeds to Step S5, and a control of the power train, including the drive source, is carried out according to the travel plan.

    [0066] In contrast, the vehicle speed when the driver is actually traveling is indicated by the actual vehicle speed. Here, in the first embodiment, the selection of this "travel plan mode" when the "travel plan mode" is selected, is linked to the setting operation of the "eco-mode." Accordingly, even if the accelerator operation amount is the same, the vehicle speed is reduced compared to the "normal mode" by being set to the "eco-mode."

    [0067] That is, compared to the actual vehicle speed in the "normal mode" indicated by the dashed-dotted line in Figure 4 for comparison, in the first embodiment, the actual vehicle speed becomes a lower value even if, for example, the accelerator operation amount is the same. As a result, the switching threshold that determines the traveling mode changes (rises).

    [0068] Accordingly, in section 2, although a traveling mode that is different from the travel plan will be set in the first comparative example, it is possible to lower the actual vehicle speed in the first embodiment. Therefore, it is possible to set the actual travel mode to the "EV mode," which is the same as the planned travel mode.

    [0069] It is thereby possible to suppress an unexpected engine start caused by the driving of the driver, and to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan for achieving a low fuel consumption travel.

    [0070] In addition, in section 5, the actual vehicle speed is lowered by setting the "eco-mode," and this actual vehicle speed falls below the switching threshold. However, by traveling in the "EV mode" in section 2, it is possible to consume the battery SOC as expected. Therefore, it is possible to set the actual travel mode to the "HEV mode," which is the same as the planned travel mode. That is, by carrying out a control of the drive source in accordance with the travel plan until reaching section 5, it is possible to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan, if necessary, regardless of the actual vehicle speed.

    [0071] In the case of the first comparative example, due to the "HEV mode" being set in section 2, the battery SOC becomes more excessive than assumed when traveling in section 5. Consequently, it is difficult to set the "HEV mode" in section 5. That is, in the control device of the first comparative example, with the occurrence of an unexpected engine start, it becomes impossible to carry out a control of the drive source in accordance with the travel plan in section 5, due to the effects of the battery SOC, etc.

    [0072] In this manner, by linking the selection of the "travel plan mode" with the setting operation of the "eco-mode" when the "travel plan mode" is selected in a state in which the "eco-mode" is not selected as the driving mode, it is possible to suppress the driver's requested drive force in order to reduce variation in the driving of the driver. Accordingly, it is possible to suppress an unexpected engine start caused by the driving of the driver, and to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan. Then, by carrying out a control of the drive source in accordance with the travel plan, a low fuel consumption travel becomes possible to thereby improve the fuel efficiency.

    [0073] In addition, in the first embodiment, when the selection of the "travel plan mode" is linked with the setting operation of the "eco-mode," the "eco-mode" is automatically set when the "travel plan mode" is selected.

    [0074] Accordingly, a manual setting operation of the "eco-mode" by the driver is unnecessary, and it is possible to reliably set the "eco-mode" when selecting the "travel plan mode." As a result, it is possible to suppress an unexpected engine start caused by the driving of the driver, and to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan.

    [0075] Next, the effects are described.

    [0076] The effects listed below can be obtained with the hybrid vehicle control device according to the first embodiment.

    [0077] It is thereby possible to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan, and low fuel consumption travel becomes possible to thereby improve fuel efficiency.

    [0078] As a setting operation of the "eco-mode" by the driver becomes unnecessary, it is possible to reliably set the "eco-mode" when selecting the "travel plan mode" to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan.

    (Example 2)



    [0079] The second embodiment is an example in which a travel plan is set by giving consideration to driver characteristics, such as accelerator operation and brake operation of the driver.

    [0080] Figure 5 is an overall system view illustrating a hybrid vehicle to which is applied the hybrid vehicle control device of the second embodiment. The hybrid vehicle control device according to the second embodiment will be described below, based on Figure 5. Configurations that are the same as the first embodiment are given the same reference symbols as the first embodiment, and detailed descriptions thereof are omitted.

    [0081] The vehicle control unit 1A of the second embodiment comprises a historical storage unit 1b, as illustrated in Figure 5.

    [0082] The historical storage unit 1b stores the history of driver characteristics, such as steering, accelerator operation, and brake operation of the driver.

    [0083] Then, the vehicle control unit 1A calculates driver characteristic information based on the history of the driver characteristics that is input from the historical storage unit 1b and includes the driver characteristic information in the travel environment information when setting the travel plan on the planned travel route by the "travel plan mode" being selected. That is, the vehicle control unit sets the travel plan giving consideration to the driver characteristics.

    [0084] Next, the actions of the second embodiment will be described.

    [0085] First, the "Travel plan setting action and problems thereof in the hybrid vehicle control device of the second comparative example" will be described, followed by a description of the travel plan setting action of the hybrid vehicle control device according to the second embodiment.

    [0086] Figure 6 is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of a second comparative example. The travel plan setting action and problems thereof in the hybrid vehicle control device of the second comparative example will be described below, based on Figure 6.

    [0087] In the hybrid vehicle control device according to the second comparative example, when the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode, the driving mode that is already set from among the "eco-mode," "sports mode," and the "normal mode," is continued. In addition, the travel plan is set giving consideration to driver characteristic information that is calculated based on the history of the driver characteristics that are stored in the historical storage unit 1b.

    [0088] That is, the planned travel route is divided into a plurality of sections (here, section 1 - section 5), as illustrated in Figure 6, and the travel environment information is acquired for each section to calculate the inferred vehicle speed. By including the driver characteristic information in the travel environment information acquired at this time, it is possible to give consideration to the driver characteristics when calculating the inferred vehicle speed. The planned travel route illustrated in Figure 6 shall be the same route at the first embodiment, to be a route on which a low fuel consumption travel is possible by setting the "EV mode" in section 1, section 2, and section 4, and setting the "HEV mode" in section 3 and section 5.

    [0089] With respect to the foregoing, as a result of considering the driver characteristics, the inferred vehicle speed in the control device of the second comparative example becomes greater than or equal to the switching threshold in section 2 and section 3, and falls below the switching threshold in section 1, section 4, and section 5, as illustrated in Figure 6. Accordingly, the planned travel mode (travel plan) becomes "EV mode" in section 1, section 4, and section 5, and becomes "HEV mode" in section 2 and section 3.

    [0090] Here, in order to realize a low fuel consumption travel, it is necessary to set the "EV mode" in section 2 and to set the "HEV mode" in section 5, as described above. However, in order to give consideration to the driver characteristics to prevent an unexpected engine start by a driver's operation and to appropriately respond to the driver's requested drive force at the same time, a problem occurs in which it is necessary to employ a travel plan with a relatively low fuel efficiency.

    [Travel Plan Setting Action]



    [0091] Figure 7 is a time chart illustrating the characteristics of each of the inferred vehicle speed/planned travel mode, when setting the "travel plan mode" in the control device of the second embodiment. The travel plan setting action in the control device of the second embodiment will be described below, based on Figure 7.

    [0092] In the hybrid vehicle control device of the second embodiment, if the planned travel route is set and the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode, the "eco-mode" is automatically set. Then, when the "eco-mode" is set, the travel plan on the planned travel route is set based on the travel environment information.

    [0093] At this time, the travel plan is set giving consideration to the driver characteristics by including the driver characteristic information in the travel environment information, in the same manner as the second comparative example.

    [0094] Here, in the second embodiment, the "eco-mode" is already set by selecting the "travel plan mode." Accordingly, it is possible to lower the inferred vehicle speed that is used when setting the travel plan, compared to the case of the second comparative example in which the "eco-mode" is not set. In other words, it is possible to change (raise) the switching threshold that determines the traveling mode. As a result, the inferred vehicle speed falls below the switching threshold in section 1, section 2, section 4, and section 5, and the inferred vehicle speed becomes greater than or equal to the switching threshold in section 3, as illustrated in Figure 7.

    [0095] It is thereby possible to set the planned travel mode to the "EV mode" which can realize a low fuel consumption travel in section 2. On the other hand, regarding section 5, by allowing traveling in the "EV mode" in section 2, it is possible to put the battery SOC in a sufficiently consumed state at the timing of traveling section 5, and it is possible to set the planned travel mode to the "HEV mode" which can realize a low fuel consumption travel. As a result, it is possible to correct the travel plan (travel plan of the second com) that is set with consideration for the driver characteristics and to set a travel plan with which a low fuel consumption travel can be realized, thereby improving the fuel efficiency.

    [0096] That is, in the second embodiment, it is possible to improve the accuracy of the travel plan and to suppress an unexpected engine start by the driving of the driver while being able to set a travel plan that assumes the setting of the "eco-mode," by including the driver characteristic information in the travel environment information; therefore, it is possible to achieve a travel plan that is capable of low fuel consumption travel.

    [0097] The effects listed below can be obtained with the hybrid vehicle control device according to the second embodiment.

    [0098] (3) The drive source controller (vehicle control unit 1) is configured to include driver characteristic information in the travel environment information that is used when setting the travel plan.

    [0099] Accordingly, in addition to the effect of the features of the first embodiment, it is possible to improve the accuracy of the travel plan and to suppress an unexpected engine start by the driving of the driver, while achieving a travel plan that is capable of low fuel consumption travel.

    [0100] The hybrid vehicle control device of the present invention was described above based on the first embodiment and the second embodiment, but specific configurations thereof are not limited to these embodiments, and various modifications and additions to the design can be made without departing from the scope of the invention according to each claim.

    [0101] In the first embodiment and the second embodiment, examples were shown in which the "eco-mode" is automatically set when the "travel plan mode" is selected as the driving mode. However, since it is sufficient if the selection of the "travel plan mode" is linked with the setting operation of the "eco-mode," the configuration may be one in which, for example, if the "travel plan mode" is selected in Step S2, the process proceeds to Step S3A to induce the driver to set the "eco-mode," as illustrated by the flowchart in Figure 8. In this case, the setting of the "eco-mode" itself is carried out by a manual operation by the driver.

    [0102] Thus, if the driver sets the "eco-mode," the driver operation is suppressed, and it is possible to suppress an unexpected engine start caused by the driving of the driver, and to control the drive source in accordance with the travel plan for achieving a low fuel consumption travel.

    [0103] In addition, since the setting of the "eco-mode" itself is carried out by a manual operation by the driver, it is possible to carry out a control that respects the intention of the driver.

    [0104] "Induce to set the 'eco-mode'" here means, for example, displaying a setting screen of the "eco-mode" on a display of the navigation system 4, which is not shown, or illuminating a setting button for the "eco-mode". In addition, the driver may be urged to set the "eco-mode" by voice as well.

    [0105] In addition, in the first embodiment and the second embodiment, examples were shown in which the setting of the travel plan is carried out by setting a planned travel mode for each section after dividing the planned travel route into a plurality of sections, but the invention is not limited thereto. For example, a consumption management of the battery SOC may be planned, or a drive force distribution of the engine Eng and the motor/generator MG may be set in sections in which the planned travel mode is the "HEV mode".

    [0106] Additionally, in the above-described embodiments, examples were shown in which a planned travel route is set, and when the "travel plan mode" is selected, the entire planned travel route that is set in advance is divided into a plurality of sections, after which a travel plan is set for each section, but the invention is not limited thereto. For example, one section ahead may be predicted with respect to the current position, and a travel plan may be set for each one section.

    [0107] Furthermore, in the above-described embodiments, examples were shown in which the hybrid vehicle S is a FR hybrid vehicle; however, the hybrid vehicle may be a FF hybrid vehicle, or a series-type hybrid vehicle that travels by a motor and in which a generator is driven by an engine. The vehicle may be a plug-in hybrid vehicle. That is, the control device of the present invention may be applied to any hybrid vehicle comprising an engine and a motor.


    Claims

    1. A hybrid vehicle control device mounted in a hybrid vehicle having a drive source that includes an engine (Eng) and a motor (MG), and a navigation system (4) that acquires travel environment information on a planned travel route, and comprising:

    a drive source controller (1, 1b) that carries out control of the drive source in accordance with a driving mode of the hybrid vehicle, the drive source controller being configured to selectively control the drive source to operate in one of an EV mode and an HEV mode as travel modes, wherein

    the hybrid vehicle comprises, as the driving modes,

    a travel plan mode that sets a travel plan to control the travel mode of the drive source for low fuel consumption travel based on the travel environment information and an assumed requested drive force of a driver, and

    an eco-mode that controls the drive source to prioritize fuel efficiency over power performance by decreasing a target drive force with respect to an accelerator operation amount,
    wherein each of the travel plan mode and the eco-mode is manually selectable by turning ON a setting button, characterized in that

    the drive source controller is configured to determine (S1, S2) whether the planned travel route has been set by the navigation system and whether the travel plan mode has been selected in a state in which the eco-mode is not selected, and to automatically set (S3) the eco-mode in parallel with the travel plan mode when the drive source controller determines that the planned travel route has been set by the navigation system and that the travel plan mode has been selected in a state in which the eco-mode is not selected.


     
    2. A hybrid vehicle control device mounted in a hybrid vehicle having a drive source that includes an engine (Eng) and a motor (MG), and a navigation system (4) that acquires travel environment information on a planned travel route, and comprising:

    a drive source controller (1, 1b) that carries out control of the drive source in accordance with a driving mode of the hybrid vehicle, the drive source controller being configured to selectively control the drive source to operate in one of an EV mode and an HEV mode as travel modes, wherein

    the hybrid vehicle comprises, as the driving modes,

    a travel plan mode that sets a travel plan to control the travel mode of the drive source for low fuel consumption travel based on the travel environment information and an assumed requested drive force of a driver, and

    an eco-mode that controls the drive source to prioritize fuel efficiency over power performance by decreasing a target drive force with respect to an accelerator operation amount, wherein

    each of the travel plan mode and the eco-mode being manually selectable by turning ON a setting button, characterized in that

    the drive source controller is configured to determine (S1, S2) whether the planned travel route has been set by the navigation system and whether the travel plan mode has been selected in a state in which the eco-mode is not selected, and to induce (S3A) the driver to set the eco-mode when the drive source controller determines that the planned travel route has been set by the navigation system and that the travel plan mode has been selected in a state in which the eco-mode is not selected.


     
    3. The hybrid vehicle control device according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein
    the drive source controller (1b) includes driver characteristic information in the travel environment information that is used when setting the travel plan.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Steuervorrichtung für ein Hybridfahrzeug, die in einem Hybridfahrzeug angebracht ist, das eine Antriebsquelle, die einen Verbrennungsmotor (Eng) und einen Elektromotor (MG) aufweist, und ein Navigationssystem (4) aufweist, das Fahrumgebungsinformationen über eine geplanten Fahrtstrecke erfasst, und die aufweist:

    eine Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung (1, 1b), die eine Steuerung der Antriebsquelle gemäß einem Antriebsmodus des Hybridfahrzeugs ausführt, wobei die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist, die Antriebsquelle selektiv zu steuern, in einem EV-Modus oder einem HEV-Modus als Fahrmodi zu arbeiten, wobei

    das Hybridfahrzeug als die Antriebsmodi aufweist:

    einen Fahrplanmodus, der einen Fahrplan festlegt, um den Fahrmodus der Antriebsquelle für eine Fahrt mit niedrigem Kraftstoffverbrauch beruhend auf den Fahrumgebungsinformationen und einer angenommenen angeforderten Antriebskraft eines Fahrers zu steuern, und einen Ökomodus, der die Antriebsquelle so steuert, dass dem Kraftstoffausnutzungsgrad gegenüber der Antriebsleistung der Vorrang gegeben wird, indem eine Sollantriebskraft bezüglich eines Gaspedalbetätigungsbetrags gesenkt wird, wobei der Fahrplanmodus und der Ökomodus jeweils manuell durch Einschalten eines Einstellknopfes auswählbar sind, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist, festzustellen (S1, S2), ob die geplante Fahrtstrecke durch das Navigationssystem festgelegt worden ist und ob der Fahrplanmodus in einem Zustand ausgewählt worden ist, in dem der Ökomodus nicht ausgewählt ist, und automatisch den Ökomodus parallel mit dem Fahrplanmodus einzustellen (S3), wenn die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung feststellt, dass die geplante Fahrtstrecke durch das Navigationssystem festgelegt worden ist und dass der Fahrplanmodus in einem Zustand ausgewählt worden ist, in dem der Ökomodus nicht ausgewählt ist.


     
    2. Steuervorrichtung für ein Hybridfahrzeug, die in einem Hybridfahrzeug angebracht ist, das eine Antriebsquelle aufweist, die einen Verbrennungsmotor (Eng) und einen Elektromotor (MG) aufweist, und ein Navigationssystem (4) aufweist, das Fahrumgebungsinformationen über eine geplante Fahrtstrecke erfasst, und die aufweist:

    eine Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung (1, 1b), die eine Steuerung der Antriebsquelle gemäß einem Antriebsmodus des Hybridfahrzeugs ausführt, wobei die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist, die Antriebsquelle selektiv zu steuern, in einem EV-Modus oder einem HEV-Modus als Fahrmodi zu arbeiten, wobei

    das Hybridfahrzeug als die Antriebsmodi aufweist:

    einen Fahrplanmodus, der einen Fahrplan festlegt, um den Fahrmodus der Antriebsquelle für eine Fahrt mit niedrigem Kraftstoffverbrauch beruhend auf den

    Fahrumgebungsinformationen und einer angenommenen angeforderten Antriebskraft eines Fahrers zu steuern, und einen Ökomodus, der die Antriebsquelle so steuert, dass dem Kraftstoffausnutzungsgrad gegenüber der Antriebsleistung der Vorrang gegeben wird, indem eine Sollantriebskraft bezüglich eines Gaspedalbetätigungsbetrags gesenkt wird, wobei der Fahrplanmodus und der Ökomodus jeweils manuell durch Einschalten eines Einstellknopfes auswählbar sind, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist, festzustellen (S1, S2), ob die geplante Fahrtstrecke durch das Navigationssystem festgelegt worden ist und ob der Fahrplanmodus in einem Zustand ausgewählt worden ist, in dem der Ökomodus nicht ausgewählt ist, und den Fahrer zu veranlassen (S3A), den Ökomodus einzustellen, wenn die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung feststellt, dass die geplante Fahrtstrecke durch das Navigationssystem festgelegt worden ist und dass der Fahrplanmodus in einem Zustand ausgewählt worden ist, in dem der Ökomodus nicht ausgewählt ist.


     
    3. Steuervorrichtung für ein Hybridfahrzeug nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei
    die Antriebsquellen-Steuereinrichtung (1b) Informationen über Fahrereigenschaften in die Fahrumgebungsinformationen einschließt, die beim Festlegen des Fahrplans verwendet werden.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de commande de véhicule hybride monté dans un véhicule hybride doté d'une source d'entraînement comprenant un moteur à combustion interne (Eng) et un moteur électrique (MG), et d'un système de navigation (4) acquérant des informations d'environnement de trajet sur un itinéraire planifié, et comprenant :

    un contrôleur de source d'entraînement (1, 1b) exécutant une commande de la source d'entraînement en fonction d'un mode d'entraînement du véhicule hybride, ledit contrôleur de source d'entraînement étant prévu pour commander sélectivement le fonctionnement de la source d'entraînement en mode EV ou en mode HEV en tant que modes de conduite, le véhicule hybride présentant comme modes d'entraînement un mode plan de trajet fixant un plan de trajet pour commander le mode de conduite de la source d'entraînement pour une conduite à faible consommation de carburant sur la base des informations d'environnement de trajet et d'une force d'entraînement exigée supposée d'un conducteur, et

    un mode éco commandant la source d'entraînement de manière à prioriser le rendement énergétique sur la performance de puissance en réduisant une force d'entraînement de consigne par rapport à une valeur d'actionnement d'accélérateur,

    où le mode plan de trajet ainsi que le mode éco sont sélectionnables manuellement par activation d'un bouton de réglage, caractérisé en ce que

    le contrôleur de source d'entraînement est prévu pour déterminer (S1, S2) si l'itinéraire planifié a été fixé par le système de navigation et si le mode plan de trajet a été sélectionné un état où le mode éco n'est pas sélectionné, et pour fixer automatiquement (S3) le mode éco parallèlement au mode plan de trajet si le contrôleur de source d'entraînement détermine que l'itinéraire planifié été fixé par le système de navigation et que le mode plan de trajet a été sélectionné dans un état où le mode éco n'est pas sélectionné.


     
    2. Dispositif de commande de véhicule hybride monté dans un véhicule hybride doté d'une source d'entraînement comprenant un moteur à combustion interne (Eng) et un moteur électrique (MG), et d'un système de navigation (4) acquérant des informations d'environnement de trajet sur un itinéraire planifié, et comprenant :

    un contrôleur de source d'entraînement (1, 1b) exécutant une commande de la source d'entraînement en fonction d'un mode d'entraînement du véhicule hybride, ledit contrôleur de source d'entraînement étant prévu pour commander sélectivement le fonctionnement de la source d'entraînement en mode EV ou en mode HEV en tant que modes de conduite, le véhicule hybride présentant comme modes d'entraînement un mode plan de trajet fixant un plan de trajet pour commander le mode de conduite de la source d'entraînement pour une conduite à faible consommation de carburant sur la base des informations d'environnement de trajet et d'une force d'entraînement exigée supposée d'un conducteur, et

    un mode éco commandant la source d'entraînement de manière à prioriser le rendement énergétique sur la performance de puissance en réduisant une force d'entraînement de consigne par rapport à une valeur d'actionnement d'accélérateur,

    où le mode plan de trajet ainsi que le mode éco sont sélectionnables manuellement par activation d'un bouton de réglage, caractérisé en ce que

    le contrôleur de source d'entraînement est prévu pour déterminer (S1, S2) si l'itinéraire planifié a été fixé par le système de navigation et si le mode plan de trajet a été sélectionné un état où le mode éco n'est pas sélectionné, et pour amener (S3A) le conducteur à fixer le mode éco si le contrôleur de source d'entraînement détermine que l'itinéraire planifié a été fixé par le système de navigation et que le mode plan de trajet a été sélectionné dans un état où le mode éco n'est pas sélectionné.


     
    3. Dispositif de commande de véhicule hybride selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, où le contrôleur de source d'entraînement (1b) comprend des informations caractéristiques de conducteur dans les informations d'environnement de trajet exploitées lors de la fixation du plan de trajet.
     




    Drawing


























    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description