Automotive

Electronics is becoming increasingly important to the automotive sector, enabling the systems which we all expect to find in the latest cars. But those involved in the the sector, as well as those looking to enter the automotive supply chain, need to keep up to date.

New Electronics covers developments in the automotive sector, bringing technology updates and opinion from the market.

Low cost sensors will help the IoT to be realised

The Internet of Things is developing from being a concept just a few years ago to something far more tangible. But the whole idea of the IoT is dependent upon collecting masses of data from billions of so called edge devices, analysing it and deciding on actions. That data needs to be collected by sensors of all description – and those sensors need to be low cost if the aims of those creating products for the IoT are to be realised.

Industrial digitalisation made real

Last month saw the publication of the Industrial Digitalisation Review which outlined a series of proposals to boost the UK’s economy through the deployment of advanced digital technologies including: robotics, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Birmingham University is pioneering VR, AR, simulation and telerobotics systems

Established in 2003 by Professor Bob Stone, Birmingham University’s Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team, based within the university’s School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering (EESE) has been a pioneer in the development of interactive media and telerobotic technologies in the UK, building on Stone’s long experience in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, simulation and telerobotics.

AI faces a power struggle if it is to be used more broadly

It is easy to see artificial intelligence (AI) as a naturally power-hungry technology; it demands racks of servers stuffed with a combination of multicore CPUs, GPUs and, increasingly, FPGAs that crunch through terabytes of data to form the connections between millions of virtual neurons.

The NPL is looking to prove that measurement matters

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) was established in 1900 with the aim of bringing ‘scientific knowledge to bear practically upon our everyday industrial and commercial life’ and, over the past 117 years, it has established itself as a world class centre of excellence in measurement science. Not only that it has maintained the nation’s primary standards of measurement while developing and contributing to a host of innovations and technologies, from radar to atomic clocks.

As security becomes an important part of the design process, what are the issues?

A report published earlier in 2017 by consumer body Which? reinforced the perception that companies designing products for the Internet of Things don’t take security seriously enough. In what it called a ‘snapshot’ investigation, it set up a network featuring such smart gadgets as wireless cameras, smart padlocks and children’s toys, then hired a team of ethical security researchers to hack it. While some of the devices proved harder to hack than others, eight of the 15 appliances on the network had at least one security flaw.

Research excellence

Set up in 1956 Roke Manor Research has over the past 60 years established itself as a world-class electronics engineering consultancy.

FireFly’s revolutionary smart harvesting machines

Hand-stacked turf harvesting is still widely used in the industry. Farm equipment companies have tried to build machines to automate turf slab cutting and stacking over the years to improve productivity, but the machines’ traditional approach makes them either perform inconsistently or increase productivity only slightly more than the hand-stacking process. They incorporate common mobile equipment such as electrically operated valves that control fluid power to hydraulic cylinders and motors for motion control. Though reliable for simpler systems, these components have been less effective for performing many parallel operations in tight synchronisation with other processes as well as implementing the complex math needed for advanced signal processing and high-speed motion control trajectory generation. In addition, limited data processing power and closed system architectures limit advanced functionality and remote monitoring and diagnostics.

Securing V2X communications

Test drive any new car and you’ll discover the automotive industry is in the middle of a connected car revolution. From rear view cameras and blind spot detectors to adaptive cruise control and lane assist, an unprecedented amount of electronics is being added each year in the name of improving safety and the driving experience.

It’s Time to Overdesign for Flexibility - Don’t Let the IIoT Catch You With Your Head in the Sand

Tired of the countless articles talking about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? Surely all of the pundits, industry-leading companies, and technology providers excited to share their perspective on the growing impact of the IIoT have exhausted the topic. Instead of focusing on what the IIoT is, this article takes the opposite approach and talks about what the IIoT isn’t. Let’s be honest, the IIoT isn’t defined. It isn’t a known target with a clear set of parameters and rules. But there’s one thing we do know—as we build and define the IIoT, it’s critical that providers overdesign their technology offerings for flexibility.

Powering industry change

Over the last decade or so, the semiconductor content of cars has increased dramatically; not only in terms of value, but also in terms of the number of components being deployed.

Keeping pace with increasingly intelligent machines

Embedded systems are providing new levels of efficiency, performance, and safety to off-highway vehicles. Advances in fuel-efficiency through improved combustion techniques and hybrid powertrains are impacting the cost to operate while automatic GPS navigation and software-enabled implements are allowing equipment to accomplish more during operation.

Analysing the energy storage challenge

Users of battery powered consumer electronic devices usually have one thing in mind; how long will it last before the battery needs to be recharged. Depending on the device and how it’s used, that could be less than a day.

A different approach to Big Data

In June 2013, Sir Mark Walport and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, co chairs of the Council for Science and Technology, sent a letter to then Prime Minister David Cameron entitled ‘The Age of Algorithms’. The letter contained eight recommendations, the sixth of which was the establishment of a National Centre to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science. “This could fittingly be named the ‘Alan Turing Centre’,” they noted.

Industry associations' take on the Industrial Strategy White Paper

Despite the UK economy’s reliance on the financial and services sectors over the recent past, there remains an understanding that the development of technology has – and will continue to have – an important role to play. And if that technology can be translated into the creation of thriving companies, then all the better.

Making the impossible possible and the common easy

The rapid pace of technological advancement should be celebrated and embraced. It fuels amazing new technologies and scientific achievements that make us more connected and safer. It also pushes the limits of what we previously thought possible. The impact of these achievements is no longer isolated to a narrow market vertical. It permeates every industry and exposes the established market incumbents to an unusual combination of disruption and growth potential.

Battery management systems for more reliable EVs and HVs

Lithium-ion batteries require considerable care if they are to operate reliably over a long period. Because they cannot be operated to the extreme end of their state of charge (SOC) and because their capacity diminishes and diverges over time and with use, every cell in a system must be managed to keep it within a constrained SOC.

Driving automation and connectivity innovation for smarter trucks

With the Google car and similar initiatives, almost all the focus in transportation is on self-driving cars. Trucks, however, could also benefit from extra automation and connectivity to enable preventive maintenance, improve safety, efficiency and cost. Might we therefore one day soon see trucks on our roads with no driver in the front seat?

Millimetre-wave technology key to future 5G applications

The availability of new mmWave frequency bands will be key to achieving the ambitious mobile data rate targets associated with 5G. But what are the likely operating bands or the technology and packaging options that will help to realise those essential mmWave components?

Academia expresses post Brexit concerns

Since the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in May 2015 that a referendum would be held on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU), there have been considerable expressions of concern about the potential effect of a withdrawal on the country’s research and development efforts.

Protect your instrumentation investment with software

For more than 50 years, test engineers have been taking a PC-based approach to automating stand-alone instrumentation. With so much investment tied up in capital assets for test equipment, engineers are looking for reassurance that they can satisfy current and future testing needs. While capital expenditure on hardware is often the easiest cost to associate with test, the importance of a good software investment is commonly overlooked. Instrumentation will continue to evolve, but one thing remains consistent over time – software. Software is at the heart of every instrument control system, and it can help you future proof your application.

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