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Software integration for automated driving

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An automotive platform solution from Renesas Electronics Corp. and TTTech Computertechnik AG provides an electronic control unit (ECU) development platform for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The platform integrates Renesas’ RH850/Plx automotive control microcontroller (MCU) and R-Car system-on-chips (SoCs) with TTTech’s TTIntegration software platform to enable highly complex automotive solutions, including automated driving. The platform achieves parallel, multi-vendor development and integration of individual software components. Centerpieces of TTTech’s ADAS platform are TTIntegration and Deterministic Ethernet. TTIntegration is located and runs as middleware between the CPU level and the integrated applications. It provides each application with the CPU time and memory it needs, while separating or even abstracting hardware from applications. Delivering an AUTOSAR environment for various operating systems enables system manufacturers to move applications between the embedded cores more easily. TTIntegration supports various safety levels simultaneously. A strict partitioning concept ensures at any time that a bug or defect in one application cannot harm any other or cause a collapse of the whole ECU. The concept grants “Freedom of Interference” as demanded by the highest automotive development safety norms. The platform solution uses TTTech’s Deterministic Ethernet, a

Porsche Boxster loses cylinders gains power adds frugality

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Porsche’s decision to downsize the new generation Boxster’s engines from flat-6 to turbocharged flat-4 may shock purists, but power and torque are up, and fuel consumption and emissions down. So the 2017 Boxster is a demonstration of what efficient automotive technology can deliver. And if four cylinders still seem a bit demeaning for the brand, consider that the 919 hybrid race car uses a turbocharged V4.

Full details of the new engines were not released when this article was published, but Automotive Engineering soon will be sitting down with Porsche engineers and driving the new 718 Boxster; in depth story to come. Meantime, Porsche does not dispute the supposition that the new “boxer” fours are shortened versions of the current flat-6s in the latest 911s, but with only a single turbo.

The new Boxster, to be formally revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, gets fresh suspension tuning, steering that is claimed to be 10% more direct, uprated brakes, and some relatively minor cosmetic changes including a new dashboard. And the car’s “718” nomenclature is a modern nod to 4-cylinder Porsches in the 1950s and

Nissan Europe and partners form battery R&D venture

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Nissan Europe, together with commercial and academic partners, is embarking on a near-£20 m (about $29 m) consortium project to pave the way for future generation EV batteries. The work is supported by a £9.7 m ($14.5) grant from the U.K. Advanced Propulsion Center (APC).

Additionally, Nissan has pledged to produce what it terms “a future generation of EV batteries” at its Sunderland, U.K. lithium-ion battery plant. The commitment will see a £26.5 m ($39.7 m) further investment in the facility, which is claimed to be the largest of its type in Europe.

Gareth Dunsmore, Director Zero Emissions Business Unit at Nissan Europe, based at Rolle, Switzerland, said: “We continue our efforts to improve EV batteries with the ultimate aim of offering a driving range that is comparable to conventional fuel-powered vehicles.”

Together with Nissan, the new consortium includes Hyperdrive Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Newcastle University and Zero Carbon Futures. The group will work jointly on central areas of battery development, covering pilot projects, product diversification, and process improvement.

Nissan’s current battery-cell development and supply partner for production vehicles is Automotive Energy

Get The Best Auto Repair Shop In Goodyear

It somehow sounds easy when it comes to look for auto repair Goodyear, however the truth is that not as simple as you have thought. It takes both your effort and your time. So then, before your car needs some repair or a simple service like oil change, it never be too early if you are now taking some of your time to look around auto repair shop in Goodyear. Different auto repair shop will cost you with different prices for there services. Some will charge you with high prices, while the rest, they provide you with more affordable prices, which one to choose? Should you go for the expensive one for the best services? Or you pick only one that match your tight budget.

Not all auto repair shops that charge you with expensive cost, they offer you with best quality for the services. Sometimes you can find auto repair shops that even though they charge you with competitive price, they are very reliable when it comes to services that they provide. As this is your first time looking for Goodyear auto repair shop, why don’t you ask people around you? It can be your

Lutz and Fisker introduce new Viper powered Force 1 supercar

The Force was strong with industry icons Bob Lutz and Henrik Fisker and industrialist Gilbert Villarreal, as they introduced a new supercar at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. The  latest product to be made by their company (now known as VLF Automotive, based on the trio’s last name initials), is a two-door sports coupe named Force 1. Derived from the Viper SRT, it is powered by a 745 hp (556 kW) version of the Viper 8.4-L V10, packing a full 100 hp (75 kW) more than the production engine. And it is still naturally aspirated.

Claimed torque is 638 lb·ft/865 N·m vs. 600 lb·ft/813 N·m for the Viper SRT, which is scheduled for a 2017 model year phaseout. VLF claims the Force 1 can achieve 218 mph (349 kph) and 0-60 mph is listed as 3.0 s. The transmission choices are six-speed manual or paddle-shift automatic; suppliers have not yet been announced.

The car, which has an all carbon fiber body on a modified Viper chassis, will be produced at VLF’s facility in Auburn Hills, MI, where an earlier design, the four-door Destino powered by a Corvette ZR-1 V8, is reportedly production ready. That model

Latest Michelin Pilot tire has racing pedigree

A new Michelin tire is an all-season street grabber with technical attributes derived from endurance racing.

“This latest addition to the Michelin Pilot family transfers the best of high-performance racing technology and innovation into a street tire made for the diverse weather of North America,” Scott Clark, Chief Operating Officer for passenger cars and light trucks at Michelin North America, said during the tire’s world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The new Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season (A/S) 3+ uses substantial amounts of silica in the tread compound, a chemical portrait derived from wet endurance race tire technology used in Le Mans competition.

“It’s because we see the track, truly, as a laboratory,” said Clark. “Conditions are exacting and sometimes excruciating, and the feedback is immediate. We test, race, learn, and then repeat the process. Because the research and development cycle is shorter, innovation occurs faster.”

Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner appreciates Michelin’s track-to-street technology transfer mantra.

“Michelin embeds an engineer with our team for every test, every race, every practice, and all of that information is then fed directly back to the Michelin technical centers,” said Milner,

Why Audi boss Stadler believes in a hands

Braking a 412-kW (552-hp) lightened Audi RS7 very hard from 210 km/h (130 mph) deep into a downhill tight corner on a racetrack—with feet off the pedals and hands off the steering wheel—may seem to have little connection with parking in a traffic-thronged city center. But it has.

The link is autonomous driving technology.

To make the point, Audi Chairman Prof. Rupert Stadler and his specialist teams recently demonstrated their company’s capabilities and R&D programs in the automated/autonomous arena to select media, including Automotive Engineering, at the Castelloli circuit near Barcelona. These technologies are now proving their potential not only to take human error out of high speed travel but to bring significant convenience and cost benefits to urban transport and the development of “smart” cities.

Audi is committing the financial resources to prove it. “In the next five years we will invest probably 24 billion euros, with 70-80% directed to technology and product,” Stadler explained. A large proportion of both will pave the way toward systems and vehicles that will deliver mobility on a different digital level to anything available today.

But to see the potential fulfilled will require the auto industry to widen

Mini Clubman orque vectoring AWD system designed to give 2wd efficiency

In the 1960s, the front-wheel drive Mini Cooper S famously won the Monte Carlo Rally, propelled by a 52 kW (70 hp) engine and clawing through snow and ice on tires that looked small enough for a wheelbarrow.

The latest Mini offering, the 2016 Cooper S Clubman ALL4 (with all-wheel drive) makes its world debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show. It has been developed to tackle such conditions in a great deal more comfort and security than the classic rally car—and with up to 141 kW (189 hp) from its turbocharged 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine, potentially do it more quickly.

The all-new Clubman is 12.4-in (315-mm) longer and 4.6-in (117-mm) wider than the previous Clubman, making it (at 168.3-in/4274-mm long) Mini’s largest product and its first in the compact segment. It shares BMW’s UKL2 platform with the 2-Series wagon.

The ALL4 system’s design criteria included compact packaging and light weight to keep fuel consumption and emissions similar to those of the 2wd Clubman. The Cooper S ALL4 drives through a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed Aisin automatic transmission. (For comparison, the non-S Cooper powertrain uses BMW’s 1.5-L turbocharged 3-cylinder rated at 134 hp

SAE Eye on Engineering Quick Take Buick new Cascada Convertible

Convertibles don’t sell in big numbers and can be costly to develop. But really good convertibles can boost a brand’s image and help drive sales of other models. In this episode of SAE Eye on Engineering, Senior Editor Lindsay Brooke looks at Buick’s 2016 Cascada Convertible

. It also airs in audio-only form Monday mornings on WJR 760 AM Detroit’s Paul W. Smith Show. Access archived episodes of SAE Eye on Engineering

GT Concept reveals Opel Vauxhall s ports car template

GM’s European brands Opel and Vauxhall may have new minimalist sports cars in the pipeline. The brands will reveal a concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show that they describe as “a template” for the sporty shape of things to come.

Sports cars have not been on the Opel and Vauxhall agenda for several years. But bolder and more individualistic styling linked to some fine powertrains certainly has. Describing the new GT Concept, Mark Adams, GM’s Vice President, Design Europe, called it “dramatic, sculptural and full of innovation.” Unlike current Opel/Vauxhall products, the car has a front/mid-engine, rear wheel drive configuration.

Opel/Vauxhall is demonstrating the seriousness of the GT Concept by providing some pre-Geneva technical details. Its 3-cylinder engine, driving through a 6-speed sequential gearbox, is a 107-kW (143-hp), 205-N·m (151-lb·ft) version of the 1.0-L turbo unit currently used extensively by the company.

The car weighs “under 1000 kg,” according to Adams, and performance claims include 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than 8.0 s and a Vmax of 216 km/h (134 mph).

Vauxhall and Opel have marketed sports cars before, most recently the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220, based on the Lotus Series 2 Elise

Composite cooling circuit parts

Cooling circuit parts installed by automotive manufacturers consist of a direct composite comprising the special polyphthalamide (PPA) VESTAMID HTplus R1033 by the Resource Efficiency segment of Evonik, and a newly developed HNBR elastomer by KACO GmbH & Co. KG. The composite is generated with the patented plastic-rubber technology, which enables the firm bond of a component’s plastic and rubber parts without pretreatment. The process does not require the application of an adhesion promoter. The plastic material, such as VESTAMID HTplus R1033, must be specifically formulated for this purpose. The newly developed HNBR elastomer by KACO shows enhanced initial adhesion. The bond with HNBR also must remain stable when the part is in contact with various media or subjected to temperature extremes, which is ensured by the high chemical resistance of PPA as well as the special properties of VESTAMID HTplus R1033 for composite bonding. The plastic part remains dimensionally stable even in the elastomer vulcanization process, which allows for trouble-free component function for a million transmission cycles depending on the transverse path. For more information, visit

3D viewing of CAD models

KISTERS has released version 2016 of its 3DViewStation Desktop, which features modern user-interface, high-performance 3D-viewing, advanced analysis, and digital mockup (DMU). 3DViewStation ships with current and mature CAD-importers for a range of formats including Catia, NX, Creo, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, JT, 3D-PDF, and STEP, plus a set of functional tools to view, analyze, and communicate 3D-data as STEP, JT, or 3D-PDF. The development focus for 3DViewStation Desktop V2016 has been to further optimize the handling of extremely large assemblies and enhancements of the analysis functions. The graphics kernel, which is a KISTERS development, has been optimized to cut down load times by 50% in 3DVS file format and to reduce memory usage by 60-70%. The size of 3DVS files also has been reduced by 20-30%. Other new features of 3DViewStation can be reviewed at

Powering up the new stop start systems

As stop-start systems gain acceptance in North America, a range of technologies including lithium ion batteries, ultracapacitors, and 48-V “mild hybrid” systems are under consideration to handle the aggressive start cycles, typically more than 20 per day, that are required of these systems. Stop-start is aimed at reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions by reducing engine idling.

Even the venerable lead acid battery is evolving. Enhanced flooded batteries and absorbent glass mat (AGM) technologies with deep-cycling capability are slowly displacing batteries used for several decades. While the rapid expansion of electronics overall is a factor, a key reason is the rise of stop-start, which requires quick recharging and long lifetimes.

“Larger 12-volt AGM batteries, which deliver up to four times the typical life cycle of a conventional battery, are important to the current implementation of stop-start,” said Kathi Walker, GM Global Engineering Lead for Stop-Start Systems. “Lithium-ion batteries could be used in the near future.”

While Li-ion batteries may someday take over, they’re currently too expensive to displace the primary storage source for starting, lighting and ignition. However, Li-ion may expand beyond its role in electrified powertrains.

“Lead-acid and advanced lead-acid batteries continue to

Kia 2017 Niro hybrid CUV targets sub 90 g

A novel hybrid-electric powertrain debuting on the 2017 Kia Niro subcompact CUV targets sub-90 g/km CO2 emissions and combined highway/city 50 mpg fuel economy.

“Niro’s combination of gasoline direct injection, Atkinson cycle, and cooled exhaust gas recirculation engine technologies along with a dual clutch transmission — all electrified — is an industry first,” said Steve Kosowski, Kia Motors America’s Manager of Long Range Strategy.

Kosowski and other Kia product development officials spoke with Automotive Engineering following the all-new Niro’s world debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. They explained that Niro was designed from a clean sheet as a hybrid vehicle, with a plug-in version coming at a later date. Niro shares its Hyundai engineered 1.6-L Kappa-family 4-cylinder engine and its six-speed DCT with the Hyundai Ioniq. It also shares that new sedan’s 103-in (2616-mm) wheelbase and track widths.

According to Kosowski, Niro’s IC engine delivers 103 hp (77 kW) at 5200 rpm, and achieves 40% brake-thermal efficiency. The DCT is unique among four-door hybrids, including the 2016 Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max, which use continuously variable transmissions. Fitted in the P2 position between Niro’s engine and transmission is a 43-hp (32-kW) permanent magnet AC synchronous motor.

Volvo new plug in C90 is really a tri motor

Unusually for an OEM, Volvo Cars is being a bit modest about its new XC90 plug-in hybrid, describing it as the T8 Twin Engine. But technically the 2016 PHEV is, in aerospace parlance, a tri-motor, having a 2.0-L gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a starter-generator.

“We could say triple,” admitted Lars Lagström, the vehicle’s Project Leader and Product Manager, “because we have a 34-kw motor between the engine and main electric motor. But we have sufficient power without mentioning that!”

In fact the extra 34 kW (45 hp) is used to help fill torque gaps and smooth shift changes when the IC engine is engaged, and to give an extra boost when required.

The new hybrid, part of the XC90 model plan from its inception and based on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), arrives eight months after the conventional models entered production. Volvo decided that time would be well spent maturing the plug-in car’s software to provide those ultra-smooth shifts.

The hybrid was conceived at a difficult time for Volvo, explained Lagström: “It was in 2008 and we knew we were no longer wanted by Ford [which owned Volvo at the time] and

Automakers and suppliers crank up their interest in electric bikes

Automakers and Tier 1s are expanding their view of transportation and its potential profit centers. They’re rolling out battery-powered electric bicycles that let drivers park cars in less congested areas and pedal the remaining distances. Electric motors provide boosts so cyclists aren’t tired and sweaty when they reach their destinations.

Continental Automotive recently demonstrated its Conti eBike System, which is being offered to automotive OEMs and bicycle manufacturers. Developers are leveraging experience gained in electric powertrain development, among other technologies. The company is bullish about its role in powered bicycles.

“There are a lot possible synergies within the Continental corporation taking advantage of other transportation and mobility solutions and adapting them to bicycles/e-bikes,” said Horst Walter, the company’s Benchmark Drives Director. “With this vision, we feel confident in becoming a leading supplier of innovative drive solutions in the bicycle industry.”

Automotive OEMs are quickly moving into this market. Ford, whose founder once worried that the early U.S. motorcycle industry would threaten his nascent Model T, has unveiled two E-bikes and detailed an additional concept model. Audi recently discussed a concept e-bike. Daimler’s Smart is offering a bike with a 35-N·m (25 lb·ft) motor and an

Nissan Armada steps onto Patrol platform

No longer sharing its platform with the Titan full-size pickup truck, the all-new 2017 Nissan Armada full-size SUV is now attached to one of the automaker’s most iconic nameplates that originated in 1951.

The second-generation Armada shares its platform with the Nissan Patrol, a vehicle that has earned its reputation in extreme use the world over, and has won its class in the grueling Dakar Rally off-road endurance race three times.

“The global Patrol is set up for a very harsh environment, so it’s a high durability, high severity vehicle,” said Peter Luttenbacher, Nissan North America’s Manager of Truck and SUV Product Planning. “We wanted to find this balance between the capability of the global Patrol—used off-road for jumping sand dunes in the Middle East and long-distance, heavy towing in Russia, China, and other regions—and the pure on-road [driving associated] with sedans.”

Luttenbacher and other Nissan product technical experts spoke with Automotive Engineering at the 2017 Armada’s world reveal on the eve of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

Armada and its upscale sibling, the Infiniti QX80, retain their body-on-frame architecture. Both ride on the same fully boxed all-steel frame, its longitudinal rails increased in

Mainstreaming hybrids and EVs

Will the inefficiency of the automobile ultimately doom the automobile?

Big questions like this one, posed by Ford Technical Fellow Dr. Michael Tamor, hit February’s SAE Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Symposium audience between the eyes. Nothing like challenging the long-term viability of your industry’s fundamental technology to get a room of 250 engineers engaged with the program.

Dr. Tamor’s look at greenhouse-gas reduction opportunities beyond 2025 kept returning to a key point: affordability. It was a perfect kick-off to the next two days of insights from vehicle engineers and other industry experts who are charged with enhancing HEV, PHEV, and EV battery power density and driveline performance and efficiency – while driving down cost, of course. Consumer acceptance of HEVs and plug-ins ultimately is driven by these efforts.

During this 13th annual SAE event, I spoke with a number of the presenters about the future of vehicle electrification. Nearly all agreed with my premise that in order for their companies to meet the increasingly stringent global CO2 emission requirements going forward, hybridization must become mainstream technology. Depending on the vehicle application, the experts see a mix of 12-V, 48-V, and high-voltage solutions. And for plug-in vehicles, there

Controlling GM electrified herd

As General Motors proliferates electrified powertrain applications among its brands, it is also rapidly commonizing those systems as much as possible. Witness the 2016 Chevrolet Volt and Malibu Hybrid; both systems were developed in parallel and share key design, engineering and certain component elements. And the 2017 Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid’s sophisticated propulsion system marries aspects of the latest Volt and those of GM’s earlier 2-Mode hybrid system. At the recent 2016 SAE Hybrid & EV Symposium in California, Automotive Engineering talked with Tim Grewe, GM’s Director of General Electrification, about the role of controls in the electrified vehicle space.

It seems that going forward it’s the controls, not hardware, that will separate a Volt from a Bolt from a CT6—and a Cadillac PHEV from a Mercedes or Audi.

Controls are fundamental to vehicle high performance and efficiency. And it’s truly multidisciplinary, getting engineers who normally don’t work together trading off the optimizations. If you take a classic control theory that’s engine-centric and just about BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption), that might not be so good because the motor control is less efficient in those operating points. You’ve got to tie them all together.

We’ve got