When electronic vehicle systems fail, itís often not the fault of microcontrollers, memories or integrated circuits. By watching for some of the following problems, designers can often boost reliability of end products, especially in automobiles.
Minimize connections. Thereís a high correlation between reliability and the number of electrical connections made at an assembly plant. A dashboard with ten connections, for example, is likely to be more reliable than one with 50 connections.
Make sure wires donít rub against sharp pieces of metal.†
Ensure connections go together with an audible snap. If assemblers hear the snap, they know itís connected.
Design in reliability at the beginning. Usually, if a car starts out reliable in its first model year, it stays that way.
Engineers at the University of San Diegoís Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a personís sweat.
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