Electronics In Cars

Besides music systems and LCD screens, is there any significant role that electronics plays when it comes to cars? That was a question asked by a reader, and here we attempt to answer it. -- Abhijit Paul Choudhury

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The ABS keeps itself updated by taking inputs from the speed sensor located at the wheel, such that it knows when the wheels are about to lock up. The valves are placed in the brake line of each wire. Whenever they open, the pressure from the cylinder is passed through the brake. Since it is capable of releasing pressure from the valve, a pump is also included in the module to fill the pressure back. The controller keeps itself updated with information of the sensors and the valve.

The dashboard. Dashboard is the portion with which the driver of a car interacts the most. So what are the features available and what can be added to the dashboard to make it interactive?

The dashboard basically contains panels that show the readings of the different sensors that are used throughout the body of the car. The good-old dashboard has a steering wheel through which the analogue meter could be viewed. It gives indication of the fuel level, the speed at which the car is running, the tachometer and the information regarding the oil level, neutral state of car, etc. With electronics invading into the mechanical arena, we find most of the analogue meter turning digital.

The dashboard of a car can also have the GPS, audio systems, air-conditioner controls, etc. The GPS system can be used by the driver to keep track of his way on the highway. On the dashboard, touch screen can be embedded with an Internet connection. Using it the drivers can keep themselves updated on-the-go. But, with the increasing number of interactive devices, it could be dangerous for the driver to lose sight of the road.

Parking sensors
These are among the latest features being included in Indian cars, especially the high-end ones. You can also buy them off-the-shelf from markets like Palika Bazaar (New Delhi) or Lamington Road (Mumbai) and get them installed.

Basically, a combination of a sensor and a display unit, these indicators warn the driver through beeps and visual representation about how close is an obstruction from the bumper. And, they are not limited to bumpers on the hind side only. Many cars come with sensors on the front bumper too, to assist you in parking your car.

Auto-sensing wipers
If your car has the auto-sensing wiper system, its wipers will turn on the moment they detect rain. In fact, the speed of your wiper blades increases with the intensity of rain!

A typical setup consists of sensors and infrared light. An infrared beam is reflected off the outside surface of the windshield to the infrared sensor array. When moisture strikes the windshield, the system experiences an interruption to its infrared beam. Advanced analogue and digital signal processing determines the intensity of rain. The sensor, on the basis of the moisture on the screen, determines the speed of the wiper movement.

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