By: Matthew Beecham
Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.
Alongside the enthusiasm amongst car designers for more glass, pressure to produce more complex glazing shapes and styles is also driving up interest in alternative polycarbonate (PC) glazing technologies. We wouldn’t call it a gold rush but we continue to see a steady stream of interest in PC glazings for certain applications. To find out how this market is shaping up, Matthew Beecham spoke to Scott Fallon, general manager, Automotive, SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has promised a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union by 2017 (after the next general election). The Confederation of British Industry has argued that staying in the EU is overwhelmingly favourable for business; a view shared by the PM. Despite this, the issue has divided business leaders and spelled uncertainty for investors in UK-based global industries at a time when economic recovery and growth is crucial. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke with Jon Blaze, Head of Recruitment Operations at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, a leading specialist engineering recruitment consultancy. He gave an insight as to the impact that this change could have on the automotive jobs market.
This year marks a step change in the F1 regulations. A raft of aero and powertrain rules are set to create a more efficient race car with more direct links to road car technologies. V8s, used since 2006, will be replaced by all new 1.6 litre turbo charged V6. Engines are now also referred to as 'power units' thanks to the increased hybrid nature of their power generation.
Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with tier one suppliers of electronic braking systems, Matthew Beecham talked with Dan Milot, Technical Director, Customer Application & Systems Engineering North America, TRW Automotive.
Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with tier one suppliers of electronic braking systems, Matthew Beecham talked with Dr Sören Kirchner, Head of Segment Electronic Parking Brakes within the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division and Dr Hans-Jörg Feigel, Head of Future Brake Systems Development within the Vehicle Dynamics Business Unit of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division
Oerlikon Segment Drive Systems, with its brands Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield, develops complete drive systems, gearing solutions and transmission components, with a product portfolio providing transmissions for high performance cars, solutions for all-wheel-drive vehicles and agricultural tractors, as well as Torque Hub planetary drive for industrial machinery and off-highway mobile equipment. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Paolo Mantelli, Head of Performance Automotive, Oerlikon Drive Systems about some of its latest innovations and technology partnerships with Continental and Vocis.
At this year’s consumer electronics show (CES), Harman confirmed the rise of so called ‘wearables’ with an integration of its driver assist technology with Google Glass. The company claims it is the first tier one automotive supplier to launch an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) implementation on wearable devices such as Google Glass. Harman’s data also suggests that the wearables sector is a growing market and is projected to exceed US$5 billion in 2016. Matthew Beecham spoke to Harman’s President of Automotive Services David Slump about the technology and the company’s plans for it.
Harman is using the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to launch its latest technologies to the consumer and automotive sectors. Matthew Beecham talked with Harman’s executive vice president and president of Infotainment Division, Sachin Lawande about the company’s innovations on display.
When we last talked to UK-based technology company IDEAdvance, they had developed a sensor-less rotation detection, control and monitoring method for brushed DC electric motors. To find out how their technology has developed, Matthew Beecham talked with Jan Nottelmann, CEO and CTO of IDEAdvance Ltd and their technology partner, Brian Thompson, MD of Control Developments (UK) Ltd.
UK-based rFactor Pro focuses on simulators for engineering development of vehicle dynamics and the control systems and active safety systems that affect vehicle dynamics. The company is moving into the automotive sector and has developed new ultra fast response software which allows automakers to simulate vehicle dynamics in a way that has not been possible before. Normally, simulation is restricted to tasks such as driver fatigue and cabin ergonomic development. rFactor Pro's technology allows automakers to accurately simulate active safety systems (such as SUV rollover), NVH, ride and handling. To find out a little more, Matthew Beecham talked with rFactor Pro's technical director, Chris Hoyle.
Connectivity plays a major part in the developments of the latest infotainment systems. Much like smartphones and other consumer devices, there is a growing expectation that in-car entertainment systems should feature internet connectivity and enable integration with mobile devices. While it has become common for consumer devices to be supplied with built-in security software or the ability to use aftermarket alternatives, few have any expectations for car security beyond alarms and immobilisers. Much like the computers first connected to the internet, current automotive architecture does not contain security measures designed to repel remote infiltration and intrusion. As such, comprehensive in-car connectivity could lead to cyber-attacks that have the potential to range from inconvenient to more serious. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Robert Boatright, director of Automotive Networking at Harman about what it is doing to counter this.
It is estimated that the average car has around 80 electric motors - many due to motorists’ insatiable demand for greater comfort and convenience. In a top-range Mercedes-Benz, for example, there are around 12 motors in each seat incorporating a mass of thin wires and fragile connectors to send the position or angular rotation information from the sensors back to the motor controllers. But UK-based technology company IDEAdvance reckons that it has a better solution, writes Matthew Beecham.
A car's solar control glazing system is one which selectively absorbs, reflects and transmits solar energy to help keep the occupants comfortable, protect the interior and lesson the requirement for air conditioning, thereby reducing fuel consumption. Matthew Beecham reports on some trends occurring in the automotive infrared reflective (IRR) glazing market.
Although your car may be equipped with the latest advanced driver assistance systems thereby reducing the chances of an impact, this technology can increase costs of repair if something goes wrong. Conversely such technology can also reduce your insurance costs. UK-based Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (Thatcham) have explored this topic and demonstrate how good design and inclusion of the right technologies can make a car more appealing to the consumer looking for good value in the long term. To find out more, Matthew Beecham talked with Matthew Avery, Thatcham’s head of research.
PFC Brakes develops and manufactures braking systems for motorsport, high-performance road, commercial vehicle and motorcycles. Matthew Beecham spoke to Peter Babbage, managing director at PFC Brakes Europe to discover how upcoming materials legislation is affecting the design of brake components for the commercial vehicle sector and how it is responding to ensure OEM and aftermarket customers can comply with the forthcoming legislation outlawing certain materials and how the technology could lead to lower running costs.
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