I'd bet the farm that start-stop has a big future, tekochip. It doesn't get nearly the press that plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars get, but it's going to be much bigger than either of those over the next ten years. Most automakers are already quietly making big plans for the technology. Yes, consumers will object, but engineers at the tier-one supplier companies will just have to find a fix for the cushy climate controls.
The current average switches change phases at rates of millions per second. That is not so bad and it's actually what we just started getting used to. From this, the new optical switches can change phases trillion times per second. I put up this comparison to give a better picture of how fast a processor fitted with an IC that has this kind of switches would be. Literally this would be more than 500times faster than the best processors in the market today, even after considering other factors that will limit its efficiency.
Start-stop vehicles, in as much as they are supposed to help drivers save energy, can be a real nuisance. I don't own one yet and I don't plan on doing so anytime soon because I generally believe they are unpredictable. Their starters are either working or they are not so if you stop your car and it fails to restart because the battery power is low, you have no option but to recharge the battery or look for an alternative power source before you can drive it again. My old school, manual transmission Toyota, on the other hand, will cooperate once I jump-start the battery.
The sensors are a great innovation indeed but I have issues regarding their preferred areas of application. For starters, I don’t see them having much use at traffic stops. They are practically redundant in that there is very little they can help you do in such situations. Let me illustrate; say you are approaching a traffic light and it turns red. At the same time, your sensors tell you that your battery power is low and you will not be able to restart the car once you stop at the red light. Whatever the sensor says will not really matter because either way you will still have to stop at the red light.
Nice niche product, I'd design it in rather than spinning my own battery monitor. The real question is if start/stop vehicles have a future. Consumers are used to cushy climate control systems, and I see them objecting loudly when stopped at a long light on a warm day in a start/stop vehicle.
Technology like this may seem like a small thing but it's evolutionary and key technology to help enable the next generation of efficient automobiles. This will be an important enabling technology as these new start-stop autos continue to enter the market and the roads.
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