Operators see bright screens in their future HMIs borrow from tablets, phones to help operators perform a broad range of tasks Small engine landscape Kubota engineers developed new small-displacement engines that adopt a common-rail system while optimizing the combustion system and injection characteristics. Sensitive to safety A growing number of digital sensors are among the tools being used to make sure failures are rare and injuries are even more infrequent.
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.
Originality revs up Formula SAE Michigan teams More than 100 Formula SAE teams vied for top honors at the annual Michigan competition that spotlights one-of-a-kind open-wheel racecars designed and built by student engineers. American manufacturing in the hands of UNF students University of North Florida students design and build Formula vehicles for nationwide competition focused on challenging the minds of future engineers. Solar EV thunder down under Michigan is aiming for its first victory in next month's 2013 World Solar Challenge with a new asymmetrical racecar that is ready for 1860 mi (2990 km) in the Australian sun. Solar Impulse Team's next challenge: to circle the globe The next world-girdling version of the fuel-less flier will rely on featherweight polymers and composites.
Lithium-ion refinement Even as high-profile fires create concern, battery and car makers accelerate their move toward lithium-ion technology with advances in cost, performance, and safety. NASA's quest for maximum efficiency As part of its hybrid body wing aircraft with turboelectric distributed propulsion system, NASA has proposed to use a superconducting and cryogenic electrical system to connect the electrical output of the generators to the motors.
Simulating off-highway hybrids With customers squeezed by fuel costs, off-highway OEMs are showing some interest in developing hybrid equipment. CAE simulation tools are needed because of lack of experience with such devices. Their functional complexity requires control system simulation throughout their lives. A hose is a hose is a hose Researchers develop a method for the precise mounting of a hydraulic hose model. Integrity sensing for safety Researchers from Purdue developed a capacitance-based method for monitoring the integrity of tires, hoses, and other polymeric products during manufacturing and throughout the useful product life.
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.
The French resurgence Despite facing great domestic political challenges, resulting from the growing national debt level and a general financial malaise in the Euro-zone countries within the EU, successive French governments have remained highly supportive of their aerospace sector.
Out of thin air Thomas Korn, Alset Global's VP of product development and technology, talks to Ian Adcock on the company's pioneering hydrogen dual fuel system Quest for the missing link Modelling tyre behaviour and how that influences vehicle dynamics is a key factor in developing ride and handling, as Ian Adcock discovers Emissions mission: 2020 vision Variable valve timing for petrol engines is everywhere to be seen. So are we ready to go beyond that yet? Tony Lewin finds out
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.
Optimizing brake-by-wire control An optimal control strategy is introduced that ensures minimum control effort that results in minimum actuator power consumption, while simultaneously providing efficient braking performance.
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 driving 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 reduction.
Electrifying, fast, quiet-and usually dirty IAV developed the e-Crossbike to prove the potential of electric drive in one of the most demanding vehicle environments-motocross racing. Here's how the engineering team did it. Next-gen eAssist aims at cost reduction Lower cost, lighter weight, more refinement-Chief Engineer Steve Poulos gives a glimpse of GM's third-generation eAssist mild-hybrid system now under development for 2015.
Oak Ridge answers A/C-on fuel use questions 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.
National Instruments Keeping pace with increasingly intelligent machines Molex Autonomous equipment positioned to be next disruptive technology Sauer-Danfoss Speed wins IAV Engineering in the virtual world Mentor Graphics What will save us from electrical system design complexity? Perkins Designing for diversity TTControl Intelligent controls and connectivity Federal-Mogul Technology strategies for the future Dana Innovation that addresses global megatrends dSPACE Can you imagine your life without challenges? Tenneco Technology meets regulatory challenges Southco Shifts in design energy Bosch Rexroth Manufacturing and logistical excellence MathWorks Continuous improvement to meet new challenges
Global Viewpoints - Europe: Smartening up R&D 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.
Filling the space A look at the changing face of manned spaceflight and the commercialization of orbital access. Distribution of power When designing the electrical distribution system for a turboelectric architecture, it is imperative to select technologies that will provide the highest efficiency and stability for the propulsion system.
Valve controls Imagine a valve control system that is infinitely variable irrespective of engine speed and load. Impossible? Not according to Camcon Automotive's technical director Roger Stone, as Ian Adcock discovers Mother Nature knows best What can the automotive industry learn from nature when it comes to weight saving? Ryan Borroff has been finding out Building up the pressure Tony Lewis reports on the growing trend towards even higher line pressures in injection systems.