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.



Monroe riding high on the electronic suspension market - briefing 20 Jun 2016

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

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

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

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

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.


Federal-Mogul Motorparts on the consumer appeal and aftermarket coverage of Champion wiper blades – Q&A 6 Jun 2016

In theory, the wiper blade is a service replacement item. In reality, some of us prolong the moment until the squeaks and juddering of a worn out wiper blade force a pit stop. It has been suggested that the European wiper blade aftermarket could double if motorists appreciated what a safety-critical component it is. While some believe that wiper blade manufacturers have a way to go to change consumer habits and achieve market growth, Champion reports that its latest marketing efforts have shown "great promise for future growth." Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Jerry Banks, Federal-Mogul Motorparts senior product manager, wipers about trends in the automotive wiper blade aftermarket.


GKN Driveline on prospects for AWD and alternative powertrains – Q&A 2 Jun 2016

Driveline expert GKN recently increased its all-wheel drive (AWD) production footprint in Mexico. GKN Driveline's senior director, global AWD, Ed Kwon, explains the reasons for this investment, market prospects for AWD and opportunities that alternative powertrains bring.


Magna Exteriors on why carbon fibre has mass-market appeal - Q&A 1 Jun 2016

Until recently, the use of carbon fibre in car manufacture has been confined to high-end, low-volume vehicles. Joe Laux, Magna Exteriors director advanced engineering, tells just-auto why demand from OEMs for the lightweight material is now growing.


TowerSec VP on solutions that address the dark side of car connectivity – Q&A 31 May 2016

With car connectivity comes a dark side. While you are driving, a hacker could put your life in danger by taking over the car’s steering, brakes and transmission from a remote location. Help is at hand from a rising tide of tech companies, including TowerSec. Originally founded in Israel, now headquartered in Michigan and owned by Harman, TowerSec’s cyber security solutions protect vehicles from outside intrusion. To find out how, Matthew Beecham spoke to Harman-TowerSec’s vice president of automotive cyber security, Saar Dickman.


Driving home the rules: Delphi Powertrain VP on compliance in the automotive industry - Q&A 23 May 2016

With the powertrain world reeling from a series of emissions-related revelations, ‘compliance’ may seem a brave subject to choose for a keynote speech at the recent Vienna Motor Symposium. Delphi’s vice president engineering, Delphi Powertrain, John Fuerst tells just-auto why he believes this is the right time to take a deeper look at the topic.


Dayco on building a strong brand identity in the automotive aftermarket – Q&A 20 May 2016

Dayco develops and manufactures engine products and drive systems, including timing belts, chain kits, belts and pulleys for the OE and aftermarket. Matthew Beecham caught up with Steve Carolan, national sales manager, Dayco Aftermarket UK to learn how its business is taking shape.


Tech Mahindra on developing driverless technologies - Q&A 6 May 2016

Forming part of India’s Mahindra Group, Tech Mahindra is an IT service provider with an interest in developing driverless technologies. Matthew Beecham spoke to Karthikeyan Natarajan, global head of engineering and R&D at Tech Mahindra to learn more about its cyber security and connectivity solutions.


Federal-Mogul Motorparts on trends in the spark and glow plug market - Q&A 3 May 2016

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Bert De Haes, Group Product Manager Ignition EMEA at Federal-Mogul Motorparts about trends in the automotive spark and glow plug market.


April 2016 management briefing - Creeping closer to fully autonomous driving 20 Apr 2016

While self-driving cars are not yet available to the public, more and more models across all segments now offer some form of advanced assistance to the driver. To get a sense for where we are along the road toward autonomous driving, here is a snapshot of the Toyota Prius and Volvo XC90.


Cruden on the changing use of simulators in the automotive industry - Q&A 19 Apr 2016

The Dutch simulator expert, Cruden, has reacted to the automotive industry’s call for more open architecture and affordable simulator software options that do not restrict automotive companies from working with one simulator manufacturer’s hardware. It recently launched the Panthera Software Suite, making it available to users of any desktop, static or motion simulator and using almost any vehicle model. A surprise development has been the release of a free version of the software, Panthera Free. Matthew Beecham spoke to Maarten van Donselaar, CEO to find out why.


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