Category Archives: Featured Article

Secure and Connected Solutions for Autonomous Mobility

Location USA

31. July 2018 | Featured Article

Location USA

Located in the Motor City, the heart of the American automotive industry, FEV North America has been a driving force for technical innovation in the mobility industry for more than 30 years.

 

Employing more than 450 experts at three technical facilities in Auburn Hills, MI and an office in Silicon Valley (California), FEV is partnering with OEMs and Tiered suppliers to create intelligent and more efficient future mobility solutions. Originally founded in California in 1985, FEV North America moved operations to Michigan in 1997, and in 2016, the thriving electronics industry and customer demands on the West Coast ultimately brought FEV back to its roots, and let it open an additional office in Silicon Valley.

 

The FEV North America campus is now even further expanding to include an all-new Vehicle Test Center, strengthening our vehicle development capabilities. Slated to open at the end of 2018, FEV North America will become a complete, one-stop shop for powertrain and vehicle development, and position FEV as the preferred supplier to offer these capabilities.

 

After completion, FEV North America’s new Test Center building will have a size of 2,400 m². (computer model)

 

The new facility will house a state-of-the-art vehicle emissions chassis dynamometer, with high-precision exhaust emissions measurement technology, and an advanced vehicle lab with a low-temperature condition hall. This will complement the 26 already existing powertrain test benches and 6 engine and component test benches, all capable of testing electrified powertrains, engines and axles.

 

Automated driving and connectivity have become the next big focus for the mobility industry, and the required hardware and software advancements will bring an increasingly diversified development process for OEMs and service providers. To meet these challenges, FEV developed a global Center of Excellence (CoE) in 2017, which focuses on connectivity and smart vehicle development. This is not limited to autonomous driving functions, but also includes infotainment and telematics systems, cybersecurity and V2X communication.

 

The CoE is built on a connected system thinking approach, a practice that takes the entire ecosystem into consideration during each stage of the smart vehicle development. This approach to engineering is critical due to the exponential growth of new functions, providers and development tasks. Connected systems thinking allows for shorter development time despite increasing system complexity and stricter requirements for hardware and software. With the CoE, FEV is building safe and secure Smart Vehicles, free of cyber-attacks.

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Innovative Powertrain Concepts for the Mobility of Tomorrow

Outlook

31. July 2018 | Featured Article

Outlook

The automotive industry is undergoing what is likely to be its greatest transformation. Not only is the concept of mobility evolving due to increasing digitalization and urbanization through advances such as car sharing and autonomous driving using various electric assistance systems, but a healthy competition among powertrains is also prevalent due to global accountability for climate protection, particularly in the transport sector. Car manufacturers and suppliers are thus looking for productive advances with a view to CO2-neutral mobility. There is still no consensus on the one right solution, instead, there is growing competition among a wide variety of technologies

 

Electrification is an important resource in this context, although contrary to popular belief, it is not the only one. Rather, it is important to raise awareness of the fact that it is not enough to replace a conventional combustion engine with an electric powertrain. The future of vehicle powertrains will be characterized by electric combustion engines, such as HEVs and PHEVs, alongside BEV powertrains. The goal is to promote the development of needs-based powertrain solutions instead of copying a single approach.

 

Combustion engines – like the modern diesel engine – are a key component in this regard. They not only have the highest level of thermal efficiency for powertrains, but also a very long range. It is possible to produce combustion engines with marginal pollutant emissions thanks to increasingly modern technologies,such as the adjustable compression ratio recently implemented in production for gasoline engines, further optimization of turbochargers, and the efficient use of residual heat from exhaust.

 

From well to wheel, CO2 emissions can be reduced to nearly zero by using e-fuels, i.e. synthetic fuels obtainable from renewable sources. Unfortunately, this type of CO2 reduction has not received political support. A smart way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions is to also electrify conventional powertrains, e.g. using cost-effective 48V systems that also improve mileage and comfort at the same time.

 

Fuel cells can solve the problem of range for e-vehicles by using a large hydrogen tank.
In addition, by using hydrogen in fuel cells to generate power for electric vehicles the electric surplus from regenerative energies can also be usefully stored. There is still a lack of infrastructure for fuel cell vehicle use to be marketed to the masses, although a large number of hydrogen stations are currently being planned.

 

The future of powertrains will certainly be dominated by sustainability. It is not productive, however, to ban certain powertrain technologies. Instead, it is crucial to have the right combination. Whether this means electric powertrains, fuel cells, or optimized combustion engines that use e-fuels, it is important to find and support the right, most sensible, and cleanest solution for each application.

 

The future of car sharing: Personal Public Vehicle (PPV) as an urban mobility concept

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