"Hella is therefore developing dynamic interior lighting solutions to support these trends while offering drivers safety and comfort at the same time," says John Kuijpers, Head of Interior & Car Body Lighting at Hella.
A concept car illustrates what these solutions can look like. Before the driver enters the vehicle, his profile and preferences are recorded and stored in the cloud, and then communicated to the cockpit. This allows for a personal greeting with light animations in the instrument panel, door trim, roof and seats.
During the journey, additional lighting features are used for communication. For example, light signals can be used to display incoming calls without disturbing other passengers.
"Our goal is to use automotive lighting technology not only to enhance people's well-being, but also their safety," says John Kuijpers.
Hella and Faurecia are therefore working together to ensure that the division of tasks between driver and vehicle are carried out safely during the handover phases at the end of an autonomous driving session. The seats then bring the driver back into the appropriate driving position and a dynamic lighting scenario is used to increase concentration and attention.
This investment goes with an agreement between Groupe Renault and the young company to carry out a shared development project focused on adapting the Akoustic Arts technology for Renault vehicles.
Akoustic Arts, created in 2010, has developed a unique, patented ultra-directional sound technology. The content is projected through the air, creating a private bubble of sound that only the target user hears. In this way, the technology can provide several distinct immersive experiences for different people at the same time.
As part of this collaboration, Renault engineers will share their automotive expertise as well as their suppliers and industrial tools, while Akoustic Arts experts will provide their technology and savoir-faire in directional sound. After an initial R&D phase, the project will focus on the development of on-board directional speakers for the brand models. Products aimed at the post-sales network will also be considered.
"We are delighted to be investing in the young company Akoustic Arts alongside Newfund. Together, we will create innovative on-board directional speakers in order to better meet the expectations of our customers. For Groupe Renault, the on-board audio experience is a differentiating factor, especially with the development of connected and autonomous vehicles and future on-board editorial content," said Gaspar Gascon Abellan, Deputy Alliance Engineering Executive Vice President.
"After this initial phase devoted to the development of our ultra-directional sound technology, Groupe Renault and Newfund's equity participation in Akoustic Arts will be a powerful driver of acceleration. The synergy between these two players will allow us to reach our shared objectives. The first is to revolutionize the in-store experience with our A speaker; the second is to develop a product for the automotive market by drawing on the incredible expertise of Renault's teams," said Ilan Kaddouch, CEO of Akoustic Arts.
"Akoustic Arts has developed a unique technology that already perfectly meets the need for sound technology in public spaces – notably in the retail industry – through its first product, the A speaker. This capital injection will enable the team to continue to win over new customers on this priority market, and to rapidly develop a product adapted to vehicles, with the help of Groupe Renault. We are thrilled to participate in this project," said Ivan Michal, Partner at Newfund.
The TLE9104SH is the first smart four-channel low-side switch for currents up to 5A DC in 12V systems. This allows controlling actuators such as high-precision port fuel injectors, high-energy valves or high-current relays in engine management, transmission control and battery management systems.
Among comparable products on the market, the TLE 9104SH is benchmark regarding current and energy capabilities as well as package footprint. With an R DS(on) of 300mΩ at 150°C, it comes in a new cost and size optimised DSO-20 package (PG-DSO-20-88) with a footprint area of about 80mm².
It is equipped with a 16-bit Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) for control and diagnosis. All channels are protected against over-current/temperature and enhanced with an active clamping circuitry for driving inductive loads. Load status detection is possible over the SPI for: Short to Ground (SCG), Open Load (OL), and Short to Battery (SCB). Four input pins are available for direct control of the switches.
Safety features include an extra output enable pin, SPI communication watchdog and output stage status information available via SPI. This makes the product an ideal fit to safety critical automotive and industrial applications.
To support design activities, Infineon provides a development board with TLE9104SH in the Arduino form factor, which can be used in two kinds of evaluation setups. The TLE9104SH shield can easily be used either in combination with the XMC1100 Boot Kit (Version S) or in combination with the AURIX TC277 Evaluation Board (TriBoard) with the help of an additional Multichannel Connection PCB(Version L).
The TLE9104SH is now available in the mass market.
A branch connector is used to install electronic equipment, such as a navigation system or dashboard camera, by branching power from the vehicle's main wiring harness. Since Kyocera introduced its original 9215 series branch connectors in 1992, the products have been lauded for providing reliable connections while streamlining assembly and installation workflow through their unique clamshell structure.
In 2014, Kyocera became an early developer of connectors for aluminum wiring to support weight-saving initiatives among automakers. Rapid adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other automotive electronics has created new demand for connectors that can withstand harsh environments, including the vehicle exterior and direct exposure to the elements in all weather conditions.
Kyocera designed the Sheltap branch connector series to provide a high level of waterproof functionality and reliability, successfully passing the high-pressure washing and high-temperature exposure testing of the JASO D616 standards (Japanese Automotive Standards Organisation), which evaluate wire harness connectors with specially designed enclosures and sealant materials for automotive applications.
Kyocera's Sheltap series connectors embody the company's commitment to supporting the rapid advancement of electronic technologies in diverse markets, including automotive, shipping, and outdoor security / camera-monitoring applications.
Key Features: Sheltap 9715 Series Waterproof Branch-Style Electronic Connector features:
Unique Lock Structure Ensures Reliable Waterproofing and Ability to Withstand Extreme Temperatures: By combining a unique housing lock structure with sealant materials, the new connectors are able to meet JASO D616 standards for high waterproofing and reliability in automotive components. The Sheltap series connectors can also operate in extreme temperatures from -40 to +85℃ (185ºF).
Weight Reduction: Connects Aluminum Wiring, 40% Lighter Than Copper Wire: The products are designed to meet the special interconnection requirements of aluminum wiring, which is 40% lighter than copper wire, and increasingly seen as a key to meeting vehicle weight-reduction goals.
Improves Reliability and Ease of Use: The new waterproof connectors are easy to assemble – simply insert the wires and apply pressure. The connector keeps wires in place for excellent workflow, instantly providing a reliable connection with a waterproof seal.
Environmentally friendly products, RoHS compliant
The Audi e-tron has attracted attention throughout the automotive industry. One of its highlights are optional* 'virtual exterior mirrors' – a 'first' for a volume-production car.
As one of the most intriguing options on the vehicle, the virtual exterior mirrors feature 'side view' cameras, in place of conventional vehicular side mirrors. With these strategically located cameras, the driver of an Audi e-tron can check on what is happening outside in real time, without any delay, on Samsung's OLED display, which is installed between a pillar on the inside edge of each windshield (the 'A' pillar) and the corresponding front door.
The high-contrast OLED visual panels, supplied by Samsung Display, replace the function of conventional side mirrors for cars, with a driver-controllable camera installed at each side of the dashboard. A 'touch function' on the displays enables instant zooming of the screen's image in or out when parking, turning or heading down the highway, in helping to optimise the field of vision for safer driving.
Audi said that the wide view of the virtual exterior mirrors reduces the driver 'blind spots'. Furthermore, the virtual exterior mirrors are able to secure a clear view even in dark cloudy weather.
According to Audi, the virtual exterior mirrors also constitute an exceptional aerodynamic and visual achievement. Compared with standard mirrors, the innovative virtual exterior mirrors are much narrower: They reduce the vehicle width by 5.9 inch and also noticeably reduce the already low wind noise.
In the interior of the Audi e-tron, their images appear on the OLED displays between the instrument panel and doors. The images seen on the Samsung display that covers each virtual exterior mirror appear natural and distinct with none of the drag effects typically triggered by a slow response rate at low temperatures, while exhibiting outstanding colour reproducibility. The Samsung 7-inch OLED display provides Audi e-tron drivers with an ideal visual solution, thanks to its low power consumption and innovatively thin, lightweight design, in addition to its superior imaging.
Jeeho Baek, Senior Vice President of Samsung Display, said "It is inspiring to many that our OLED display is used in Audi's virtual exterior mirror, demonstrating that Samsung OLED technology is being optimised for cutting-edge automobile systems around the world. We will continue to actively support leading automotive manufacturers in helping them to advance the future automotive market through the use of our OLED display technology with its high resolution, advanced designs and low power consumption."
Samsung Display is also supplying 5.7-inch OLED displays for back seat control of an array of climate control, seat, lighting, and media functions in Audi's 4th generation A8, which was launched in 2017.
This initiative will ultimately lead to the manufacture of all Groupe PSA passenger cars on two multi-energy platforms, namely the Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2) launched in 2013 and the Common Modular Platform (CMP) first launched with the DS3 Crossback.
Groupe PSA has also begun an assertive campaign to introduce electrified versions of its vehicles from 2019. The new models made on these two platforms will be available in internal combustion (petrol and diesel), electric and hybrid versions in tune with the transition of energy deployment.
2019 >> 2021
The core models, essentially city cars from all Groupe PSA brands, will be produced utilising CMP. Starting in 2019, the platform will also be available in a variant equipped with a 100% electric powertrain (eCMP). Groupe PSA plans to launch seven new electric vehicles produced on eCMP by 2021.
The mid and high-end body styles of the five Groupe PSA brands will be produced on EMP2 platform. In addition to petrol and diesel engines, EMP2 will also facilitate the Plug-in Hybrid petrol-Electric Vehicle powertrain (PHEV). By 2021, the Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands are to launch eight new PHEVs.
2019 >> 2025
100% of the Groupe PSA range will be electrified by 2025.
"The ingenious design of its two platforms and the streamlining of its series production processes have given Groupe PSA the flexibility to adapt to changes in the energy mix in its various markets. This means we can offer all our customers around the world a comprehensive range of internal combustion vehicles, plugin hybrids and electric vehicles that meet their usage needs and contribute to ever more responsible mobility."
The newly established research platform goes by the name of Fraunhofer Project Centre for Advanced Lightweight Technologies (ALighT) and is the fruit of a partnership between the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and the Opole University of Technology.
Lightweight construction is one of the greatest challenges facing the automotive industry. Electric motors and hybrid engines increase vehicle weight, which must be compensated by lightweight components. Lightweight materials and innovative processes can help achieve a decisive reduction in fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and production costs.
The new Fraunhofer project centre was officially opened in the presence of: Poland's Deputy Prime Minister phD Jarosław Gowin; Marcin Ociepa, permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology; Fraunhofer President Prof. Reimund Neugebauer; Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Mayor of Opole; Prof. Marek Tukiendorf, Rector of the Opole University of Technology; Prof. Welf-Guntram Drossel, managing director of the Fraunhofer IWU; and Prof. Lothar Kroll, Division Director at Fraunhofer IWU and Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Project Center ALighT.
The Fraunhofer project centre focuses on developing production processes, new design ideas and pricing strategies for the manufacture of lightweight hybrid components. At the same time its work also encompasses other areas of expertise such as modeling and simulation of structures and processes, and recycling and remanufacturing. The project centre is located at the interface of cross-border collaboration between German automotive manufacturers and component suppliers, on the one hand, and their subsidiaries and suppliers in Poland, on the other hand.
"Interdisciplinary collaboration and international partnerships are the cornerstones of top-class research today," says Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "That is why we look forward to working together with our Polish partners. Fraunhofer IWU has wide-ranging expertise in lightweight construction and will also contribute its know-how in handling advanced materials. The researchers at Opole University of Technology will contribute their specific areas of expertise, for example in process and process engineering simulations. Together we can add value, intensify knowledge transfer and increase innovation for the companies involved."
Prof. Welf-Guntram Drossel of Fraunhofer IWU adds: "Given our decades of experience in automotive manufacturing – from individual components and processes, through to complex mechanical systems, and even the design of entire factories – our research focuses on non-metallic materials, especially plastics and fiber composites. In the long term, the partnership with Opole University of Technology promises to expand our capabilities, too."
Prof. Lothar Kroll, Managing Director of the new Fraunhofer project centre, concretises: "The Fraunhofer Project Center for Advanced Lightweight Technologies unites the basic research being carried out at Opole University of Technology with the applied research of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The fusion of technologies in lightweight construction, for example, makes it possible to combine what have previously been discrete production processes for diverse materials, such as metals, plastics and technical textiles."
The research conducted at the centre will make the production of lightweight structures for mobile applications energy- and cost-efficient as well as eco-friendly. The European car industry will be the ultimate beneficiary of this process.