New technologies for 2014
OEM and supplier engineers are all about technical innovation. In
this special feature, Automotive Engineering International
highlights (in no special order) some notable ones debuting on 2014
Taming automotive complexity with digital
From helping automotive engineers develop lighter structures to
delivering fewer defects in manufacturing, digital tool providers
are continuing their push upstream in the engineering process.
Chrysler sees the ICE future
The three-year, $30 million Multi-fuel Multiair R&D program
with the U.S. DOE is nearing completion. Here's what Chrysler
Powertrain engineers have learned as they try to achieve a 25%
As vehicle systems become more complex and interact with more
internal and external elements, the potential for outside intrusion
and tampering increases for both vehicles and the transportation
Kia moves upscale with 2014 Cadenza
The all-new premium sedan is the Korean automaker's 'most
technologically advanced' vehicle ever on U.S. roadways.
2014 Corvette: 460 hp, 30 mpg, 1 g,
No other sports car can match the C7's combination of
performance, value, and overall efficiency. Chief Engineer Tadge
Juechter provides insight on executing a masterpiece.
Mercedes anticipates the future with new
Mercedes-Benz, using networked electronic systems (sensor fusion),
is introducing on its new S-Class a step-change suspension system
that can 'see' (via a stereo camera) the road surface ahead
and make ultra-high-speed decisions on how to deal with it.
Toyota engineers a shine into the 2014
In an effort to stay competitive with a car that has been on the
market for 47 years, Toyota will offer an all-new Corolla for 2014
with a CVT with intelligent shifting and standard LED
Honda flexes new powertrain muscle
Honda R&D's top engineer outlines his company's Earth
Dreams powertrain assault that includes more efficient, robust, and
refined ICEs; new hybrid drive systems; and further developments in
FCEVs, HCCI, plasma ignitions, and Rankine-cycle engine types.
Setting Hyundai's fuel cell strategy
Hyundai is one of two major OEMs that are still going it alone in
developing FCEV technology, rather than collaborating with
competitors. The company's head of fuel cell R&D explains
the path toward 2015 series production.
Volvo Trucks makes a case for DME
The truck maker is working with Oberon Fuels and others to bring
dimethyl ether-what company execs say is one of the most promising
sustainable alternative fuels-to North America in 2015.
Sensing a need for creature comforts
Automakers and suppliers are turning to new sensors to help make
cabins more comfortable and safer while automating some tasks.
Apps hit the road
To make it possible to run safe, useful apps while vehicles are
being driven, companies throughout the automotive supply chain are
changing the way they work together. Figuring out how to attract
and integrate small and large app companies into the long
development cycle of vehicles is a major challenge.
Gearing up for long lifetimes
For transmission control engineers, a greater focus on reliability
is prompting a shift to standards such as ISO 26262 and an improved
diagnostics function that takes a broader view, looking at the
overall system vs. individual components.
Engine boosting goes full bore
Pumping more air into the cylinder is key to solving the CAFE
puzzle, and engineers are hard at work figuring out the best ways
to do it with turbocharger and supercharger innovation.
Building a pathway for autonomous
Existing safety systems will be augmented by onboard and external
inputs; the biggest challenges will be designing the software that
makes proper decisions without error and liability concerns.
Steel in control
Hyundai Steel develops a new 780-MPa grade of hot-rolled
high-strength steel for application in a one-piece front lower
control arm, displaying the potential for an 8% mass
Oak Ridge answers A/C-on fuel use
The lab runs fuel-economy tests with A/C on maximum vs. A/C
'comfort level,' A/C-off and with windows open and closed.
Some results are surprising, including an unexpected
'crossover' point in testing on a Toyota Corolla.
Global Viewpoints - Europe: Smartening up
As every aspect of automotive technology makes rapid advances,
R&D becomes ever more complex and faces additional pressures on
cost and time. In our annual report from Europe, we spoke to very
senior executives about their R&D methods and the demanding
criteria they face.
LEDs light the way for SuperTruck
A research team developed a group of low-energy; high-output LED
lamps for forward lighting that could be retrofitted into the
truck's current incandescent headlamp housing and lens.
Plastic proliferation under the hood
Plastic components continue to displace metal engine parts because
of cost and weight advantages.
Instilling confidence in composites
To move forward the integration of CFRP materials in primary
structures, the same high level of confidence in passive safety
design simulations for metallic structures needs to be achieved
with composite designs.
Bike engineering highlights 2013
Motorcycle development and automotive technologies increasingly
share the path toward cleaner, quieter, faster, and more diverse
Low-cost instrument clusters
A Delphi expert proposes a design strategy to help overcome
challenges for manufacturability of automotive displays suited for
BMW's technology play
Dr. Herbert Diess, BMW's board member in charge of development,
talks about where his company is placing its technology bets, the
challenge of meeting the 95-g CO2 regulation in 2020, and the
growing role of female engineers at BMW.
'Brands are king' is the credo for Chrysler
Senior VP of Engineering Mark Chernoby reveals what makes his
revitalized team so effective, why it's unique-and what's
missing in its connection with Fiat.
Directing Tesla's unique trajectory
JB Straubel wears far more hats than most automotive CTOs. He talks
about vehicle development, his engineering team, and what
they've got in the works.
Engineering Ford's global product
Hau Thai-Tang details how his global product development teams are
changing to keep pace with faster product cycles, greater product
diversity, and an avalanche of new technologies. (Hint: They're
benchmarking the CIA.)
Closing the hybrid control gap
Virtual sensing, architectural tweaks, and faster processors help
engineers narrow the cost gap between hybrid and conventional
An emerging crop of autonomous vehicles uses ever-vigilant sensors
to find their way and avoid collisions. The technology will be
trickling into production, but practical, fully autonomous cars
might not make it into the market until 2025.
AEI SAE 2013 Tech Awards
The editors of Automotive Engineering International annually select
from among SAE World Congress exhibitors the technologies they
judge worthy of an AEI SAE 2013 Tech Award. Judging is based on
level of design and engineering innovation, uniqueness, potential
for 'real world' production application, and potential
benefit for industry customers and end user.
VW bucks hybrid convention with 2013 Jetta
Rather than use a mild-mannered Atkinson-cycle ICE, VW engineers
opted for a turbocharger. Their unique P2 hybrid powertrain stands
alone in terms of sheer driving fun balanced with efficiency.
Synergies strengthen safety systems
Complementary technologies and data sharing are enabling enhanced
collision avoidance. For example, radar and camera sharing the same
processor provides a higher level of safety than two separate
A 'model' instrument panel
ANSYS researchers implement simulation-driven product development
for thermoforming of instrument panels.
BMW readies mainstream carbon-fiber vehicle structures
The partnership with SGL Composites is already making parts for the
2014 BMW i3 and i8. AEI visited the pioneering U.S. carbon-fiber
plant and witnessed a potential emerging challenger to aluminum for
Driving a safety 'brake-through'
As pressure grows for accident-free travel, EuroNCAP is pushing for
widespread adoption of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems
as a way to avoid accidents caused by late braking or braking with
A history of leadership
Ten years after completing his term on the SAE Board of Directors,
Argonne National Laboratory's Donald G. Hillebrand takes on
another role-2013 SAE President.
GM revitalizes the V8 that will not die
Direct injection, CVVT, and cylinder deactivation make the timeless
Small-Block V8 ready for duty in the 2014 Corvette and full-size
pickups. Its 4.3-L V6 cousin also gains those features.
Where's the app for this?
Design teams are seeking solutions to the many challenges that come
when they link apps to vehicle electronics. These include adopting
standards such as HTML5 and MirrorLink for simplified software
Reinventing the American pickup truck
The conclusion of AEI's three-part series looks at how planners
and engineers are already rethinking the classic full-size U.S.
pickup so it can survive the CAFE crunch.
Big shifts coming in powertrains
During the rest of this decade, many observers expect transmission
controls to undergo more changes than in the past 10-15 years.
Transmission controls are being revamped to meet tighter fuel
economy laws, letting engines run at optimal speeds.
Collaborating for cheaper carbon fiber
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several industry partners work
together to overcome the challenges to lower-cost carbon
Creating the 54.5-mpg car
Part 2 of AEI's three-part series looks at how vehicle
engineers are facing a 'stress test' as the countdown to
2025 CAFE begins. How will the aggressive new regulations influence
U.S. passenger cars in the next decade-and what will they cost to