What’s Transforming The Smart Vehicle?

The trend of smarter features in cars, points to a world where cars are no longer mere things in the Internet. What is it, that is transforming this segment? Let’s take a look. -- Sneha Ambastha

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Google is currently working on a project to develop the technology for autonomous cars. These cars would be self-driven and would not require any driver. The car would have Google’s robotic car technology incorporated in with a LIDAR (laser radar) system. The range finder at the top of the car would allow it to generate a detailed 3D map of the surrounding thus allowing the car to be self driven.

This is a software-based car called as Google Chauffeur. Government in few countries have allowed the on road testing of this car recently. Although Hi-Tech Robotic Systems came up with a Robotic car this year that was showcased at Auto Expo, India. The outer design of the car is not different from any other car but then the strategies,components and design aspects and the features (apart from being a driver-less car) are yet to be revealed. This Robotic car was a star traction at the defence Expo 2014 where the major concern was the upcoming technologies in the field of defense.

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Advanced Head-up displays (HUD)
An effective means for less vision shift and reduced workload stress for the drivers. The HUDs display useful driving information on the windshield along with a functional control commander. The drivers can operate the air conditioner, audio system, and the other functions in the vehicle from the control commander that is installed close to the steering wheel, while they view the information displayed on the windshield. Tata Motors comes up brings the Connect Next concept that would have an HUD with augmented navigation.

Adaptive Remote Start
This allows the car to be started even when the driver is more than 50 yards away because of the presence of two remote transmitters.

Advanced Automotive Infotainment
Infotainment is not just related to information or to entertainment; it is a combination of both of these including multimedia in a single module. They offer AM/FM or satellite radio, DC/DVD player for music and video, navigation system, data and multimedia ports (USB, Bluetooth, line in, line out, video in) as well as general and vehicle status information. For all this, our vehicle’s dashboard becomes the base, so far it has been the only media to help us connect with the infotainment section. Now imagine how wonderful it would be if we are able to connect our smart phone with the dashboard of the vehicle and use its applications along with the calling facility without even looking at the smart phone or imagine the HUD (head-up displays). These are just few examples, there are many such technologies that we never imagined however would be within the reach of our hands soon.

Electronic Stability program (ESP)
It is an active safety technology that assists the driver to keep the vehicle on an intended path thus avoiding any accidents. It stabilizes the vehicle and reduces the risk of skidding. It is connected to a microcomputer that monitors the signals from the EPS sensor and checks 25 times a second to see if the driver’s steering input corresponds to the actual direction in which the vehicle is moving.

Interactive Surface Console
It is an innovative multi passenger Infotainment hub with a series of touchscreens under a continuous panel of transparent acrylic glass. It is in conjunction to a secure in-car Wi-Fi network that allows the passengers to connect and share experiences with each other and the outside world via social media. The touchscreens and the intuitive user interface allows the passengers to flick forwards and rearwards between themselves from front to rear.

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Online Multimedia System
It features an internet browser that combines all telephone, audio and navigation functions. It provides free navigation updates and the voice control operation along with bluetooth connectivity. SKYMON, Digital tracking system, one of the industries that participated at Auto Expo Components this year came up with the real time GPS tracking device. It collects data from various sensors installed on the vehicle, process and send operational parameters of the vehicle to the server. It allows collection of a wide variety of sensor to allow the monitoring of fuel consumption, fueling volume and fuel draining control.

Intelligent Light System
A combination of LED technology with adaptive high beam assist is a combination of five functions that are motorway mode, country mode, cornering light function, enhanced fog lamps and active light. In any driving situation, it ensures the best possible on road illumination, automatically.

Fully Networked Latch system
Electronic Access Solution (EAS) is an increased security in vehicles with the elimination of physical key management and improving access control via audit trails and remote monitoring. One of the representative from Southco, at the Expo, discussed the evolvement of the basic control system to a fully networked solution that can be monitored remotely.

Intelligent drive system
BMW India this year came up with an intelligent driving system called as the xDrive that reacts in fraction of a second. It analyzes data from the on-board electronics (sprrd, stearing angle and torque output along with other key features) while one drives and calculates if vehicle can follow the wish of the driver or if it threatens to overstear or understear thus preventing the vehicle from swerving.

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