2015 New Vehicle & Technology
Automotive Engineering editors take a look at some of the more
intriguing new models, including GM's full-size SUVs, BMW's
i8 plug-in-hybrid sports car, Acura's TLX sedan, and Ford's
F-150 full-size pickup truck.
Picturing the map for smoother rides
As conventional vapor-compression cooling technology faces
phase-out, what could take its place? The U.S. Department of
Energy's ARPA-e has funded research to help answer this
Steel red-hot for weight reduction
The steel industry's focus to remain a top material choice has
not diminished, especially with automakers and suppliers looking
for ways to lightweight passenger vehicles to meet the U.S.
government's 54.5-mpg fleet average requirement in
The latest strategies are investigated for vehicle development by
automakers and major suppliers.
Sports cars embrace array of green
IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship promotes a variety of
green technologies to link racing to the road.
More gears, more challenges
Many strategies, as well as key software and hardware aspects
related to controllers, networks, sensors, and actuators, must be
considered to keep automatic transmissions shifting smoothly as
more gears are added to improve fuel economy.
Advancing structural composites
Industry experts address the opportunities and challenges involved
with moving toward composite-intensive vehicles, including
Nissan's effort to produce a high-volume, fully recyclable
composite liftgate with low metal content.
Systems-engineering a new 4x4 benchmark
Chrysler Powertrain teamed with AAM to create the industry's
most capable, sophisticated-and arguably most
fuel-efficient-AWD/4WD driveline. Top engineers talk about their
Achates aims at 2025 light-truck power
After more than a decade of steady development, Achates Power's
opposed-piston two-stroke diesel is impressing powertrain experts
with its test results and pace of technical progress.
Lighter, stronger chassis
Development of a new high-strength aluminum casting alloy for the
production of suspension components.
No hands, lots of brains
A hefty amount of computing power built with new hardware and
software architectures will be needed when vehicles begin taking
over more of the driving tasks.
Aerodynamics and flow simulations come of
With the advent of faster computers, engineers are using CFD
software as a practical tool, shaping designs early in the product
development cycle. The challenges today are in how best to use it
and by whom.
New rules shuffle the F1 deck
New turbocharged hybrid-electric power units and revised
aerodynamics may scramble the familiar order in Formula One for
Stars of the show floor
The editors of Automotive Engineering annually select from among
SAE World Congress exhibitors the technologies that meet their
criteria for a coveted 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 users. Read on for articles on the
five SAE 2014 Tech Award winners, followed by briefs on additional
show-floor highlights that we call 'What's New.'
Alternative fuels face challenges
With gasoline prices seeming to stabilize and fuel economy measures
taking hold is there a compelling need for alternative fuels?
Automotive engineers offer some surprising reasons why there
Touch-less control coming to cars
Use of proximity and gesture-recognition systems in auto cockpits
could rise fifty-fold within a decade.
Forming a strong bond
Multi-material vehicles are becoming more prevalent as automakers
attempt to reduce vehicle weight and boost fuel efficiency.
Selecting the proper adhesive is critical when bonding dissimilar
SAE 2014 World Congress preview special section:
'Creating New Possibilities'
Host company Hyundai and Tier 1 Strategic Partner, Delphi,
established "Creating New Possibilities" as the theme for
this year's premier engineering event taking place April 8-10
in Detroit's Cobo Center. This special Congress preview section
uncovers some of those possibilities, featuring insights from the
event's executive leadership; details of a Delphi/Hyundai
advanced engine program; highlights from the technical program in
the areas of powertrain, materials, testing and simulation,
electronics, interiors, and body/chassis; and more.
Designing for downforce
Airflow is paramount for performance vehicles, which require
aerodynamic enhancements to promote high-speed stability and
greater cornering capability.
Powering a drive to higher voltages
48-V systems are likely to power a new generation of functions
including stop-start technology.
Managing the deluge of data
The model-based development (MBD) process has been a key enabler of
technical advancement in the transportation industry; however, the
MBD process leads to the generation of large volumes of data
artifacts and work products. To maintain efficiency while
continuously improving the quality of products, it is necessary to
be able to manage this data in an efficient manner.
A vision for SAE's future
Longtime GM engineering executive and STEM education supporter
Daniel M. Hancock brings a focused approach to his term as SAE
Picturing a brighter future
Displays are becoming a central focus for automotive interior
design, forcing engineers to examine myriad trade-offs related to
size, resolution, and supporting electronics.
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.