HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Slideshow: Car Electronics, From Dashboard Nav to Autonomous Vehicles
10/14/2011

Image 1 of 17      Next >

Using a vehicle-to-grid strategy in the future, electric car batteries will be able to dump energy back onto the grid when utilities need help. A grid interface on a prototype Ford Escape plug-in hybrid allows users to control the time of re-charging and check the costs of electricity on the grid at any given moment.   (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)
Using a vehicle-to-grid strategy in the future, electric car batteries will be able to dump energy back onto the grid when utilities need help. A grid interface on a prototype Ford Escape plug-in hybrid allows users to control the time of re-charging and check the costs of electricity on the grid at any given moment.
(Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

Image 1 of 17      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
What IS a car today?
Alexander Wolfe   10/14/2011 10:48:14 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I used to think of a car as a mechanical system with some electronics. In the past six months, it's clicked into my head that the modern automobile is actually an electronics platform, with (usually) an internal combustion engine as a component (sitting in the front like a refrigerator sits in the kitchen), though not necessarily an ICE; it could be a battery pack. Or a fuel cell (well, not really, that's not happening, though that's actually what I believe to be the most promising alternative technology). I guess my point, even though I'm an EE, is I think maybe we've hit a point where there's TOO much electronics in the modern car.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: What IS a car today?
Beth Stackpole   10/14/2011 3:44:47 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I have to agree with Alex about the trend of loading up modern vehicles with too much electronics, especially for the average consumer. I have a pretty new car loaded with GPS, rear-view camera, built-in bluetooth, etc. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to use all of this stuff and forget about trusting the camera for backing up--no can do.

I can't even imagine relying on all the sensors and other electronics involved in automatic parallel parking or waking up the driver in the event they fall asleep at the wheel. While there's definitely a role for modern technology, at what point is it overkill, over complicated, and more of a detriment in terms of driver distraction?

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: What IS a car today?
Charles Murray   10/14/2011 5:14:59 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
The tier-one suppliers and automakers agree with both of you. They know that today's vehicle have too many MCUs, and they know that the wiring rises to an almost unmanagable level as cars start to employ 70 or 80 MCUs. Today's vehicles typically have between 45 and 70 pounds of wiring in them. One solution to the problem is to use more multicore processors, which reduces the number of chips, and therefore reduces wiring, too. Another is to use domain architectures, in which a few powerful processors pick up a lot of the computing chores. The problem is, all this stuff is going to get worse as more vehicles use hybrid and electric powertrains. So there's a big challenge ahead.  

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: What IS a car today?
Tim   10/15/2011 2:55:16 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I remember as a kid sitting and watching Knight Rider and being fascinated at the ability of KITT to talk and park on its own.  Now these items come standard on higher end vehicles.  It is amazing on how far autos have come in just the last 20 years. 

Still no standard Turbo Boost, but it may be on its way.

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: What IS a car today?
sensor pro   10/17/2011 10:11:00 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I agree with you (partially). It is true that today cars have too much electronics, just like phones. I have an Android, but in usage I'm phone 101 and still did not pass the midterm test.

In cars it is a bit different. Most of these things are to support your driving, not to use them 100%.

It is true that some items are not needed, but the car guys like to be different from each other.

jhankwitz
User Rank
Platinum
Concerns
jhankwitz   10/17/2011 12:01:44 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I have two concerns about the all the new fangled electronics and controls.  First, drivers will start depending more and more on their cars to automatically correct for their poor driving habits.  Driving habits will deteriorate rapidly.  Second, when cars unexpectedly take over control from the driver and and an 'accident' results, the lawyers will have a field day. 

 

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: What IS a car today?
Tool_maker   10/17/2011 12:50:19 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I do not need of this stuff to enjoy an automobile. I certainly do not relish the thought of paying to repair/replace these devices when they fail. I really do use my vehicle to commute and take occasional family trips. I used to even tune them up when it was possible to get at things. I long for the days when mechanics could actually find out what was wrong without needing a computer code to tell them. I had numerous anxious moments when my truck just stopped running, and no mechanic I went to could tell me why. "There is no code in the computer so there is no record of problems." Well yeah there is. Triple A has a record of my being towed here.

It turns out the alternator was spiking which would trigger something to kill the motor to prevent damage. Then it may or may not start right up and we could continue on our way. I stumbled across the problem because I happened to be looking at the dash and saw the amp needle leap all the way to the right just before the motor died.

Do not misunderstand, today's vehicles are far superior to any cars from my youth, but there are times I think the electronic technology has worked against rather than for the end user.

Greg Stirling
User Rank
Platinum
Slideshow: Car Electronics, From Dashboard Nav to Autonomous Vehicles
Greg Stirling   10/17/2011 4:22:26 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
I agree with Toolmaker.  The best inventions for the internal combustion engine have been electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition.  I dont need heated side view mirrors or wipers on my headlights...

I have to confess though, heated seats are nice in the cold weather...

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Concerns
Jack Rupert, PE   10/18/2011 4:48:02 PM
NO RATINGS
The other concern is that any problem will always be "the computer".  It's been my experience (not in the auto industry) that when anything goes wrong, its the part that people don't understand that is blamed.

ysbearing
User Rank
Iron
bearing
ysbearing   10/21/2011 4:54:29 AM
NO RATINGS
>Slewing bearing called slewing ring bearings, is a comprehensive load to bear a large bearing, can bear large axial, radial load and overturning moment. http://www.1stbearing.com
 


Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
When my daughter decided she wanted to study engineering, I was very proud of her. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I wondered if she knew what she was in for.
AutoDesk has teamed up with 3D scanner provider Artec to link CAD software and 3D scanners to make it faster and easier to create accurate 3D mesh models for printing or digital use.
The key to autonomous driving is not to forget about the driver, and to remember that passengers want a sense of control, as opposed to being utterly passive backseat drivers.
Design News Webinar Series
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 1 - 5, An Introduction to Embedded Software Architecture and Design
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


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.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service