On the show floor, Freescale ran an autonomous vehicle competition called "the Freescale Cup." Model vehicles in the competition vied for fastest lap times by using onboard cameras to follow a line in the middle of the miniature roadway. The contest supplied vehicle chassis, rear-wheel drive motors, and powertrain controllers that incorporated Freescale's Qurivva microcontrollers. Competitors included GM, Ford, Chrysler, Continental, TRW, Bosch, Panasonic, Visteon, Aisin, and Johnson Controls. (Source: Freescale Semiconductor)
That would certainly be a hard thing to get used to, Chuck. I used to take my car out of gear while descending mountain passes in Colorado. I would sometimes turn off the engine and just coast. Then one day I got a new car. I tried the same thing. Problem was, the new car had a feature where the steering would lock up when you turned the engine off. I came pretty close to driving off a cliff.
I don't know the details of how it will work, Rob, but the general idea is that it could shut down, even at speeds of 75 mph, when the driver pulls his or her foot off the gas and coasts. To make it happen, the vehicle has to synchronize the starter motor to the powertrain's spinning ring gear during deceleration. To do that, a very good crankshaft sensor is needed. Suppliers tell us that this feature won't be available in the first generation of start-stop technology. But subsequent generations will have it. By shutting down during coasting, automakers say they can reduce fuel consumption by an additional 10%.
I wish I had, Rob. I'm really curious about this concept of shutting down the engine while gliding at high speeds. Bosch engineers told me earlier this year that they, too, foresee shutting down engines at as much as 75 mph.
Why are EV charging cables so expensive? If there are complex electronics involved, why isn't that built into the car, so you could just plug in with a standard 110 or 220 extension cord? Simple power supplies can auto-sense whether you've plugged into 110 or 220, but a $40,000.00 car can't? Can anyone offer insight or point me to a link that discusses this?
With something you love, there's a fine line between work and play. It's a testament to the power of the technology that engineers are having that much fun all the while pushing the boundaries of what's possible and learning the new environments.
Agreed, gsmith120. I see the light now too in terms of some applications where internal LEDs could lend an assist. Although in today's world, most passengers would be using some sort of electronics device--smart phone, tablet, e-Reader--all of which have backlit capabilities hence they don't really need an onboard light for clarity.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.