PSA and Inria to create an OpenLab to work on AI

PSA and Inria to create an OpenLab to work on AI

Groupe PSA and Inria announced the creation of an OpenLab dedicated to artificial intelligence.

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The studied areas will include autonomous and intelligent vehicles, mobility services, manufacturing, design development tools, the design itself and digital marketing as well as quality and finance.

"Artificial intelligence will quickly become an efficiency factor for the group. The OpenLab will work on artificial intelligence algorithms enabling autonomous vehicles to drive in complex environments for example. It will also work on predictive maintenance, powertrain design optimisation and the modelling of complex systems such as cities, to offer mobility services adapted to people's needs" said Carla Gohin, Groupe PSA's Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering.

Isabelle Ryl, Inria Managing Director, Inria Transfer and Industrial Partnerships "The digital transformation of the automotive sector lead to the emergence of a lot of research topics, especially in artificial intelligence. Inria's project teams will participate in this OpenLab bringing their high-level algorithmic expertise as part of a fruitful dialogue with Groupe PSA's experts on all the identified topics. "

This OpenLab ensures the synergy of PRAIRIE Institute (PaRis Artificial Intelligence Research InstitutE). The results of the fundamental research led by the Institute will stimulate research into topics that are applicable to the automotive industry.

The AI OpenLab adds to a global network of 18 existing facilities for Groupe PSA, with 12 in France, four in China, one in Brazil and one in Morocco. As research facilities, OpenLabs pool together teams and experimental resources from Groupe PSA and its partner laboratories, in line with Groupe PSA's Open Innovation policy and its StelLab (Science Technologies Exploratory Lean Laboratory) network, created in 2010 to encourage scientific discussion.

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies develops new Heat Shield to make EV batteries safer

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies develops new Heat Shield to make EV batteries safer

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has developed a heat shield for use in prismatic and pouch cells with almost no impact on the required installation space. It combines the high heat resistance of a silicone-based elastomer with the high insulating properties of air.

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High energy density, which has been battery developers' top priority, creates a basis for the broad acceptance of electric vehicles. But the more energy is stored in a confined space, the greater the safety requirements. So precautions are essential in case a damaged cell overheats.

Experts call the phenomenon "thermal runaway," and it can cause the temperatures in a cell to rise as high as 600°C. The risk is that the battery's cooling system would not be able to drain the heat away quickly enough under these conditions. If neighboring healthy cells also heat up due to the heat buildup, a chain reaction can result that, in the worst case, could lead the entire battery system to explode.

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is counteracting the risk with a new development. Heat shields between individual cells are designed so that the heat from a damaged cell remains insulated until it can be drained away. The heat shield has three key characteristics: First, the shield itself consists of a heat resistant material, a silicone-based elastomer; second, it slows the heat transfer between the cells with a waffle-like structure – tiny pockets of air provide outstanding heat insulation. Third, the shield is very thin, with a maximum thickness of just 1 mm. The loss of the existing energy density due to the shield's use is hardly noticeable.

Freudenberg created a new test procedure for the development of its heat shield. It involves mounting samples of the heat shield on a surface heated to 600° C and recording the temperature on its rear side with thermocouples. Series of tests have shown that temperatures significantly under 200°C occur on the rear side after 30 seconds.

"This will adequately protect a neighboring cell against the destruction of cathode material or the separator," said Freudenberg expert Peter Kritzer. "The exact boundary values admittedly depend on a multitude of specific parameters such as the chemistry and geometry of the battery cells."

The way is now clear for the testing of battery modules and systems. Consideration has even been given to the heat shield's mounting. Since the air pockets adhere well to the smooth metallic surface of a prismatic cell – thanks to a suction effect – an individual shield can be precisely position.

It would even be possible to expand the function of the heat shield with additional development steps. If this flexible formed part were extended over the top of the cell, it could enclose and seal the rupture disc located there. In case of overpressure in the battery cell, the rupture disc ensures that the resulting partially toxic gases escape in a controlled way.

New Ford Focus to come equipped with Pothole Detection system

New Ford Focus to come equipped with Pothole Detection system

Ford is helping limit the impact of damaged roads for drivers of the all-new Ford Focus by introducing innovative pothole detection technology.

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The system senses when a wheel is falling into a pothole and adjusts the suspension so that the wheel doesn't fall as far into it.

Potholed roads not only make journeys uncomfortable: harsh impacts with severe potholes can also cause damage to a vehicle's wheels, tyres and suspension systems, resulting in hefty repair bills for car owners.

Because the tyre and wheel don't drop as far, they don't strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly. The rear suspension can respond even faster than the front, with a signal from the front wheel providing a pre-warning to the rear wheel before it reaches the pothole. This all happens in a split second.

"Our engineers are always searching for the roughest roads to really test our suspension to the limit, but more and more we're noticing that the rough roads are finding us," said Guy Mathot, Ford Focus vehicle dynamics supervisor. "Potholes are a problem that isn't going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for all-new Focus, we've been able to reduce their impact."

The all-new Focus pothole detection system is a feature of the car's optional Continuously Controlled Damping technology, which every 2 milliseconds monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs, and adjusts the vehicle's suspension responses for the smoothest ride quality.

Ford develops its suspension systems using a specially created road at the company's test facility in Belgium, which consists of precise replicas of some of the worst potholes and road hazards from around the world.

Engineers further refine the systems with hundreds of hours of testing on a diverse range of European public roads, monitoring loads and strains with equipment similar to that used by seismologists to study earthquakes.

Hyundai invests in Autotalks to develop V2X chipsets

Hyundai invests in Autotalks to develop V2X chipsets

Hyundai Motor announced its strategic partnership with Autotalks, a technology company specialising in the manufacturing of Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication chipsets.

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Hyundai Motor formed the strategic partnership with Autotalks through a direct investment to accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation chipset for connected cars.

V2X technology allows vehicles to communicate with one another, with other road users and road infrastructure, enhancing road safety and mobility. The main focus of any V2X solution is safety. As a reliable non-line-of-sight sensor working in all environments and weather conditions, it helps prevent road collisions and avoid dangerous situations.

In manned vehicles, V2X systems convey important information to the driver in the form of alerts and notifications and can also actuate the vehicle in dangerous situations. In autonomous vehicles, V2X complements existing sensors, allowing them to make more informed decisions as well as easing their interaction with other road users.

"Connectivity is one of the core technologies that can be applied to smart city business models, as well as autonomous driving and infotainment," said Yunseong Hwang, director of open innovation business group at Hyundai Motor Company. He added, "Hyundai Motor will continue to invest in disruptive technologies that are in line with Hyundai's current and future strategic pillars."

Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks, commented, "Having a top global car manufacturer such as Hyundai invest directly in Autotalks is not only a vote of confidence in the company, but a testament to the growing V2X market. Hyundai's pursuit of cutting-edge communication and safety technologies is a perfect match with Autotalks' leading V2X capabilities. The funding from Hyundai will fuel Autotalks' technology roadmap as well as support our customers and partners all over the globe."

Hyundai is expanding partnerships in the connectivity field to further strengthen connectivity technology vital to autonomous driving and explore new business opportunities within smart city infrastructure.

Yptokey develops a software solution for digital key

Yptokey develops a software solution for digital key

The Berlin-based Incubator of international automotive supplier Hella has succeeded in spinning off its next start-up business, Yptokey.

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The spin-off has developed a software solution for digital key and access authorisation systems. This new technology enables users to lock and unlock locks using, for example, mobile devices such as smartphones. It also allows them to manage access authorisation quickly and securely.

Initially, this technology will be integrated by companies dealing with locking systems; in the medium term, it is also planned to launch such a solution on the automotive market. Following in the wake of Brighter AI, Yptokey is the second spin-off whose technology was developed in Hella's Berlin Incubator.

"Our technology is easy and convenient for the end customer and, thanks to a decentralised blockchain approach, it is secure and exceptionally trustworthy," said Tobias Rasche, the CEO of Yptokey. "We are currently focusing on a successful market launching of the technology outside the automotive field. But our technology is highly flexible and scalable. This means that it can be carried over step by step to other areas of application directly related to the automotive branch. And there is the prospect that it can also be complemented by new business models with other industrial partners."

Therefore, it is possible that the technology developed by Yptokey will be implemented for the first time in the automotive sector within the next two to three years. "Hella already boasts a leading market position in the key fob business," explained Timon Rupp, Head of the Hella Incubator in Berlin. "We expect the demand for digital car keys to rise considerably both in the area of private use and also in conjunction with new mobility services. So we will be specifically supplementing our existing portfolio by way of an innovative and service-oriented approach, which will make possible a wealth of new functionalities."

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