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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“There are a number of additions to the range of EVs currently available that are completely manufactured in India like electric Commodo, a reverse triac (two wheels in the front and one at the back), the Vintage cars like two-seater Grand, 6-seater Royale and Electric Carriage that redefines the look of the electric cars. So this makes people realize that the electric cars can also be beautiful and can be used in the way it has not been used before” says Simran Kaur, Head of Sales, Speedways Electric.

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Silicon Advances Help In Their Own Way
The tools, modules, use of more electronic components as well as the softwares act as the drivers for the building of smart technologies in the vehicles. Today we use more and more sensors along with the ECUs in the different parts of the cars to make it work efficiently. Cameras also play an important role in many of these operations in the same way as the sensors do. Parking sensors and ultrasonic sensors are amongst the few of the popular components used in cars for safe driving and parking experiences. The other components used are the actuators, the SoCs (system on chips), MCUs (Micro controllers) etc. The SoCs have enabled very advanced infotainment with cloud connectivity, driver assistance and telematics systems that were hitherto not possible due to cost, performance or power dissipation constraints. The addition of these components not only provides a greener and safer driving experience but also adds fun to it.

Renesas Electronics has come with a new microcontroller family for automotives that allows high performance and ultra low power consumption. It supports Ethernet along with CAN, LIN and FlexRay to support both internal body communication and infotainment system for the vehicles.

We all know that the integration of all these technologies and components brings more challenges and requires a series of testing criteria. Especially in case of Electric Vehicles various computer programs are used as the testing tools. A few of these softwares are ADVISOR, PSAT, etc with built in optimization feature that can automatically size the components of the powertrain that are subject to be selected based on performance and are user specific. They can also be used to select suitable parameters of the controller in order to minimize emissions maximize the fuel economy.

Another aspect is the growing use of multiphysics tools for the thermal regulation of the power electronics components. Vineet Dravid, MD, Comsol India says, “These tools are changing the way people design their products. The earlier approach used to be if you first come up with an idea, you do a CAD design, then you do the testing. Now what people are able to do is they come up with an idea, optimize the thing and then send it to the CAD step. So the whole life cycle management is shrinking now. It is becoming more efficient so its completely changing the way people are designing their products. And once you become more efficient your prices will reduce and so it has helped keep the prices down.”

The trend of smarter features in cars, points to a world where cars are no longer mere things in the Internet, but individual computing platforms that drive user experience, and someday perhaps even the user.


Sneha Ambastha is technical journalist at EFY Gurgaon.

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