Driver Assistance Systems
[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Toyota to launch new “Big Data Traffic Information Service” in Japan
May 29, 2013
|T-Probe traffic information (Traffic congestion status shown with color coding). Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) had developed and will launch in Japan the “Big Data Traffic Information Service”, a new traffic-information service utilizing “big data” including vehicle locations and speeds, road conditions, and other parameters collected and stored via telematics services.
Based on such data, traffic information, statistics and other related information can be provided to local governments and businesses to aid traffic flow improvement, provide map information services, and assist disaster relief measures. Toyota will begin accepting applications from local governments and businesses across Japan to use the service starting 3 June. Concurrently, the existing smart G-BOOK telematics service for smartphones will be upgraded to allow private users access to Big Data Traffic Information Service content.
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
May 16, 2013
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
Ford unveils 1.5L EcoBoost engine in new Mondeo in China (corrected)
April 04, 2013
Ford unveiled the new, fifth-generation global Mondeo in China, the first Ford to be equipped with the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. The new
3 4-cylinder, 1.5L EcoBoost is the fifth and latest member to join Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, which includes a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-cylinders, and two 3.5-liter V6 variants.
Ford’s EcoBoost technology combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to enable a downsized engine to gain fuel economy by up to 20% over larger engines with no loss of performance. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is projected to produce 132 kW (177 hp) of power at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 240 N·m (177 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm.
Toshiba launches Visconti3 line of image recognition processors for automotive applications
April 02, 2013
|First device in the new Visconti3 series. Click to enlarge.|
Toshiba Corporation recently launched the third generation of its Visconti series of image recognition processors, Visconti3.
Toshiba initially developed the Visconti series of image recognition processors to advance the creation of camera-based vision systems for automotive applications. The processors recognize traffic lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and more. Both the Visconti2 and 3 series devices incorporate image processing accelerators that detect pedestrians with high level detection ratio in real time.
New 2014 Jeep Cherokee features up to 31 mpg highway, 9-speed transmission; driver assistance firsts
March 27, 2013
|2014 Jeep Cherokee. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler introduced the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new Cherokee features a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, developed in partnership with ZF; fuel economy improvements of more than 45% versus the outgoing Liberty model; and more than 70 advanced safety and security features.
Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to the nine-speed, the Cherokee features expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 mpg US (7.6 l/100 km) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles (805 km).
New Scania heavy-duty truck series offers up to 8% reduction in fuel consumption
March 22, 2013
|Scania Streamline G-series unit. Click to enlarge.|
Scania unveiled its new Streamline series of trucks that will enable customers to reduce fuel consumption by up to 8%.
The Scania G- and R-series long-haulage trucks feature new low-drag looks and full air deflector kits. Potential fuel savings in long-haulage are up to 8% with the new, more efficient second-generation Euro 6 engines. Corresponding savings for Euro 3/4/5 are up to 5%.
Subaru VIZIV diesel plug-in hybrid concept debuts at Geneva; independent-rear-motor-driven symmetrical AWD
March 06, 2013
|VIZIV Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, introduced the VIZIV (“Vision for Innovation”) hybrid crossover concept at the Geneva Motor Show.
The powertrain is a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer diesel engine and high-torque-compatible Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a single front motor that provides both vehicle drive and power generation, and two independent rear motors for vehicle drive only. The 100% motor-driven rear wheels eliminate the need for a propeller shaft, creating a lower floor that offers ample legroom for rear seat occupants despite its compact size.
Volvo Car Group introduces world-first Cyclist Detection with full auto brake
March 05, 2013
Volvo Car Group used the venue of the Geneva Motor Show to introduce new safety technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car.
The new functionality is an enhancement of the present detection and auto brake technology, and the package will be called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. New advanced software, including more rapid vision processing, has made it possible to extend the present detection and auto brake technology also to cover certain cyclist situations. All cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate cyclist detection.
Continental and BMW Group working together to develop freeway-grade highly automated driving
February 27, 2013
Continental and the BMW Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term prerequisites for series introduction of highly automated driving on European freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the research partnership is to pave the way to highly automated driving functions beyond the year 2020.
Continental is a leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems; the development of products and systems for automated driving is one of the central themes of its long-term technology strategy. (Earlier post.)
Volvo Trucks introduces dynamic steering system combining hydraulic power steering with electric motor
February 19, 2013
|Volvo Dynamic Steering. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Trucks is introducing Volvo Dynamic Steering, which combines conventional hydraulic power-steering with an electronically-regulated electric motor fitted to the steering gear. The result is precise steering that gives a truck driver a safer and more comfortable working environment.
An electronically-controlled electric motor attached to the steering shaft is the technological innovation in Volvo Dynamic Steering. The electric motor, which works together with the truck’s hydraulic power steering, has a maximum of 25 N·m (18 lb-ft) of torque and is regulated thousands of times per second by the electronic control unit.
New GPS/IMU fusion system improves the precision of GPS in vehicles in cities by up to 90%; implications for connected vehicles, autonomy and ITS
February 12, 2013
|Integration of GNSS (GPS) antenna of rover receiver and IMU in a platform over the roof of the test vehicle. Source: Martí et al.Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed a new system which improves the ability of a GPS to determine a vehicle’s position as compared to that of conventional GPS devices by up to 90%, and which can be installed in any vehicle at a very low cost. Future applications that will benefit from the technology will include cooperative driving, automatic maneuvers for the safety of pedestrians, autonomous vehicles or cooperative collision warning systems, the scientists noted.
The system is a fusion of a GPS (or GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System) and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrating three accelerometers and three gyroscopes, based on a context-aided Unscented Kalman filter for navigation in urban conditions. The GPS/IMU system was jointly developed by the Applied Artificial Intelligence Group (GIAA – Grupo de Inteligencia Aplicada Artificial) and the Systems Intelligence Laboratory (LSI – Laboratorio de Sistemas Inteligentes) at UC3M.
Continental acquires ASL Vision for 360-degree surround view technology
January 11, 2013
|360-degree surround detection optimally detects the entire vehicle surrounding and helps to safely master complex traffic situations. Source: Continental. Click to enlarge.|
International automotive supplier Continental has acquired ASL Vision, a provider of embedded video image processing and transmission solutions based in Lewes, England. ASL has developed the ASL360 Surround View camera system—a multi-camera system that processes video from multiple ultra-wide-angle cameras in a single, high performance Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The companies agreed not to disclose the price for the acquisition.
With the acquisition, Continental is adding “a strategically important building block”, 360-degree surround detection, while at the same time further developing its competence in the camera sector in a targeted way, said Friedrich Angerbauer, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Business Unit in the Continental Chassis & Safety Division. Continental is a leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems; the development of products and systems for automated driving is one of the central themes of its long-term technology strategy. (Earlier post.)
First generation of Bosch traffic jam assistant to enter series production in 2014
January 09, 2013
Bosch is working to expand its range of driver assistance systems to incorporate autonomous braking, acceleration, and steering functions. The traffic jam assistant will step in when the vehicle is moving at speeds between 0 and 50 km/h (31 mph). This means that it will operate in most stop-and-go traffic situations.
The first generation of the traffic jam assistant is expected to enter series production in 2014. In the following years, the feature will be enhanced to cover ever-faster speeds and more complex driving situations. Eventually, the traffic jam assistant will serve as a highway pilot for full autonomous driving, Bosch says.
Audi showcases future piloted driving technologies at CES; initial focus on traffic jams and parking
At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Audi AG presented technologies for networking the car with its environment, with a particular focus on future piloted driving and mobile communications. Piloted driving—i.e., the use of drive assistance systems that are able to assume the complete driving task for a limited period of time, if so desired by the driver—will be technically feasible before the decade is out, Audi says.
In congested traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph), Audi’s piloted driving helps the driver to steer the car within certain limits. It also accelerates and brakes the vehicle autonomously. In future, piloted driving will also be able to maneuver the vehicle autonomously into and out of parking spaces—such as in tight roadside parking spaces, in garages, or even in parking garages.
Harris Interactive survey for Johnson Controls identifies consumer preferences for connected vehicles
According to a recent online survey conducted for Johnson Controls by Harris Interactive, US vehicle owners want to use their phones and existing apps to safely connect in their vehicles. Consumers want this process to be simple to use and for it to be convenient to download apps from traditional channels.
Johnson Controls says it will utilize the data to influence design and new product development of its future infotainment products. Some of the key findings from the study of more than 2,100 US adults include:
Sensor fusion, machine learning, and “big data” featuring in Ford R&D for advanced driver assistance
December 22, 2012
At Ford, Paul Mascarenas, vice president and chief technical officer, has been leading the team researching and developing new technologies for Ford vehicles, particularly in the area of driver assistance and mobile device connectivity. Mascarenas points to the new Fusion sedan as an example of “making the car smarter using attainable and affordable technology and thus helping create a better driver.”
However, he suggests, despite the “unprecedented” level of sensors for its driver assist technologies, machine learning techniques to deliver more electric-only driving on the hybrids, and innovative graphical interfaces to help coach drivers to be as fuel efficient as possible, the Fusion is only scratching the surface of what is possible.
US DOE opens “Apps for Vehicles” challenge; leveraging open data for fuel efficiency and safety
December 06, 2012
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP) officially opened the Apps for Vehicles Challenge, which is offering $50,000 in prizes for the best business plans, app ideas and product designs that use open vehicle data to improve safety and fuel efficiency through technology innovation. The challenge had been announced earlier at the DOE’s Energy Datapalooza event in October.
In launching the challenge, Pat Davis, Vehicle Technologies Program Manager, noted that existing applications are just beginning to explore the possibilities of open vehicle data, and that OBD (onboard diagnostics port) diagnostic data and other sources of vehicle data have the potential to power significant improvements in vehicle efficiency and safety.
Chevy Spark and Sonic first to offer Eyes Free mode integration with Apple’s Siri
November 27, 2012
Early next year, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will integrate Apple’s Siri “Eyes Free” voice recognition technology; GM is the first automaker to implement the technology in production vehicles.
Apple had announced in June that it was working with automakers to integrate Siri (which officially still is in Beta) into select voice control systems. Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz previews next-generation intelligent safety and driver assistance systems; “sensor fusion”
November 22, 2012
|Mercedes-Benz “Intelligent Drive” systems. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has augmented its driver assistance systems with new functions which are now able to support the driver in a broader range of situations. Using advanced sensor technology, they are able to monitor the area around the vehicle, providing the driver with warnings and support, and reducing driver workload. Mercedes-Benz calls the combination of sensors and systems to support these systems “Intelligent Drive”.
Mercedes-Benz recently previewed its next-generation intelligent safety and driver assistance systems for the next S-Class, which will make its own debut next year, at an “Intelligent Drive” TecDay in Stuttgart.
Two new PEV-specific apps from OnStar targeted at range anxiety and public charging cost
November 17, 2012
|The new EV Waypoint application will plot a waypoint route with recommended charging stations is the route is beyond the range of a single charge. Source: OnStar. Click to enlarge.|
At the GM Electrification Experience—at which GM previewed the Spark EV (earlier post)—OnStar previewed two new apps for drivers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs): one slated for release to address the possible range anxiety of electric vehicles (Spark EV Waypoint), the other, a concept to address the cost of public charging (Park-Tap-Charge) that leverages Near Field Communication (NFC).
Since the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle launched in late 2010, drivers have been able to manage vehicle charging, including the option to charge during off-peak hours through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App. As GM expands its electric vehicle line-up next year with the 2014 Chevy Spark EV, more drivers will be able to manage and control electric-only functions from their phone.
Ford’s EV+ feature learns frequent destinations and adjusts hybrid powertrain to deliver more electric-only driving
November 08, 2012
Ford has developed EV+, a patent-pending feature that helps hybrids and plug-in hybrids learn frequent destinations, and then deliver more driving time in electric-only mode. EV+ is part of SmartGauge and is a standard feature on the Ford plug-in hybrids, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, along with the hybrid versions of Fusion and C-MAX.
EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. Once frequent destinations have been learned—such as home parking locations—EV+ adjusts how the electric power stored in the vehicle’s high-voltage battery is used to power the vehicle. If EV+ determines the vehicle is nearing a frequent destination, it has the capability to remain in electric-only mode.
Bosch introducing new mid-range radar sensor, stereo-video sensor in 2014
October 30, 2012
As part of its work on developing new safety and driver assistance systems, Bosch will introduce a new mid-range 77 GHz radar sensor for front- and rear-end applications and a new stereo-video sensor.
77 Ghz radar. A leading European automaker is slated to deploy the new Bosch MRR rear mid-range radar sensor, which can precisely locate vehicles in blind spots or approaching from behind, in 2014. Compared to current 24-gigahertz solutions, this sensor is much more precise, with up to three times the ability to distinguish between objects and up to five times more accurate measurement of speed and distances, Bosch says.