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[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.]

Volkswagen to start fitting vehicles with pWLAN technology as standard from 2019 on for V2X communication

June 28, 2017

From 2019, Volkswagen will start fitting its first models with pWLAN as standard in order to serve as an additional communication technology for the exchange of selected information relevant to traffic between cars made by different manufacturers.

This will involve information being exchanged both between vehicles (car-to-car), as well as between vehicles and the transport infrastructure (car-to-X) (also fitted with pWLAN technology). This will, for example, enable information about the current traffic situation, accidents and other situations relating to traffic conditions to be shared with the local environment, within a radius of approximately 500 m, even faster than has been possible in the past.

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ZF showcases mSTARS electric axle system for axle hybrids or fully electric vehicles

June 23, 2017

ZF is using its plug-in Vision Zero concept vehicle to showcase a number of new safety and zero local emissions technologies. The vehicle features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic acceleration. The entire propulsion system, including the integrated power electronics, is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension).

This modular axle system makes it easier to electrify volume production vehicle platforms—even existing ones as demonstrated in the Vision Zero Vehicle. The system offers vehicle manufacturers the opportunity to respond to a diverse range of market requirements using just one car platform variant.

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Audi A8 fully active electromechanical suspension powered by 48V electrical system; predictive adjustment using front camera

June 22, 2017

The new Audi A8 will feature a fully active, electromechanical suspension system which drives each wheel individually and adapts to the prevailing road conditions. Each wheel has an electric motor which is powered by the A8’s 48-volt electrical system—used for the first time as the main electrical system. (The Audi SQ7 TDI introduced in 2016 offered a 48V subsystem as well as a 12V system for the alternator. Earlier post. The new A8 also features a 48V mild hybrid capability (mHEV).)

Additional components include gears, a rotary tube together with internal titanium torsion bar and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) on the suspension via a coupling rod. The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on 11 July.

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Michelin Vision concept wheel/tire: airless, connected, rechargeable, organic

June 14, 2017

At Movin’On 2017, Michelin presented its new Vision concept tire. The concept tire—which combines the functions of wheel and tire—is airless, connected, rechargeable, customizable and organic, is both a wheel and a tire. Michelin Group Executive Vice President of Research and Development Terry Gettys said that the VISION concept is achievable as it represents the convergence of innovations already being explored by the Group’s R&D teams.

The Vision tire combines 4 innovations: an organic tire, developed from bio-sourced, biodegradable materials; a rechargeable tire printed in 3D, according to the level of wear and mobility needs; an airless tire enabled by its alveolar interior architecture; and a connected tire.

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IAV develops new close-coupled diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment system for improved emissions reduction

May 08, 2017

IAV has developed a particularly closed-coupled diesel exhaust gas aftertreatment (EAT) system. The design allows the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and particular filter/selective catalytic reduction (DPF/SCR) units to reach optimum working temperature more quickly which, even when driving in the low-load range, significantly cuts emissions.

Under the EU6 standard, diesel engines are still allowed to emit up to 80 mg NOx/km milligrams of nitrogen oxides per kilometer—not only under the legal framework in the cycle but also in respect of increasingly tighter RDE requirements. Future diesel powertrains will need to be capable of meeting limit values that are even tighter than EU6.

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Dana showcasing electrified technologies at Auto Shanghai

April 20, 2017

At Auto Shanghai 2017, Dana Incorporated is showcasing select technologies from its Spicer Electrified portfolio of fully integrated motor, control, and e-drive technologies, as well as thermal-management products for electric and hybrid vehicles.

On display is Dana’s new Spicer electric motor-driven gearbox, which is specifically engineered to deliver better acceleration and higher torque in high-speed battery electric vehicles (BEV). Additionally, Dana’s new Spicer Electrified e-axles for electric transit buses and city delivery vehicles feature a fully integrated motor and gear box and leverage the company’s experience in chassis drivetrain applications. These e-axles are planned for launch in 2018.

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GKN Driveline presents fully integrated compact eDrive system in Shanghai; less weight, lower cost, easier integration

April 19, 2017

GKN Driveline has presented an advanced technology concept for a fully integrated, compact eDrive system at the 2017 Auto Shanghai motor show. All of the components of GKN’s eDrive system are contained within a bespoke housing, resulting in optimized packaging and greatly simplifying the integration process for car manufacturers. The system generates a maximum 65kW of power and can deliver up to 2,000 N·m of torque to the rear wheels.

GKN’s complete eDrive system packages the water-cooled electric motor, power inverter and single-speed eAxle reduction gearbox within a single casing. The all-in-one eDrive system replaces external wiring with a bus bar to eliminate unnecessary mechanical interfaces. The close proximity of the components results in improvements in both mechanical and electrical efficiency compared to today’s technology.

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UK APC awards US$77M to seven low-carbon transportation R&D projects

April 11, 2017

The UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has awarded £62 million (US$77 million) from its sixth round of funding to projects led by BMW Motorsport, New Holland Agriculture, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, Penso Consulting, Ford Motor Company and Westfield Sportscars, to develop innovative low carbon transportation technology in the UK.

Projects cover a wide range of innovations, which will are intended to help the UK to become a global leader in low emissions technology. They include the development of an affordable hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, such as autonomous pods, as well as a project to address significant gaps in the UK electrification supply chain. Projects include:

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Eberspaecher starting production of Gen 3 PTC heater for hybrids and EVs; 30% higher performance density, lighter weight

April 06, 2017

Eberspaecher catem is starting production of the third generation of its high-voltage PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heaters. The new solution, designed specially for hybrid and electric vehicles, delivers significantly higher heat output despite a lighter weight. Improved heat transfer between the PTC elements and coolant, together with the in-house developed electronic control unit, provide more efficient energy and heat management.

The heating systems discharge the temperature-controlled air into the vehicle’s interior by way of an on-board heat exchanger. The third-generation system has been optimized in terms of both performance and weight. Significantly improved heat transfer between the PTC elements and coolant increases the performance density at zero degrees coolant temperature by more than 30%.

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Continental developing Road Condition Observer for active safety

April 04, 2017

Continental is developing a new system called Road Condition Observer that uses vehicle sensors and cloud data to classify a road surface as dry, wet, covered with snow or icy and to assess the grip of the road surface.

This knowledge, in turn, allows the vehicle to adjust the functions of advanced driver assistance systems to the actual road conditions, said Bernd Hartmann, Head of the Enhanced ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) & Tire Interactions project group within the Advanced Engineering department of Continental’s Chassis & Safety division.

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AAM develops new axle technology; lighter, more efficient for up to 1.5% better fuel economy

March 30, 2017

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has developed completely new, significantly improved axle technology. QUANTUM driveline technology is scalable across a wide range of vehicle segments and provides substantial advantages regardless of vehicle size: reduced mass, increased power density, improved noise vibration and harshness (NVH) and fuel efficiency gains in a more compact system package. The combined additional efficiency and weight reduction can deliver 1% to 1.5% improved vehicle fuel economy, AAM said.

QUANTUM offers a 20% increase in power density along with a minimum 30% mass reduction at the same torque capacity. For a heavy-duty pickup, QUANTUM provides more than 100 lbs. of vehicle weight savings, said Phil Guys, AAM vice president and chief technology officer. “It is significantly more efficient without any reduction in performance.

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GKN Driveline develops new lightweight propshaft for Audi Q5; more compact, lighter, more efficient; MLB Evo

March 02, 2017

GKN Driveline created a new lightweight, high-speed propshaft joint for the all-new Audi Q5. The PVL joint is smaller, lighter and more refined than predecessor technology, and represents a bespoke solution by GKN engineers to create a more compact joint. Its outer diameter is reduced by 7mm, representing an 8% reduction in the width and height of the space it occupies in the driveline.

The smaller joint is also 350g lighter, representing a 23% weight reduction, yet there is no negative impact on torque capacity. With a smaller rotating mass, the PVL joint improves performance and efficiency, and helps to lower vehicle emissions.

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Eaton introduces eVaptive electronic fuel tank venting system; reduced cost, complexity

Power management company Eaton introduced its new eVaptive electronically controlled fuel tank vapor venting system that can be optimized for any vehicle platform, eliminating the need for automakers to design unique venting systems for different vehicles.

The eVaptive system uses software to control the transmission of fuel vapors to a charcoal canister while keeping liquid fuel confined to the fuel tank. For any given fuel tank application, the system can be optimized for all driving situations as well as stationary and refueling modes. The hardware is a “one-size-fits-all” unit that can be programmed to fit any vehicle platform.

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MAHLE acquires thermoelectric generator start-up O-Flexx

February 16, 2017

The MAHLE Group is expanding its expertise in the field of thermoelectrics by acquiring the start-up O-Flexx Technologies. O-Flexx specializes in thermoelectric generators; its R&D center and production facilities for both low- and high-temperature modules are based in Duisburg, Germany. The purchase price will not be disclosed.

O-Flexx Technologies offers thermoelectric technology based on a thin-film approach combined with a cost-optimized, high-volume manufacturing process. O-Flexx says that its technology—protected by several patents—significantly increases conversion efficiency.The company collaborates with a partners from the industry—such as MAHLE—as well as research institutions such as the University of Duisburg-Essen, Vienna University of Technology and several Fraunhofer institutes.

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GKN, SDS begin production of all-wheel drive disconnect system in China; up to 4% improvement in fuel economy

GKN Driveline’s Chinese Joint Venture partner SDS has commenced production of its complete all-wheel drive (AWD) Disconnect system for small- to medium-sized vehicles in China. The system will initially feature on the Jeep Renegade built for the Chinese market by GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Co., Ltd. (GAC FCA) in Guangzhou City, southern Guangdong Province.

GKN’s Disconnect function enables vehicles to combine the enhanced traction, dynamics and stability of all-wheel drive with improved on-highway fuel efficiency. The system reacts to driver inputs and road conditions to seamlessly switch between two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. During steady state cruising, the clutch system disengages the rear section of the driveline, eliminating rotating losses and improving highway fuel economy by up to 4%—compared to standard AWD. If the driver or conditions require more traction, the system reconnects within just 300 milliseconds.

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Dearman doubling size of tech center for engine powered by liquid nitrogen

February 10, 2017

Dearman, the clean cold technology company, will double the size of its technology center ahead of further trials of its engine powered by liquid nitrogen. The Dearman Engine is zero emission, emitting no NOx or particulate matter (PM), and delivering significant carbon dioxide savings compared to diesel. (Earlier post.)

The first application of the technology is a zero-emission alternative to diesel powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs). (Earlier post.) The Dearman transport refrigeration system is currently undergoing advanced road trials with Sainsbury’s, and further international trials are set to begin later this year.

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Bosch establishing new electromobility operating unit in Powertrain Solutions; start at beginning of 2018

February 08, 2017

Bosch is forming an operating unit specifically for electromobility. The unit will be part of the new Powertrain Solutions division. From the start of 2018, Powertrain Solutions will include the company’s electromobility activities as well as the existing Gasoline Systems and Diesel Systems divisions. Thus, in the future, Bosch will supply existing and new customers with all powertrain technologies from a single source.

In addition to the 20 million new hybrids and electric vehicles that Bosch esimates will be produced in 2025, there will be some 85 million new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. Thus, as well as expanding electromobility, Bosch will work intensively on further improving combustion-engine technology.

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UQM partners with Meritor for full e-axle systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; prototypes later this year

February 02, 2017

UQM Technologies has signed a development agreement with Meritor. The development program is expected to last for two-and-one-half years. The alliance will develop full electric axle systems to address the increasing commercial vehicle market demand requirements for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions through much higher levels of vehicle electrification.

Meritor’s mechanical drivetrain components will be combined with UQM’s motor and inverter technology and hardware to create the Meritor and UQM Electric Axle System (MUQM Electric Axles) for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. The companies anticipate that prototypes will be ready by early fall of 2017.

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Torotrak shifting strategic focus in response to electrification trend; focus on KERS, away from V-Charge

January 31, 2017

UK-based Torotrak, a developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, is refocusing its strategy based on its understanding of how the priorities for many players in the European passenger car market—Torotrak’s customers—have profoundly changed in recent months.

The Torotrak Group has three main product lines: Flybrid flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery (KERS); Torotrak variable drive transmissions for use in powertrains and auxiliary devices; and V-Charge, a supercharging product containing Torotrak variable drive technology. Torotrak has been in commercial discussions with passenger car Tier 1s and OEMs as they seek to understand the full capability of V-Charge—Torotrak’s variable-drive mechanical supercharger that can enable ambitious engine downsizing (earlier post).

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NSK demonstrates transmission-equipped wheel hub motor

January 30, 2017

NSK Ltd. has successfully demonstrated the first transmission-equipped wheel hub motor, designed to improve the environmental performance, safety, and comfort of automobiles. Building on the knowledge it has gained from the prototype wheel hub motor it developed, NSK is aiming to commercialize wheel hub components such as the hub unit bearing with built-in speed reducer, the one-way clutch unit, the miniature cage and roller bearing, and the anti-corrosion bearing.

In-wheel motors that can work with various drive systems independent of the body structure of automobiles are attracting interest as next-generation electric drive devices. An in-wheel motor located near the wheel can reduce the weight of the vehicle, control the drive force of each wheel for improved torque vectoring, and enable the expansion of the size of the cabin space, thereby improving environmental performance, safety, and comfort.

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Viking Grace LNG ferry to install rotor sail; first LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship

January 26, 2017

Norsepower Oy Ltd., a provider of low- maintenance, software-operated, and data-verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, an LNG-fueled cruise ferry.

The 57,565 GT M/S Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to cutting 300 tonnes of LNG fuel per year.

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Faurecia Emissions Control reorients strategy, becomes Faurecia Clean Mobility

To align with industry megatrends and boost its long term growth, Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies has reoriented its strategy and become Faurecia Clean Mobility. Faurecia Clean Mobility is one of three Faurecia business groups, the other two being Automotive Seating and Interior Systems.

Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies developed exhaust systems and components, including mufflers, manifolds, catalytic converters, emissions control systems and complete exhaust systems. Faurecia defined three key areas for innovation within this segment:

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SAE International taskforce agrees on SAE J2954 Wireless Charging Test Station; major step forward in global standardization for wireless power transfer for EVs

January 23, 2017

At a standards meeting held in January at Audi AG in Ingolstadt, Germany, carmakers, Tier 1 suppliers, and technology providers from around the world reached agreement on key technical and procedural elements of the upcoming SAE Recommended Practice (RP) Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) and automated parking alignment and charging of electrified vehicles. (Earlier post.)

The Taskforce members have agreed on specifications for the SAE J2954 Test Stations, which automakers will use as a basis to develop their wireless charging systems, and to verify that they will interoperate with charging systems and vehicles sold by other makers.

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NTU and NXP Semiconductors launch Singapore’s first Smart Mobility consortium; testing V2X on NTU campus

January 19, 2017

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and NXP Semiconductors have launched Singapore’s first Smart Mobility Consortium to focus on testing and developing smart mobility technologies. The technologies will be tested on the NTU campus, which serves as a living test bed, bringing together 12 industry partners to form the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Consortium.

The 12 companies bring together their different expertise from the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications innovation ecosystem, such as wireless communication design, data analytics and network security. The industry partners include Panasonic, software multinational Red Hat, automotive system manufacturers Schaeffler and Denso, as well as ST Kinetics, the land systems and speciality vehicles arm of ST Engineering.

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Hard parts supplier Rheinmetall Automotive expects electrification to account for more than half of sales in 2020

January 17, 2017

Global Tier 1 supplier Rheinmetall Automotive—formerly KSPG and Kolbenschmidt Pierburg—expects electrification to account for more than half of its sales in 2020. Rheinmetall Automotive AG is the management company of the Automotive sector of Germany’s Rheinmetall Group. Sales amounted to around €2.6 billion (US$2.8 billion) in 2015, including around 16% from the companies located in NAFTA.

Rheinmetall Automotive is more known as a supplier of hard parts (e.g., pistons, blocks, cylinder heads, etc.) and mechatronics. However, said Horst Binnig, Rheinmetall Automotive CEO, “products with a cable” already constitute roughly 40% of the company’s total sales.

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Takata to plead guilty, pay $1B in criminal penalties for airbag scheme; 3 Takata execs indicted

January 14, 2017

Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety-related equipment, agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. An indictment was also unsealed charging three Takata executives with wire fraud and conspiracy in relation to the same conduct.

According to the company’s admissions, in the late 1990s, Takata began developing airbag inflators that relied upon ammonium nitrate as their primary propellant. From at least in or around 2000, Takata knew that certain ammonium nitrate-based inflators were not performing to the specifications required by the auto manufacturers. Takata also knew that certain inflators had sustained failures, including ruptures, during testing.

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New Opel Insignia to offer torque-vectoring all-wheel drive with Twinster system

January 11, 2017

The all-new Opel Insignia Grand Sport, arriving in the market early this year, will be available with a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system. The new Opel Insignia uses a GKN Twinster all-wheel drive system with a rear drive module that uses a twin clutch system without differential. The two clutches distribute torque between the front and rear axle and between the two rear wheels.

Torque vectoring provides intelligent control of the vehicle dynamics by sending precise amounts of torque to individual wheels; by over-speeding the outside wheel in a corner, torque vectoring can induce a yaw-moment, helping steer the vehicle. Conventional torque vectoring systems use a set of planetary gears either side of the differential to achieve only very low levels of over-speeding. Other systems use braking to achieve a similar effect—but waste energy and slow the vehicle in the process.

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Schaeffler Group sees e-mobility and digitalization as key opportunities

January 10, 2017

The Schaeffler Group, a global integrated automotive and industrial supplier, sees e-mobility, Industry 4.0 and digitalization as the key opportunities for the future, said CEO Klaus Rosenfeld at the company’s press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Schaeffler is placing a strong emphasis on hybrid and electric drive technologies, ranging from P0 belt starter on up to full electric drive. Some of these technologies include P2 arrangements that place the electric motor between the internal combustion engine and the transmission, and electric axle architectures.

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Audi & partners form Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow consortium for 3GPP Rel. 14 Cellular-V2X trial

January 04, 2017

At CES 2017, Audi AG, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., SWARCO Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern announced the formation of the Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium to carry out the first Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) trial based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) Release 14, which includes Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication.

The trial efforts are expected to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communication, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) wide area communications. ConVeX will be executed by a cross-industry consortium that brings diverse expertise to the trial. ConVeX will be co-funded by the participating organizations and the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the scope of the “Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Fields in Germany” funding guidelines.

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Qualcomm introducing Drive Data platform for sensor fusion

Qualcomm is introducing the Qualcomm Drive Data Platform to collect and analyze intelligently information from a vehicle’s sensors. Cars will be able to determine their location up to lane-level accuracy, to monitor and to learn driving patterns, to perceive their surroundings, and to share this reliable and accurate data with the rest of the world.

These capabilities will be key for many connected car applications, from shared mobility and fleet management to 3D high-definition mapping and automated driving. Qualcomm Drive Data platform is built on three pillars: heterogeneous connectivity; precise positioning; and on-device machine learning, all integrated into the Qualcomm Snapdragon solution.

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Qualcomm Automotive Solutions to power next-gen infotainment for Volkswagen vehicles; Snapdragon 820A Processor, Snapdragon X12 & X5 LTE modems

At CES 2017, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced the integration of Qualcomm Technologies chipsets in the next-generation of Volkswagen AG vehicles. These chipsets include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A processor (earlier post) for advanced infotainment systems, as well as the Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems, for connected car and telematics systems.

Volkswagen AG vehicles featuring the Snapdragon 820A processor are expected to be available in 2019, while vehicles utilizing Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems are expected to be available in 2018.

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Qualcomm announces Gigabit-class LTE for next-gen connected vehicles; Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem

At CES 2017, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced a new variant of its connected car reference platform using the flagship Gigabit Class Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help car manufacturers deliver the high-speed, high-quality and reliable connectivity required for advanced telematics and connected vehicle services—supporting peak download speeds up to 1 Gbps.

Building on the Company’s leadership supplying 3G/4G LTE modems for automotive, the reference platform is designed to allow carmakers quickly and easily to integrate the broad range of additional wireless and networking technologies required in today’s vehicles, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), with optional support for DSRC and Cellular-V2X. The platform also includes a module reference design for the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help automotive suppliers accelerate development and improve time-to-commercialization.

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Rinspeed Oasis autonomous electric concept first to be built on ZF Intelligent Rolling Chassis

December 30, 2016

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas next week, Rinspeed will unveil its Oasis autonomous electric concept vehicle. The two-seat runabout—somewhat reminiscent of a modern interpretation of famous Star Wars icon R2D2—can turn on its wheels with almost a zero radius due to a special steering angle, two in-wheel electric motors and torque vectoring, all developed by ZF on Lake Constance.

The “Intelligent Rolling Chassis” (IRC) from ZF offers a highly flexible platform for urban electric vehicles and features ZF’s all-electric drive based on the electric twist beam (eTB) rear axle. The aluminum electric motors at the rear axle are integrated with a single speed transmission that enables the Oasis to accelerate to 100 km/h in roughly nine seconds and, if needed, up to a speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

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Sandia Labs forms Spray Combustion Consortium to improve engine design

December 22, 2016

Sandia National Laboratories has formed an industry-funded Spray Combustion Consortium to better understand fuel injection by developing modeling tools. Control of fuel sprays is key to the development of clean, affordable fuel-efficient engines.

Intended for industry, software vendors and national laboratories, the consortium provides a direct path from fundamental research to validated engineering models ultimately used in combustion engine design. The three-year consortium agreement builds on Department of Energy (DOE) research projects to develop predictive engine fuel injector nozzle flow models and methods and couple them to spray development outside the nozzle.

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New Mercedes-Benz lab procedure shows MB car filters trap even finest allergenic particles

December 20, 2016

A new testing procedure developed by Mercedes-Benz, for which a patent application has been filed, has shown that even the minutest of allergenic particles are trapped by the charcoal fine particle filters in the vehicle. The results were confirmed by a medical study conducted by ECARF Institute GmbH in an innovative, mobile pollen chamber in the grounds of the Charité university hospital in Berlin.

Allergies are now the commonest form of chronic illness in industrialized countries. In Europe, around 30% of the population is affected. Airborne pollen, emissions given off by materials, or skin contact with them, can lead to a strong immune reaction with symptoms such as swelling of the nasal passages and bronchial tubes or swollen, itching eyes.

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LeddarTech showcasing 2D and 3D solid-state LiDARs for mass-market autonomous driving deployments; Leddar Ecosystem

December 16, 2016

At CES 2017, LeddarTech will be showcasing 2D and 3D high-resolution LiDAR solutions for autonomous driving applications based on its next-generation LeddarCore ICs and developed with the collaboration of leading-edge suppliers and partners from the newly-established Leddar Ecosystem. (Earlier post.)

Presented publicly for the first time, these systems demonstrate the scalability of Leddar technology and its ability to meet the high levels of performance, resolution, and cost-effectiveness required by Tier-1 and OEMs for mass-market autonomous driving applications. These LiDAR systems’ production versions will offer resolutions of up to 512×64 on a field of view of 120×20 degrees, and detection ranges that exceed 200 m for pedestrians and over 300 m for vehicles.

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Faurecia acquires Amminex to accelerate efficient NOx reduction for passenger and commercial vehicles

December 14, 2016

Faurecia has increased its participation in the Danish company Amminex to 91.5% through a share purchase. (Earlier post.) Amminex has developed an Ammonia Storage and Delivery System (ASDS) which has demonstrated its efficiency to almost completely eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants from diesel engines. (Earlier post.)

Faurecia has worked closely with Amminex since mid-2009 and previously owned 42% of the company. At the recent Paris Motor Show, Faurecia showed the Amminex solution for commercial vehicles, as well as an ASDS system in a new format for passenger cars. In increasing its participation to 91.5%, Faurecia expects to intensify the development of this technology for both commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

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New Lexus LC 500h with Multi Stage Hybrid System

December 08, 2016

Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January 2016, Lexus introduced its hybrid variant, the new LC 500h. (Earlier post.) The LC is a new flagship 2+2 performance coupe for Lexus’ global model range, and will go on sale in the US in Spring 2017.

The LC 500h is the first model to feature the new Multi Stage Hybrid system. (Earlier post.) Adding a multi stage shift device to the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain delivers greater torque, more usable power across a wider range of engine speeds and rhythmic, linear acceleration that gives the driver the sensation of working with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

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Toyota unveils new TNGA-based engines and transmissions and improved hybrid systems; deployment begins in 2017

December 06, 2016

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled new advanced engines and transmissions and further evolved hybrid systems based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota intends to deploy these new powertrain units in a rapidly broadening range of vehicle models, starting in 2017. The new units will feature in 60% or more of vehicles sold annually in Japan, United States, Europe and China in 2021, reducing CO2 emissions in those markets by 15% or more.

Within the five years to the end of 2021, Toyota plans to introduce 17 versions of nine new engines; 10 versions of four transmissions, including multi-geared automatic transmissions and a new kind of continuously variable transmission; and 10 versions of six hybrid systems.

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New ORNL hardware-in-the-loop capability to integrate advanced combustion, new fuels, and electrification pathways

December 02, 2016

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a new testing capability which integrates a driver model, full vehicle model, and hardware to explore the synergies of advanced combustion, new fuels, and emerging hybrid vehicle architectures over real-world drive cycles. This new facility is focused on low temperature combustion engines but builds upon the powertrain-in-the-loop expertise established with the Vehicle Systems Integration Laboratory (VSI) at ORNL.

The transient advanced combustion laboratory is initially supporting research on the potential of low temperature combustion modes with new fuel and vehicle technologies. The hardware-in-the-loop setup includes a transient dynamometer cell (AVL 300 kW AC) with a low-temperature combustion (LTC) multi-cylinder engine instrumented for combustion and emissions analysis. The light-duty diesel engine used in these experiments (earlier post) was modified for dual-fuel use for port fuel injection of low-reactivity fuel (i.e. gasoline, ethanol etc.) and a high-reactivity fuel (i.e. diesel, biodiesel etc.).

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Ford to offer cylinder deactivation for 1.0L EcoBoost in 2018; 6% fuel economy boost; global first for a 3-cylinder

November 30, 2016

Ford will offer the multi-award-winning 1.0‑liter EcoBoost gasoline engine with innovative cylinder deactivation technology for further reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency by up to 6%. Ford had been investigating different cylinder deactivation approaches for the 1.0L EcoBoost in collaboration with the Schaeffler Group. (Earlier post.)

The 1.0L EcoBoost with cylinder deactivation will debut in early 2018, becoming the first production three-cylinder engine with that fuel-saving feature. The accomplishment is delivered through innovative engineering by Ford engineers across Europe, and counters industry opinion that a three-cylinder, variable capacity engine could not deliver the refinement needed for passenger car applications.

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GKN expands electric all-wheel drive program with BMW; eAxle for PHEV X1 in China

November 28, 2016

GKN Driveline is expanding its global electric axle (eAxle) drive partnership with the BMW Group, supplying eAxle technology for a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X1 for the Chinese market. The system is part of the same scalable family of eAxles used in the plug-in hybrid BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe (earlier post).

Early adopters of GKN’s electric axle drive used the technology to create plug-in hybrid sports cars with electric all-wheel drive that enhanced performance and efficiency. Automakers are now equipping a new generation of compact vehicles with GKN electric drive technology.

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BorgWarner launches its first integrated electric drive module for the EV market; first application in China

November 16, 2016

BorgWarner will launch an electric drive module (eDM) with integrated eGearDrive transmission in two pure electric vehicles from a major Chinese automaker. Production is expected to begin in summer 2017. This is the first electric drive module from BorgWarner following its acquisition of Remy in 2015. (Earlier post.)

BorgWarner’s eDM provides primary or secondary propulsion for pure electric or P4-type hybrid vehicles. The integrated design of the electric motor and transmission enables weight, cost and space savings. Since both functions are combined into one housing, installation is also easier.

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Dana introducing Spicer Electrified family of e-axles for hybrid, electric vehicles

November 09, 2016

Dana Incorporated introduced the Spicer Electrified family of fully integrated motor, control, and e-drive technologies that advance electric propulsion systems for light-duty, commercial, and off-highway vehicles.

Currently in production, the Spicer EV Drive for electric vans manages speed and torque from the e-motor to the wheels. Planned for launch in 2018, Dana’s new e-axles for electric transit buses and city delivery vehicles feature a fully integrated motor and gear box and leverage the company’s experience in chassis drivetrain applications.

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Groupe Renault announces strategic partnership with computer vision innovator Chronocam

November 08, 2016

Groupe Renault has entered into a strategic development agreement with Chronocam SA (earlier post), a developer of biologically-inspired vision sensors and computer vision solutions for automotive applications. This agreement will focus on further developing and applying Chronocam’s innovative approach to sensing and processing visual inputs to Renault’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving developments.

Renault previously announced an investment in Chronocam’s Series B round of funding, which raised $15 million for the Paris-based start-up and includes a group of international venture capital funds including: Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, iBionext, 360 Capital and CEA investissement.

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Daimler and Valens partner to bring HDBase T Automotive to vehicles in near future

November 07, 2016

At Electronica 2016 in Munich, Israeli HDBaseT chip maker Valens and Daimler announced their collaboration to bring HDBaseT Automotive into cars in the near future. Daimler has selected HDBaseT Automotive as the technology of choice to guarantee high performance of advanced infotainment, ADAS, and telematics systems.

Valens, as the inventor of HDBaseT and founder of the HDBaseT Alliance, brings the technology and expertise to accomplish the goal of commercializing HDBaseT-enabled vehicles in the near future. (Earlier post.)

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Infineon introduces new switch family supporting trend towards decentralized intelligent vehicle power net

November 04, 2016

Infineon Technologies AG is supporting the trend towards decentralized, intelligent and cost-effective vehicle power net architectures. Infineon now launched Power PROFET, a new ultra-low ohmic smart high-side switch family. These protected switches offer the lowest on-resistance and the highest energy capability on the market. They enable the replacement of electromechanical relays and fuses in power distribution and junction boxes up to 40A DC.

At the system level, Power PROFET switches enable a more accurate system sizing. Also, they simplify significantly the wire harness architecture by reducing the lengths of many wires or removing them completely.

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ICCT-led analysis of turbocharged, downsized engine tech finds lower costs and greater benefits than 2012 EPA/NHTSA analysis; 48V, e-boost, Miller

October 31, 2016

A new white paper published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), in collaboration with Eaton, Ricardo, JCI, BorgWarner, Honeywell, and the ITB Group, analyzes current turbocharged, downsized gasoline engine technology developments and trends.

The assessment, which relies on data from publicly available sources and data and information from the participating automotive suppliers, provides an update to the technology assessments performed by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to inform the 2017–2025 fuel economy and GHG rule.

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Chronocam raises $15M in Series B; high-performance bio-inspired vision technology for autos and other machines

October 27, 2016

France-based Chronocam SA, a developer of biologically-inspired vision sensors and computer vision solutions for automotive, IoT and other applications requiring vision processing, raised $15 million in Series B financing. The funding comes from lead investor Intel Capital, along with iBionext, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, 360 Capital, CEAi and Renault Group.

Chronocam will use the investment to accelerate product development and commercialize its computer vision sensing and processing technology. The funding will also allow the company to expand into key markets, including the US and Asia.

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Daimler Buses to offer electrohydraulic power steering to reduce fuel consumption

October 19, 2016

Daimler Buses will offer electrohydraulic power steering (EHPS) to reduce fuel consumption in coming bus models. The fully integrated system replaces the conventional power steering pumps used currently in all buses with a gross weight of more than 7.5 t.

Conventional hydraulic power steering (HPS) is driven directly by the internal combustion engine via belts or gear trains with a fixed gear ratio which results in a pump speed that is directly proportional to the engine speed. To provide sufficient power for the steering in every situation, the pump must be able to deliver the full volumetric flow rate even when the engine speed is low—meaning that it is over-dimensioned for most operating situations. For this reason, higher engine speeds require a restriction of the volumetric flow rate by means of a bypass, which, however, entails unnecessary losses.

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DENSO & Toshiba partner on Deep Neural Network-IP for image recognition systems for ADAS & automated driving

October 17, 2016

DENSO Corporation and Toshiba Corporation have reached a basic agreement jointly to develop an artificial intelligence technology called Deep Neural Network-Intellectual Property (DNN-IP), which will be used in image recognition systems which have been independently developed by the two companies to help achieve advanced driver assistance and automated driving technologies.

The partners expect DNN, an algorithm modeled after the neural networks of the human brain, to perform recognition processing as accurately as, or even better, the human brain.

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UC Riverside team developing nav system that uses signals of opportunity; support for autonomous vehicles

October 14, 2016

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside has developed a highly reliable and accurate navigation system that exploits existing environmental signals such as cellular and Wi-Fi, rather than the Global Positioning System (GPS). The technology can be used as a standalone alternative to GPS, or as a complement to current GPS-based systems to enable highly reliable, consistent, and tamper-proof navigation.

The researchers say the technology could be used to develop navigation systems that meet the stringent requirements of fully autonomous vehicles, such as driverless cars and unmanned drones.

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Aeristech develops advanced 12V electric supercharger

UK-based electric forced induction specialist, Aeristech, has developed an advanced 12V electric supercharger system, eCharger. The new system makes use of Aeristech’s motor control technology to derive maximum pressure charging utility from the power available in conventional 12V vehicle architectures. The company introduced a 48V electric supercharger capable of continuous operation at high boost levels in 2015. (Earlier post.)

Designed to provide transient boost to support traditional mechanical forced induction systems, the 12V architecture enables the system to be integrated into existing driveline technologies. The product is currently in development, with validation testing set to begin in November 2016 and prototypes available for customer trials from January 2017.

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Testing confirms Torotrak V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables more ambitious downsizing; 1.0L demo at Aachen

October 10, 2016

Independent on-engine test results have verified the simulation predictions that a Torotrak V-Charge variable drive mechanical supercharger enables more ambitious levels of engine downsizing. Compared to a current 1.5L GTDI engine producing 240 N·m torque, a 1.0L GTDI engine of the same Ford EcoBoost family outperformed the 1.5L version when fitted with a V-Charge unit.

The tests were carried out by the University of Bath Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC), using a Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine, in a part-government funded program. The 1.0L engine with V-Charge delivered 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) torque, corresponding to a BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure) of 31 bar.

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German alliance develops new active matrix LED headlights; 1,024 individually controllable light points

October 09, 2016

A German research alliance has developed the basis for smart, high-resolution active matrix LED headlights, which takes adaptive forward lighting to a new dimension.

A demonstration model was developed by overall project manager Osram in collaboration with the project partners Daimler, Fraunhofer, Hella and Infineon. Both headlights contain three LED light sources, each with 1,024 individually controllable light points. This means that the headlight can be adapted very precisely to suit the respective traffic situation to ensure optimum light conditions at all times without dazzling other drivers.

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AIMPLAS heating system for EVs reduces energy consumption by 30% relative to conventional systems

October 05, 2016

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, together with other partners of the EU project JOSPEL, funded by the Horizon 2020 Program under Grant Agreement Nº 653851, has developed an innovative heating system for electric vehicles consisting of thermoplastic heating panels which can be placed in different parts of the car, thus reducing the energy consumption in a 30% compared to conventional heating systems.

The system is based on the Joule effect in which electrical conductive materials produce heat when a voltage is applied. (Also called resistive or ohmic heating.)

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ICCT study finds that transitioning to low-GWP MAC refrigerants in China could avoid up to US$150B in costs

September 25, 2016

A new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) assesses the feasibility, benefits, and costs of phasing out HFC-134a as the refrigerant in mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems in the Chinese LDV fleet, focusing on three alternatives with lower global warming potential (GWP) most likely to be adopted by automakers with a global supply chain: HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2.

Among the findings of the report, “HFC-134a phase-out in the Chinese light-duty motor vehicle sector”, was that, considering the social cost of CO2e, up to 1 trillion RMB in costs (US$150 billion) required to address climate change could be avoided through 2050 by transitioning to low-GWP alternative MACs.

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GD Tech delivers prototype direct-CNG injectors to Fiat Powertrain for 13L IVECO engine; HDGas project

September 24, 2016

GDTech Engineering s.a. has developed and delivered prototype direct-CNG injectors to Fiat Powertrain for heavy-duty long-haul LNG mono-fuel engines.

This injector will be applied in the future IVECO Cursor 13 DI-CNG engine being developed as part of the HDGas project in Europe. GDTech is the injector supplier to Fiat Powertrain Technology Industrial (which is in charge of the development of new IVECO engines for coaches, buses & industrial applications).

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Celeroton launches its first turbo compressors with gas bearings; applied in fuel cell range extender for Fiat 500

September 23, 2016

Celeroton AG, a leading manufacturer of ultra-high-speed electrical drive systems with speeds up to 1 million rpm, has launched its first turbo compressors with gas bearings—unique in their weight and performance, being wear- and oil-free, and obtaining the highest levels of energy efficiency. The developed technology widens the horizon for application areas, where the operation of miniaturized turbo compressors has been either limited or not even possible including the oil-free air supply of fuel cells as well as low-maintenance air conditioning and heat pumps with the highest performance (in stationary as well as mobile applications e.g. hybrid and electric cars).

The gas bearing turbo compressors CT-17-700.GB and CT-17-1000.GB, with a rated speed of 280,000 rpm in air offer 100% oil-free and lubricant-free compression of air, with infinite bearing lifetime in continuous operation, a pressure ratio of up to 1.65, a mass flow of up to 24 g/s, maximum isentropic overall efficiency of 59% and a rated maximum power of 1 kW with a volume of just 530 cm3.

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Cypress sampling new Traveo MCU solutions for secure, high-speed networking for automotive body electronics

September 19, 2016

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is sampling new devices in its single-power-supply Traveo automotive microcontroller (MCU) family that provide secure, high-speed networking for body electronics applications.

The new S6J342xxx series supports the Controller Area Network Flexible Data-rate (CAN FD) standard for high-speed, in-vehicle networking, enabling large amounts of data to be exchanged between each CAN node. The MCUs address the critical need to secure data on in-vehicle networks with enhanced Secure Hardware Extension (eSHE) support, preventing unauthorized connections to electronic control units (ECUs).

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Volkswagen’s Golf Alltrack challenges the Subaru Outback; directions for 4MOTION and vehicle dynamics

September 16, 2016

With the arrival of the new Golf Alltrack, the all-wheel-drive derivative of the Golf SportWagen, in US dealer showrooms in October, Volkswagen of America is offering an affordable, upscale and very fun-to-drive (more on this below) entry into an underserved market segment: all-wheel-drive wagons. More specifically, Volkswagen is directly targeting the Subaru Outback.

The Alltrack uses Volkswagen’s EA888 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine (170 hp and 199 lb-ft/270 N·m @ 1600 rpm) coupled initially with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, with a six-speed manual transmission available later in the model year. The latest generation 4Motion all-wheel-drive system (based on the fifth-generation Haldex coupler) features a fast-acting center differential.

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CALSTART survey of major auto suppliers finds 70% don’t want US to change CAFE targets; split on amount of electrification needed

September 15, 2016

Major automotive suppliers see national fuel economy standards as important for long-term planning and investment and don’t want to see them altered by US policymakers, according to a first-of-its-kind industry survey commissioned by CALSTART and conducted by Ricardo Energy & Environment.

The firm polled and interviewed 23 suppliers, almost all of them global Tier 1 suppliers that sell parts directly to automakers. According to the survey:

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GKN Driveline develops new e-drive system for PHEVs; starts production on global platform in 2019

September 14, 2016

GKN Driveline has developed a new, complete electric drive system for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). The system will start production in 2019 on a global platform from a European vehicle manufacturer.

Tighter integration of electric drivelines improves system efficiency and gives automakers more packaging and assembly options. The new module integrates a water-cooled electric motor and inverter with a single speed eAxle reduction gearbox. The system generates a maximum 65 kW of power and can deliver up to 2,000 N·m (1,475 lb-ft) of torque to the rear wheels.

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Final testing confirms ADEPT 48V diesel hybrid reduces fuel consumption 10-12% at low incremental cost

September 13, 2016

The three-year ADEPT (advanced diesel-electric powertrain) project (earlier post) in the UK set the target of developing and validating a range of advanced mild hybrid technologies with 48V “intelligent electrification” utilizing an advanced lead carbon battery. These have been applied to a Ford Focus project demonstrator which, for the first time, will be made available for public ride and drive evaluation by delegates at the Low Carbon Vehicle event (LCV2016), at Millbrook, UK.

Final testing has confirmed ADEPT’s key achievement of 10-12% reduction in fuel consumption (NEDC)—equivalent to sub-80g/km of CO2 emissions. According to the latest updated analysis of the potential cost of production implementation of ADEPT—conducted independently by Ricardo—the system would represent an incremental cost of in the region of €60 per gram/km of CO2 reduction. This is a result that makes the ADEPT powertrain architecture very competitive with other fuel economy solutions such as full hybridization, where costs of implementation can be significantly higher.

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Volvo Cars and Autoliv to create joint venture for next-gen autonomous driving software

September 06, 2016

Volvo Cars and Autoliv have signed a letter of intent to set up a new jointly-owned company to develop next-generation autonomous driving software. The planned new company will have its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an initial workforce taken from both companies of around 200, increasing to over 600 in the medium term. The company is expected to start operations in the beginning of 2017.

The new company, which has yet to be named, will develop advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive (AD) systems for use in Volvo cars and for sale exclusively by Autoliv to all car makers globally, with revenues shared by both companies.

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Bosch more broadly commercializing water injection system; up to 13% fuel savings under some conditions

September 01, 2016

Bosch is now more broadly commercializing its water injection system for turbocharged engines (earlier post). Bosch currently supplies water injection parts for the BMW M4 GTS—the first production vehicle to feature a water injection system. (Earlier post.) In the vehicle’s turbocharged six-cylinder engine, it offers improved performance and consumption even at full load.

Bosch’s WI system comprises a water pump; a water rail; and injectors which have been designed to handle the specific challenges arising as a result of operation with water. Particularly when accelerating quickly or driving on the freeway, the injection of additional water makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 13% in highway conditions and 4% in normal driving (WLTC).

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DARPA invests $2.7M in QinetiQ electric wheel-hub drive technology; moving to build-and-test phase

August 31, 2016

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a $2.7m investment in UK-based QinetiQ’s electric hub-drive technology.

As part of an electric propulsion system, QinetiQ’s hub-drive replaces multiple gearboxes, differentials, and drive shafts with compact and extremely high-powered electric motors contained completely within the wheels. This approach significantly reduces overall platform weight and opens up new design possibilities that improve safety and increase performance for military and civilian vehicles.

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Study suggests focusing on cold starts in gasoline cars as target for emissions reduction

August 22, 2016

A new study suggests that focusing on a gasoline-fueled vehicle’s cold start is the best target for future design changes to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants. The researchers are presenting their work today at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Philadelphia.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that air is cleaner today than it was in the 1970s, more than 130 million people in the US still live in places where smog or particle pollution rises to unhealthful levels. Smog can cause coughing and shortness of breath, and can aggravate asthma or trigger asthma attacks. Much of this haze is formed from volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and fine particulate matter from tailpipe emissions.

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DOE to award up to $137M for SuperTruck II, Vehicle Technology Office programs

August 16, 2016

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $137 million in two programs, subject to appropriations, to develop next-generation technologies that will support industry in going beyond the newly announced Phase II standard for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (earlier post) and also accelerating technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.

One initiative, SuperTruck II (earlier post), will award $80 million to four projects to develop and to demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Through the other initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (earlier post)selections, 35 new projects will receive $57 million to develop and deploy a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric drive systems, to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

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Audi developing electromechanical rotary dampers; potential for energy recuperation from suspension; 48V

August 10, 2016

Audi is developing a prototype electromechanical rotary dampening system called “eROT,” in which electromechanical rotary dampers replace the hydraulic dampers used today for an even more comfortable ride. The eROT system also offers the potential for energy recuperation from the suspension.

Every pothole, bump, and curve in the road induces kinetic energy during compression and rebound of the car’s suspension, observes Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “Today’s dampers absorb this energy, which is lost in the form of heat. With the new electromechanical damper system in the 48-volt electrical system, we put this energy to use. It also presents us and our customers with entirely new possibilities for adjusting the suspension.

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SMDI releases steel roadmap for automotive; Gen3 AHSS

August 02, 2016

Over the past 10 years, new steel innovations have reduced automotive component and sub-system mass by nearly 25%; some studies have shown mass savings up to 29% versus traditional mild steel benchmarks. The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI)—a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)—has now released its 2016 Steel Industry Technology Roadmap for Automotive.

The roadmap outlines the long-term technology needs to support future automotive material selection decisions with advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) including, optimized design, fuel economy, strength and durability, environmental performance and value.

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Protean Electric raises $70M to accelerate adoption of in-wheel drive systems for electrified vehicles in China

July 19, 2016

Protean Electric, developer and manufacturer of in-wheel electric drive systems, has raised $70 million in new funding from GO Scale Capital, Zhejiang VIE Science & Technology Co. Ltd., and Tianjin THSG Corporation. Existing investors Oak Investment Partners and GSR Ventures co-invested in Protean’s equity financing round.

The investment follows Protean’s announcement in May that it is setting up a manufacturing site in Tianjin, China to commercialize its model PD18 in-wheel motor in order to meet customer demand. The new funding will be used to ramp up production in China of Protean’s PD18 product line, and for new product development and formation of a manufacturing joint venture with VIE.

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Ford takes stake in Civil Maps; 3D mapping technologies for fully autonomous vehicles; AI and voxel hashing

July 16, 2016

Civil Maps, a start-up developing 3D mapping technology for fully autonomous vehicles, raised a $6.6-million seed funding round, led by Motus Ventures and including investment from Ford Motor Company, Wicklow Capital, StartX Stanford and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures.

Civil Maps’ mission is to make it possible for fully autonomous vehicles (SAE Levels 4-5) to drive anywhere smoothly and safely. The company’s focus is on building continental-scale maps for autonomous vehicles and providing precise localization using voxel-hashing algorithms. Although GPS and IMU (inertial measurement unit) technologies can in theory determine both position and orientation of vehicles, the accuracy is limited by atmospheric distortion, the start-up notes.

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Mazda introduces SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS control technologies; G-Vectoring Control uses engine to enhance chassis performance

July 14, 2016

Mazda Motor Corporation is introducing SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS, a series of new-generation vehicle motion control technologies. The first in the series, G-Vectoring Control, will be introduced to all new-generation models starting with the updated Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 outside Japan), which has just gone on sale in Japan. By adopting GVC, Mazda vehicles will exhibit even smoother transitions between G-forces in all driving scenarios.

Until now, lateral and longitudinal acceleration (G) forces have been controlled separately. GVC is the first technology to adjust engine torque in response to steering inputs in order to control these forces in a unified way and optimize the vertical loading of each tire to realize smooth and efficient vehicle behavior.

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