Chat with the Experts

Wednesday, October 20
8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

This activity is designed to create an informal and intimate environment between audience and expert for discussion on a topic relevant to the Convergence theme, "Partnerships Driving Smart Mobility."

Each "expert" will provide a 5 to 10 minute introspective on what they feel are critical items on the subject to be addressed and then facilitate dialogue within a small group environment. The goal is to enhance understanding of items critical to those participating via interactivity. Each attendee is encouraged to pose questions, share ideas and explore practical solutions.

Dr. Linos J. Jacovides Dr. Linos J. Jacovides
Delphi Research Laboratories (retired)
Linos Jacovides retired as director, Delphi Research Labs, a position he held from 1998 to 2007. Dr. Jacovides joined General Motors Research and Development in 1967 and became department head of electrical engineering in 1985. His areas of research were the interactions between power electronics and electrical machines in electric vehicles and locomotives. He later transitioned to Delphi with a group of researchers from GM to set up the Delphi Research Laboratories. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and was President of the Industry Applications Society of IEEE in 1990. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and an M.S degree in machine theory from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1961 and 1962, respectively. He received a Ph.D. in generator control systems from the Imperial College, University of London, in 1965.

As everything in the automotive industry, relationships are changing at an accelerating rate, especially in North America. US OEM's from the 60's to the late 90's designed and built electric and hybrid vehicles mostly in house. In the last ten years, the US OEMs, having shed their component divisions, had to find new partnerships. European OEM's have always relied on highly competent suppliers for many aspects of the vehicle and thus they had generally tight partnerships. Japanese and Korean OEMs also relied on partners where the OEM often had a financial stake in the supplier. The rapidly developing Chinese industry relies on a combination of Chinese suppliers and localized suppliers from all over the world who established not only manufacturing plants in China but also R&D facilities.

The advent of xEV's (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, extended range hybrids and pure electric vehicles) has complicated the picture since most OEMs do not have sufficient expertise in the new components such as batteries, electrical machines and power electronics. An altogether different kind of partnership is also emerging world wide. Governments are taking an active role in R&D, as well as funding investments in manufacturing. Even individual cities are offering inducements installing charging stations etc. The final change is that with the glamour that accompanies xEV's even private equity firms are investing in the business.

What does all this mean to the OEMs? They are responsible for the performance and durability of these new vehicles they have to juggle a whole host of new relationships. How does this affect established suppliers? Finally will there be brand new suppliers that have to learn how tough the requirements of the automotive industry are.

Visit Dr. Jacovides Convergence Blog - October 1 to November 1

Ralph Robinson Ralph Robinson
Research Scientist
Head of ITS Integration Office
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI)
Mr. Ralph Robinson is a research scientist and head of the ITS Integration Office in University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) where his focus is on the application and evaluation of IntelliDriveSM system and related ITS technologies. Prior to joining UMTRI, Mr. Robinson was president and co-founder of the Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VII-C). During this period, he was on loan from his primary position at Ford Motor, holding management and technical specialist positions in product development, advanced engineering office and the Scientific Research Laboratories.

He has been a member of the ITS-Michigan Board of Directors, the ITS Congressional Caucus Advisory Committee, the Michigan/Ohio University Transportation Center Evaluation Team and the SAE Dedicated Short Range Communications Technical Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Lawrence Technological Institute, Southfield, Michigan.

The vision of cooperative vehicle systems promise to dramatically improve vehicle safety and vehicle mobility as well as improve driver convenience and utility. After all, if all vehicles were able to communicate with each other, they could share their direction, speed and location with each other and avoid crashes. Further, if they could share their location, environmental situation and routing information with backend road network operators, congestion might be avoided, obstructions bypassed and surface level weather information shared.

IntelliDriveSM, previously known as VII, is a real world system being designed to implement this vision. Conceived under a joint partnership between the USDOT and the North American car companies over 5 years ago, the program has evolved considerably since then. Safety, as the first priority, is driving the development of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications in the upcoming phase of development. The technology used is a Dedicated Short Range Communication system known as DSRC. Based on the ISO 802.11p wireless standard, this technology would be the core technology to be deployed in all vehicles on the road along with the other supporting technologies for implementation; e.g., digital GIS maps, GPS, etc.

Integrated with other wireless technologies like cellular or WiFi, the vehicle would support the many other applications for improved mobility. A system deployment of this type, however, brings many issues that are not easily overcome. These, then, are the challenges faced by the key stakeholders:

  • How do we install DSRC systems in 250 million vehicles on the road if they are only replaced 10 - 15 million per year?
  • Aftermarket? If so, do we trust them to handle critical safety functions?
  • What level of personal info are we willing to exchange for improved mobility? How does this compare to existing systems (ATMs, credit cards, etc.)

These are some of the issues to be explored during the interactive session. For more details regarding IntelliDriveSM