Inside the cell walls The high cost of lithium-ion batteries is a prison that has largely kept electric vehicles off the street; the keys to their release are more effective—but not more expensive—cell chemistries.
Semiconductors flex their muscles Makers of semiconductors see the automotive market as a prime opportunity for growth. The first part of this article looks at this growth from the perspective of semiconductor industry leader Motorola. The second part highlights some recent semiconductor product introductions. 2002 supplier technology As automakers increase outsourcing, suppliers are taking on more responsibility for developing increasingly complex systems and components. This special edition of Tech Briefs highlights some of the many supplier contributions to 2002 passenger cars. Vision sensors and the intelligent vehicle Advancements in CMOS imaging sensors have enabled Delphi engineers to adapt low-cost, high-quality cameras for a variety of applications in integrated safety systems. The reborn Thunderbird Taking cues from the 1955 model, the 2002 car benefited from Ford's modern platform and systems engineering as well as C3P computer modeling techniques.
After CD, what's next? Storing music in cars remains fraught with many engineering considerations as infotainment systems move into the next generation. Chevrolet Malibu General Motors has enhanced its midsize architecture for a more refined and luxurious ownership experience. Chrysler minivans Chrysler's family haulers feature a new look and more interior flexibility to go with a host of technology upgrades. Jaguar XF The company's middle sedan is updated with a 21st century interpretation of traditional standards. BMW M3 The high-performance version of the 3 Series coupe gets V8 power, other significant upgrades. Honda Accord The eighth generation of Honda's popular sedan offers more space, power, and safety. Fiat 500 The new car's styling harks back to the original of over 70 years ago, but it employs modern technology and shares a platform with the forthcoming Ford Ka replacement.
Consumed by changes Reprogramming becomes the focus of engineers as radios become multifunction head units integrating many infotainment functions. Design insiders Packaging, comfort, 'premiumness,' and quality are keywords in the vocabulary of car interior designers, but significant changes to interior structures could lead to a design revolution. Accident avoidance 2.0 OEMs and suppliers are going to great lengths to ensure the proper performance of their next generation of active safety products. Automotive policy goes to the polls Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama stake out different positions on issues affecting the automotive industry and future vehicle engineering. Mitsubishi i MiEC Instead of focusing on hybrid propulsion, the company is hoping to be a leader in all-electric vehicles by readying a minicar for 2010 launch. Tato Nano The Indian automaker intends to overcome obstacles and deliver on its promise of a $2500 all-weather, safe family car.
Winning the war for talent The conclusion of AEI's two-part series looks at how industry, academia, and professional groups are working together to close the "knowledge gap" in vehicle electrification. Partnering on infotainment Services are expected to rise as technical collaboration and available bandwith increase. Nissan Leaf The Japanese company first saw the potential of lithium-ion batteries for vehicular use in 1992, and almost two decades later is about to deploy the technology. Honda Insight Developed to be attainable for Gen Y buyers, the 2010 Insight is a major piece in Honda's hybrid-portfolio plans. Heavy-duty issues Top industry insiders provide their perspectives on crtical issues such as sustainability, workforce development, and future growth at this year's Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition.
Improving lightweight vehicle dynamics Bosch engineers used numerical simulation to evaluate vehicle concepts using variable semi-active components, tire specifications, and suspension spring rates. Dr. Reitzle's prescription for Jaguar His vision for the brand is to "use top-level technology and do so in a very emotional way." Dual-voltage power networks Lear Automotive EEDS has developed an innovative electrical and electronic architecture to handle future high-power requirements in vehicles. New door closure concepts Bosch and Temic engineers are developing technologies for passive entry, vehicle immobilization, and remote control. TwinCAN: one module for two nodes The ability to use one module to control two CAN nodes provides benefits including reduced hardware and software requirements, improved functionality, and lower CPU load, according to Infineon researchers.
Fuel-cell commercialization The technology race is on to market the next revolution in automotive propulsion, with the first vehicles in limited quantities coming from Toyota and Honda by the end of the year. Telematics technology trends Analysts at the Telematics Research Group explain the computer, communications, and automotive electronic component advancements that will influence systems development. No end in sight to electronics' growth The biennial Convergence conference on transportation electronics, hosted by DaimlerChrysler, will explore the interplay of electronics with mechanical and other systems to improve vehicle safety, performance, and convenience. Making contacts Engineers at AMI DODUCO reveal their latest research and developments on critical automotive electrical contact reliability.
Looking forward to safer highways New camera technologies, along with better algorithms and software, are enabling the move to active-safety systems that warn and then take control of vehicles in dangerous situations. Fuel-cell futures Eager to find alternative-propulsion solutions, automakers are betting that renewed emphasis on fuel-cell vehicles will pay off in the long run, with the latest examples aiming to prove higher-volume production feasibility. Consensus building ojn refrigerant type The hydrofluoro-olefin refrigerant HFO-1234yf has emerged as Europe's favored R-134a replacement, but some prefer R-744. Strengthening the link through software The next generation of simulation tools could help better synchronize manufacturing engineering and product design.
Avoiding crashes through engineering Sensor fusion and FlexRay adoption pose big challenges for active-safety systems developers. Sounds of silence NVH analysis comes into the spotlight as traditional targets are addressed and new trouble spots are uncovered. Fuel cells power up As the alternative-propulsion technology moves from lab to limited production, car makers are looking for new design solutions and materials to reduce costs.
A sense of safety Engineers are looking to combine radars of different ranges, cameras, and sophisticated controls to prevent collisions. Priming the green-car pump In a "perfect storm of opportunity," billions of dollars in federal funding are flowing toward next-generation, made-in-the-U.S. hybrid and electric-vehicle technology. Re-engineering the auto engineer The electrification of the vehicle is boosting demand for engineers with new competencies and skill sets. In Part 1 of this special two-part feature series, AEI examines why the industry needs to encourage and develop its most critical resource-people. Aerodynamics soar Automakers toil to minimize drag and maximize fuel economy.
Little parts, big challenges Connectors and chip packages must meet a broad range of requirements in automotive electronic systems. Beyond SOS The telematics business is diversifying as today's providers grow their capabilities. Fuel for thought The demand for clean, renewable energy is driving research into different sources of fuel and new, more flexible engine technologies. Network topology will be key SAE 100 Future look: From the perspective of a global supplier of automotive manufacturing technology, especially in the area of machine control, Siemens views the issue of network topology as the key driver for the future. Driving to global, speaking the same language SAE 100 Future look: Globalization is an essential strategy for success in the automotive industry. The power of turbocharging SAE 100 Future look: Today, more than 50% of all newly registered passenger cars in Europe are turbodiesels.
E-business: the new game in town With the initial formation of Covisint in February 2000, and with other online ventures established over the past couple of years, the automotive industry has thrown its chips into the B2B e-commerce game. The following is an update on how the industry is faring now that its cards are on the table. Simulation: redefining the development process Just as companies sought to shorten the development cycle with intergrated product teams, they do so again with up-front computer-aided analysis and simulation. New connections for automobiles Thanks to innovative technologies and applications, flexible circuitry is helping drive new trends, such as modularity, in automotive design, according to Sheldahl. NAIAS highlights: production Since becoming an international event in 1989, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit has hosted 620 North American and worldwide vehicle introductions.
DaimlerChyrsler integrates product, process, and plant CATIA software is the core around which DaimlerChysler hopes to establish a virtual manufacturing system that allows new vehicles--and the plants that manufacture them--to be designed simultaneously with full simulation and visualization. The right bead in the right place at the right time Loctite assures customers of quality by assuming more responsibility for the adhesive-dispensing process. New manufacturing and design solutions Several software products will begin the new millenium with enhancements adding to a list of others that continue to provide good functionality and capability to engineers.
LED-ing the way Headlamps using low-power semiconductors called light-emitting diodes have moved from concept to reality with recent production firsts, but challenges remain in taking the technology mainstream. High-value hybrids The drive to reduce hybrid vehicle cost while boosting efficiency has brought new attention to stop-start and mild-hybrid systems. Sustainability on a small scale Nanotechnology is a new battleground for fighting emissions and making vehicles more environmentally friendly. Sensors inside Suppliers are helping OEMs enhance interior comfort and convenience. CO2: The next big challenge This roundup of recent engineering developments highlights that cutting emissions does not have to mean cutting the fun. Clearing the air Emissions and fuel-efficiency issues emerge collectively as the top concern among engineers attending this year's SAE World Congress.
Spec Formula One The series is moving forward with new rules to reduce cost and make racing more directly relevant to road-car development. Adding foresight Radar and cameras will work together to help drivers avoid accidents. Lexus LS 460:AEI's Best Engineered Vehicle for 2007 The fourth generation of Lexus' global flagship sets new standards in engineering, technical innovation, refinement, and workmanship. Hot off the grid New interest in plug-in hybrids has sparked intense R&D in battery chemistries and systems integration. Digital developments Ever-improving computer-based tools are helping engineers complete more complex designs in shorter time frames with downsized staffs. Illuminating technology Sensor-linked lighting systems, automatic high-beam control, LED headlights, and brand-identifying cabin lighting are enhancing safety, convenience, and the feel-good factor.
The chain in China North American suppliers must confront some challenging supply-chain issues as they take aim at what could potentially become the world's largest automotive market. Visteon researches composite truck chassis The company used computer analysis extensively in a research project aimed at reducing the mass and complexity of a chassis structure while increasing strength and stiffness. Simulation goes beyond engineering Computational fluid dynamics simulation and visualization software vendors are introducing products to extend the value of CFD throughout the product life cycle, according to Acuitiv Software. Ford still riding Six Sigma quality horse Ford is combining Six Sigma with kaizen events at its plants around the globe to coax new ideas from its hourly workers in hopes of closing the gap with perennial vehicle-quality leader Toyota.
Throwing their weight around Vehicle mass took a back seat to aesthetics, functionality, and performance when automaker executives discussed the merits of their new products at the North American International Auto Show. Safety drives sensor growth New semiconductor technologies provide more data in a wide range of systems. Wireless gains support Wi-Fi is seen as the link between consumer electronics and cars. Supply chain migration As automakers ramp up operations in China, suppliers must consider the challenges as well as the opportunities of supporting them there. Automakers focus on soft money The huge surge in software makes it a focus for cost cutting. Chevrolet Corvette: AEI's Best Engineered Vehicle for 2005. The sixth-generation car delivers even more performance value than its predecessor, and adds greater comfort and convenience into the mix.
Back to the high-power future Executive Vice President Masatami Takimoto and other officials are re-engineering Toyota, borrowing elements of the past to tackle 21st-century environmental changes. Racing to green mobility The President of Honda R&D, Masaaki Kato, hopes to harness the company's "racing spirit" to research and develop innovative methods to reduce the CO2 emissions of its products. Charging ahead Nissan's Senior Vice President, Minoru Shinohara, explains the battery technology that will allow feasible electric cars, while not forgetting to mention the GT-R supercar. Market Genesis Hyundai-Kia R&D Center Chief Hyun-Soon Lee has added the top market-research job at the company as it tries to quickly add more value to its products with new technologies and features. China goes shiftless Suppliers hope to capitalize on the future gold mine for automatic transmissions by working with OEMs on high-tech but low-cost solutions.