The recent Society of Automotive Engineers' Convergence 2012 conference in Detroit provided a glimpse of future automotive electronics, ranging from infotainment to powertrain control to autonomous driving systems.
Conferences at Convergence examined the future of electronics and vehicle engineering, while the show floor provided access to some of the latest and greatest products.
Click on the image below to check some of them out.
Booth demos at Convergence tested the engineering skills of attendees. (Source: Freescale Semiconductor)
Love the NVIDA graphics boost to GPS. Making map information more 3D-like would definitely have benefits in terms of communicating location and directions. Still don't get the LED interior lighting capabilities. Seems like a simple showing off of technology rather than delivering any real functionality/value.
Beth, you are right about the graphics, which are always a plus in any navigation system. The LEDs are important because they provide low power lighting. In addition to that, using LED technology with different light colors can be important during different driving conditions, whether it be the headlights or the interior lights. For instance, if someone in your car needs the interior light on while moving, the conventional way is to turn on a bright yellowish light that is very distracting to the driver. Instead, with LEDs, you could have the option to turn on a bluish light, which could provide light to the passeger and not distract the driver as much. Alternatively, on the headlights, different color LED lights work better in the fog and snow, vs a clear night.
Oh!! Now I can see the importance of the LEDs. At first, I was felt like Beth but akwaman you have made me see the lights. lol I have found that lights within my car due to my rider distracting or even from other cars, this is a nice solution or at least option.
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.
Beth, I agree, the LED interior lights are silly. They are very much like the after market lights that appeared on cars which lit the road under the car in various colors. It is an attempt to be different by the drivers.
I really liked the autonomous vehicle competition by Freescale using vision sensors. I look at the automomous vehicle projects going on and they often involve lots of exotic sensors. We drive with just the vision sensor, for the most part, and generally do well.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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?
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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.