By T Murrali:
September is the month of ‘Innovations.’ Maybe of every other year, 2018 included. Two major exhibitions, Automechanika Frankfurt, for the aftermarket, and IAA in Hannover, for OEMs, will flood the expos with inventions and innovations this month. The principal target group for both is the auto component manufacturers from all over the world. The innovations that are unveiled at IAA will become part of the vehicles in the near future since the ideas would compel OEMs to pursue it further.
At Automechanika, Frankfurt, a particular product highlight from ZF will be Electric Blue, the new range of TRW-branded brake pads for electric vehicles. These drastically reduce both interior noises and particulate emissions when braking. The global company foresees an increase in electrically-powered vehicles and transportation systems that are highly automated or even driving autonomously, especially in urban environments.
ZF expects around 30 percent of global automotive production to be focused on all-electric or hybrid electric vehicles by 2030. The company, having first-hand knowledge, has designed a high-voltage (HV) training concept at an early stage. The training gives workshop employees the necessary key competencies to master the complex range of topics surrounding future technology. The modular blended learning concept ensures optimal success while reducing attendance time and lowering costs.
Bosch Aftermarket will present Robinair’s new fully automatic high-end units for trouble-free A/C service, which will complete the range of the air-conditioning service specialist. The new unit combines both maintenance and repair functions in one, thereby easing the workflow at the workshop. In comparison with the predecessor line, Robinair increased the performance of the new line. The company recently formed a strategic collaboration with fuel-cell expert Ceres Power to develop the next stage of solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) technology. SOFC technology uses an electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell stack to convert fuel such as natural gas or hydrogen into electricity. The environmental benefit is considerable, with much lower emissions than from power stations that use a combustion process.
Recently WABCO has announced that it is developing a new generation of technologies that will lead to higher levels of commercial vehicle automation. Combining its ability to integrate active steering, active braking and stability control, the company is focusing on increasing autonomous control of vehicle dynamics on the highway, in the city, and in yard applications. Some of the technologies that it is working on include: Fail-operational Steering and Braking, Continuous Lane Keeping, Full Braking on Mixed Friction Surfaces and Platooning with Advanced Emergency Braking. The company has recently opened its new state-of-the-art Global Technology and Innovation Centre in Hanover, Germany. The new centre is expected to play an important role in innovations such as developing pioneering technologies to support the industry’s migration towards increasingly autonomous, connected and electric commercial vehicles.
World over every country and every company is working on reducing accidents. However, the results are not very encouraging. For instance, in spite of advances in technology, the number of road deaths hit a five-year high in 2017 in the UK. Experts opine that fitting autonomous emergency braking systems as standard on all commercial vehicles in the country has the potential to stop almost 2,500 crashes a year. Analysis of Department for Transport van accident statistics reveals 2,496 incidents involving vans weighing up to 3.5 tonne could have been avoided if autonomous emergency braking systems had been fitted – preventing 348 deaths and serious injuries. Across the car industry, autonomous emergency braking has the potential to save around 1,000 lives and about 120,000 casualties over the next 10 years leading to a real-world accident reduction of 38 percent.
Detroit Auto Show
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the organisers of Detroit Auto Show or Motor Show, has announced that the exhibition is moving from its traditional slot in January to June, seeking to reinvent itself after many automakers decamped for the week-earlier Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or lost interest in auto shows altogether. The shift will take place in 2020. This seems to be a good move since for the past five years the CES in Las Vegas has been drawing more players from the auto industry than any other segment of electronics. Some of the vehicle manufacturers had skipped the famous Detroit Auto Show and launched their vehicles, electric version, at CES. This made the organisers of the Detroit Auto Show to shift its slot to June. According to them the overhauled event aims to create a festival-like air with vehicle debuts, concerts, splashy displays and food