Volkswagen's engineers and designers are using all of the technology available to them to improve safety with innovative lighting technology. One of their goals is to enhance the lighting functions in current vehicles and, as a result, improve road safety in the present day.
This development work has culminated in the IQ. Light matrix LED headlights in the new Touareg, for example, which improve comfort and safety when driving at night. However, lighting designers and engineers have an eye on the future, too. The assisted driving cars of tomorrow will confront road users with new everyday situations – such as a lack of eye contact with drivers.
This is where new, interactive lighting functions come into play. The new lighting systems will include micro-pixel HD headlights with up to 30,000 light points and high-performance LED headlights as a low-cost alternative to cost-intensive laser light. For the first time, these micro-pixel HD headlights will project information directly onto the road, further improving safety.
This technology also enables new assist systems such as "Optical Lane Assist" to be brought to life. In this system, the headlights project lanes in front of the Touareg, giving the driver precise information about the width of the SUV (including trailer) and the distance to the road lane markings, for example at road works. The lanes also follow the radii of curves. Such useful and safety-enhancing lighting functions are being tested with the HD-LCD headlights.
New systems such as the matrix tail light cluster will also revolutionise tail lights. Matrix tail light clusters will allow warnings to be incorporated into the tail lights, for example, enabling dangerous situations, like the area at the end of a traffic jam, to be defused using car-to-car communication. New assist functions, such as the micro-lens-based "Optical Park Assist" system, will improve safety while manoeuvring. This system will be able to project the vehicle's path onto the road to alert passers-by to the parking process.
To make sure it is suitably prepared for the challenges of the future, Volkswagen has opened its own centre of lighting excellence at the Wolfsburg plant. A 100 metre long, 15 metre wide and 5 metre high light tunnel has been in operation there since then in the heart of the Volkswagen world: its Research & Development division.
In this tunnel, Volkswagen is using road simulations to test its lighting systems for today, tomorrow and beyond using road simulations. The tests can be reproduced and repeated. As a result, systems can be compared and evaluated in a light tunnel better than ever before.
The centre of lighting excellence is also an ideal place to investigate how drivers and pedestrians perceive light. The light tunnel has also reduced the development time for new headlight, tail light and interior lighting systems, as the number of time-consuming night drives can now be reduced.
The chipset integrates a buck DC/DC converter with boost functionality (BD8P250MUF-C) and a dedicated boost IC (BD90302NUF-C). The primary chip (BD8P250MUF-C) utilises ROHM's novel buck-boost control technology, dubbed Quick Buck Booster, that enables configuration of a buck-boost power supply without degrading buck power supply characteristics by simply adding the dedicated BD90302NUF-C boost IC to the subsequent stage.
The result is an industry-best no-load current consumption of 8uA and ±100mV output voltage fluctuation utilising an output capacitance 44uF, contributing to improved stability and energy savings in applications where significant input voltage drops occur in a short period of time, such as start-stop vehicle systems.
In addition, Quick Buck Booster technology allows a common board design that integrates both buck-boost and buck power supply topologies along with the requisite peripheral components and noise countermeasures, reducing development time and labor by 50% compared to conventional methods requiring separate buck-boost and buck power supply boards.
In recent years, to meet the greater environmental performance demanded in the automotive sector, the number of vehicles equipped with start-stop functionality that turns the engine/motor OFF while idle has grown significantly. In these systems, a buck-boost power supply is required to prevent malfunctions due to low battery voltage during idling and battery fluctuations (cranking) immediately after start-stop operation, but conventional products are problematic from the standpoint of current consumption and responsiveness, increasing the demand for an improved solution as the number of stop-start vehicles continues to rise.
To meet market demands, the BD8P250MUF-C integrates a spread spectrum function as a countermeasure against noise (EMI), allowing it to clear the international standard (CISPR 25) for noise in the automotive sector. At the same time, ROHM's original ultra-high-speed pulse control technology Nano Pulse Control is utilised to enable high speed operation at 2.2MHz that eliminates the effects on the AM radio band (1.84MHz max.), making it possible to achieve stable 5V output for ECU drive from high-voltage 36V input. This ensures low electromagnetic interference while enabling low voltage output from high voltage input without AM radio band interference, contributing to stable operation in automotive systems sensitive to noise.
In response, ROHM leveraged analog design technology and power system processes to develop groundbreaking solutions for the automotive market, such as products that integrate Nano Pulse Control high speed pulse control technology. This time, ROHM developed a buck-boost power supply chipset utilising proprietary automotive technology centred on Quick Buck Booster control that overcomes the issues related to start-stop systems. And going forward, ROHM will continue to support the evolution of vehicles by developing products and technologies that contribute to greater power savings and system optimisation.
Buck-Boost Power Supply chipset will be available for use to automotive OEMs from January 2019.
The Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) is a form of technology that helps the driver ensure vision by always maintaining high beam operation and preventing the glare on the driver of the car in front by blocking only the light of the high beams directed at the car in front at the same time.
The ADB is an essential technology for safe driving at night in the coming age of autonomous driving. The lamps of future cars are evolving in such a way as to finely control the light by precisely detecting vehicles and roads. Even during night driving, lanes, road signs and various objects on the road must be detected in real time, which is necessary for autonomous driving.
But the ADB is limited in properly responding to the rapid movement of other vehicles, such as vehicles overtaking from behind and vehicles making quick turns. Due to the technical problems of the current method—which uses cameras to detect the light in front and identify vehicles, all global automotive lamp makers are striving to solve this challenge.
Hyundai Mobis has approached this problem by increasing the types of information collected by the cameras and using the radar, the automotive navigation system and steering angle sensors, and has successfully developed the AADB, thereby achieving a higher level of precise light control based on information collected from various sensors.
The AADB collects information on lanes, in addition to detecting the light in front with the cameras, and assesses information on vehicles overtaking from blind spots, road information on expressways, national highways, etc., and curvature data on curves which are obtained with the radar, the automotive navigation system, and the steering angle sensors, respectively. Hyundai Mobis has finished developing it in just 18 months after it began the project early last year.
Hyundai Mobis implemented the AADB solely by using software without any additional hardware applied, thereby securing both technology and price competitiveness. Also, it laid the foundation for leading the global lamp technology market by applying for 6 patents at home and 12 patents overseas.
The differentiated competitiveness of Hyundai Mobis' AADB, stems from the company's successful effort to secure all relevant core technologies— such as cameras, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), driving beams and the automotive navigation system— as a comprehensive automotive supplier, and they are now in mass production.
In fact, few global lamp makers possess both sensor and ADAS technologies. Director, Dr. Mirco Goetz, in charge of lamp design at Hyundai Mobis, said, "As the performance of the existing Adaptive Driving Beam must be improved based on an understanding of various technologies, global lamp makers will have difficulty to narrow the technological gap in a short period of time."
The new Optiga TPM 2.0 protects communication between the car manufacturer and the car which increasingly turns into a computer on wheels. A number of car manufacturers already designed in Infineon's Optiga TPM.
The TPM is a hardware-based security solution that has proven its worth in IT security. By using it, car manufacturers can incorporate sensitive security keys for assigning access rights, authentication and data encryption in the car in a protected way. The TPM can also be updated so that the level of security can be kept up to date throughout the vehicle's service life.
"As a computer on wheels, the connected car benefits from the experience of the IT industry," said Martin Brunner, expert for automotive security at Infineon. "In the complex interplay between software, network and cloud, security hardware creates the solid foundation for secured communication. Backed by Infineon's many years of expertise in the automotive and security areas, we have optimised the Optiga TPM for automotive applications. It is easy to integrate and substantially increases cybersecurity – from production to recycling of connected cars."
With the new Optiga TPM 2.0 and its AURIX family of micro-controllers, Infineon provides a comprehensive portfolio of application-specific security solutions that address key challenges in the automotive industry.
Mobility of the future requires the exchange of huge volumes of data. Cars send real-time traffic information to the cloud or receive updates from the manufacturer "over the air", for example to update software quickly and in a cost effective manner. The senders and recipients of that data, whether car makers or individual components in the car, require cryptographic security keys to authenticate themselves. These critical keys are particularly protected against logical and physical attacks in the Optiga TPM as if they were in a safe.
Furthermore, incorporating the first or initial key into the vehicle is a particularly sensitive moment for car makers. When the TPM is used, this step can be carried out in Infineon's certified production environment. After that, the keys are protected against unauthorised access; there is no need for further special security precautions throughout the various stages of the – often globally distributed – value chain.
The TPM likewise generates, stores and administers further security keys for communication within the vehicle. And it is also used to detect faulty or manipulated software and components in the vehicle and initiate troubleshooting by the manufacturer in such a case.
Whereas a vehicle has an average service life time of 12 to 15 years, security features and algorithms keep on being developed and enhanced on a continuous basis. The TPM's firmware can be updated by remote access so the security it offers can be kept up-to-date – including the cryptographic mechanisms (cryptoagility).
The new Optiga TPM 2.0 SLI 9670 from Infineon is a plug & play solution for automotive applications. It is especially suited for use in a central gateway, the telematics unit or the infotainment system of the vehicle.
The SLI 9670 consists of an attack-resistant security chip and high-performance firmware developed in accordance with the latest security standard. The firmware enables immediate use of security features, such as encryption, decryption, signing and verification.
The TPM can be integrated quickly and easily in the system thanks to the open source software stack (TSS stack) for the host processor, which is also provided by Infineon. It has an SPI interface, an extended temperature range from -40°C to 105°C and the advanced encryption algorithms RSA-2048, ECC-256 and SHA-256.
The new TPM complies with the internationally acknowledged Trusted Computing Group TPM 2.0 standard, is certified for security according to Common Criteria and is qualified in accordance with the automotive standard AEC-Q100. It is available now available and manufactured in security-certified production facilities of Infineon Germany and the Philippines.
Following the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton (H-CEX) demonstration conducted in the Hyundai-KIA North American factory last August, the company plans to verify H-VEX's success through extensive testing at the end of 2018.
In early 2018, Hyundai selected Robot-Artificial Intelligence as one of five areas of future innovation growth. The company established a designated robotics team in its strategic technology headquarters to focus on the development of related tech, and is expanding its cooperation with associated sectors.
Dr. Youngcho Chi, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Technology Division and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group said, "The robotics field not only offers future mobility solutions, but also presents alternative solutions to reduce productivity decline in the workforce. Hyundai plans to utilise its extensive technological database collected from autonomous vehicle production experience to drive the company's success in the robotics field."
Hyundai is developing technology in three areas of robotics: wearable robots, service robots, and micro-mobility. The company is also in the process of strategic cooperation with promising domestic and international companies that possess robotic and artificial intelligence technology.
The first H-CEX, developed for industrial use, is a knee joint protective device that helps maintain the worker's sitting position. At 1.6kg it is light, yet highly durable and can withstand weights of up to 150kg. With waist, thigh and knee belts it can be easily equipped and adjusted to the user's height. It also features three different angle settings (85/70/55).
Along with the H-CEX, Hyundai plans to test and apply the H-VEX in the North American factories at the end of the year. H-VEX is a device that alleviates pressure on the workers' neck and back by adding 60kg of strength to the user when their arms are used overhead. It is expected to be very effective at preventing injury and increasing work efficiency.
There are a variety of applications and fields that robots can be developed for, such as wearables, service robots, micro mobility, etc.