Beecham's Tech-Talk

Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.


ADAS technology partnerships shift up a gear to make autonomous cars a reality

26 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Mobileye and Delphi stepped forward this week to announce their plans to jointly develop a complete SAE Level 4/5 automated driving solution production ready for 2019. This latest technology partnership is just one of a string of others announced this year alone in the race to offer fully autonomous cars.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Vehicle lightweighting solutions

16 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto's series of research snapshots - pulled from its automotive research platform, QUBE – this one takes a closer look at some approaches to vehicle lightweighting.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Connectivity a priority for car buyers

9 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Connectivity between the vehicle, passengers and outside world has become a key priority for new car buyers. While the typical considerations of fuel consumption, performance and cabin comfort are still uppermost, staying connected while driving is moving up their list of priorities. This research snapshot takes a closer look at the driving forces, how the connected car could develop and the variety of solutions offered by a rising tide of tech companies eager to serve this blossoming market.


Apollo Tyres vice chairman & MD on European expansion plans - Q&A

8 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with global tyre makers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres. Since its attempt to buy US-based Cooper Tyre, the company has become more focused on organic growth and currently concentrating on a greenfield expansion in Hungary. It is also targeting a share of the Malaysian replacement tyre market and Indian two-wheeler tyre market.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: Automotive interior design and technology

3 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

For some time, we have seen cockpit designers working on ways in which to display more information yet make the dash appear less complex. The general approach is to ensure that only the most essential information is displayed while remaining features are available in the background or brought up at will. But the increasing fitment of multimedia and connectivity systems suggest that this part of the interior is still in its infancy in terms of development. This month’s research snapshot is of the Volvo XC60 and Toyota Auris, taking a closer look at the interior design and technology that gives each a distinctive feel and style.


July 2016 management briefing: Johnson Controls on redefining European car buyer groups

7 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Concerned that the traditional car model segmentation is an outdated means of describing target groups, Johnson Controls Automotive Seating worked with researchers from Concept M institute for market psychology to define a set of more meaningful categories that pinpoint the diverse needs and wants of today’s European drivers. The supplier used a recent press gathering in Berlin to explain its approach, findings and practical relevance to automakers.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: A review of the active grille shutter market

5 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

The aim of an active grille shutter (AGS) is to respond to the driving environment in order to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. During motorway driving, for example, the louvres would close thereby pushing the air around the vehicle to improve aerodynamics. If the car is towing a load or slow moving in traffic, the louvres would remain open to help maintain the best engine temperature.  Given that an increasing number of cars now have an AGS, here is our round-up of the market.


Convergent Science on combustion modelling trends – Q&A

5 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

As automotive engineers push back the boundaries of combustion, an increasing number of studies are being carried out in the virtual world. The use of in-cylinder computational fluid dynamics (CFD) provides insight on what is happening as the combustion process takes place, shedding new light on everything from thermal efficiency to pollutant formation. Software developer Convergent Science was formed in 1997 by a group of combustion specialists. The company’s Converge CFD code has been developed with combustion simulation in mind. Convergent Science’s director of global marketing, Rob Kaczmarek, gives us his take on what the future holds for combustion modelling.


SRG Global Inc VP on the active grille shutter market

4 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

SRG Global Inc, a subsidiary of Guardian Industries Corp, provides high value coatings on plastics for a number of applications, including automotive. It also makes active grille shutters which respond to the driving environment in order to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. SRG Global Inc’s vice president of engineering, tooling and advanced development, David Dunford explains its Integrille system and how the market for active grilles is developing worldwide.


Arxan Technologies on security risks with connected cars – Q&A

29 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

US-based Arxan Technologies specialises in application security. Its solutions are used to protect a number of applications across a range of industries, including automotive. With an increasing number of cars fitted with wireless connectivity, Matt Clemens, security solutions architect at Arxan Technologies explains the security risks and what a driver can do to stay safe.


Monroe riding high on the electronic suspension market - briefing

20 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

A clear trend in the shock absorber sector is integrating more and more electronics. Electronic dampers adjust instantly to ensure ride comfort and firm vehicle control. Tenneco Inc is among those leading players in the electronic suspension market. At a recent company event, the supplier updated us on its product portfolio and scope.


Bang & Olufsen on developing smart audio solutions - Q&A

20 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Bang & Olufsen branded audio products are available in a range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models. Greg Sikora, manager acoustic systems engineering, Bang & Olufsen automotive audio at Harman lifestyle division explains what such OEMs expect, how it is staying premium in an increasingly commodity market and whether the rise of electric and hybrid cars will impact our listening habits. The automotive business of Bang & Olufsen was acquired by Harman in May 2015.


Hella Gutmann Solutions on ADAS camera calibration – Q&A

15 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

While self-driving cars are not yet available to the public, there are a number of models offering some form of advanced assistance to the driver. These include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems that require a camera to be fitted, typically behind the windscreen. Upon replacing the windscreen, the camera typically needs to be recalibrated. To learn more, we spoke to Hella Gutmann Solutions GmbH’s managing director Björn Rietschel about the company’s camera calibration tool and the prospects for self-calibrating systems.


Thatcham Research on why European OEMs should follow US on autonomous emergency braking fitment – Q&A

9 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

A car fitted with an autonomous emergency brake system (AEB) can scan the road and apply the brakes independently of the driver to avoid a collision. Given this critical piece of car safety technology, a voluntary pact was recently agreed between 20 OEMs to make AEB standard on all vehicles sold in the US by 2022. In the light of this, UK-based Thatcham Research is calling on European automakers to follow the example set in the US.


rFpro on driver input in virtual development processes - Q&A

7 Jun 2016 | Matthew Beecham

We hear a lot about the increased use of virtual development processes, so it may come as a surprise to hear an expert in simulator software argue the case for the importance of input from a real driver. Chris Hoyle, technical director of UK simulator software company, rFpro explains what a driver can contribute to this process.



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