By T Murrali
The past three months were celebration time for aviation and aerospace industries. On May 30 Airbus celebrated its 50th anniversary presenting a story of ambition and achievement, showcasing European integration. On July 19, exactly 50 years ago Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr landed on the Moon for the first time while Michael Collins remained in the Command Module of Apollo 11. As they took one small step, a giant leap was accomplished for humanity. This mission was made possible with the support of the components and systems suppliers, including many from the automotive industry like Bosch, Caterpillar, Delphi and Magna.
On July 22, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched Chandrayaan-2, its second lunar exploration mission. While there are several innovations in the spacecraft, it also opened up numerous opportunities to innovate, driving several organizations, including startups, to come out with a slew of exciting projects for launching the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle – SSLV – using balloon, truck, barrage, and what have you!
Coming to movement on the ground, Bosch and Daimler have reached a milestone on the way to automated driving: the two companies have obtained approval from Baden-Württemberg’s authorities for their automated parking system in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. The automated valet parking service is accessed via a smartphone app and requires no safety driver. This makes it the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level-4 parking function to be officially approved for everyday use.
Continental has won the 2019 Automotive Innovations award from Centre of Automotive Management (CAM), in the category ‘Most Innovative Automotive Supplier Interior and Interface,’ for its intelligent door system. This solution increases drivers’ comfort and safety. By coupling PASE (Passive Start Entry) the company has created an intelligent touch-free door system that enables doors to be opened and closed automatically, at the right time and on the relevant side of the vehicle.
In order to ramp up its activities in artificial intelligence (AI) Bosch is investing about Euro 35 million in a new ‘Bosch AI Campus,’ which is expected to be operational by 2022 with about 700 experts working on applied AI there. This will be situated close to the research facilities of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Tübingen’s AI research building. The campus will offer space in which startups and external AI research groups can take up temporary residence. Freely accessible areas on the first floor of the campus will serve to foster exchange among Cyber Valley experts. Other parts of the facility will also be open to the public.
Daimler AG and BMW Group have announced their cooperation on automated driving by focusing on joint development of next generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and automated parking. The key objective of the cooperation is the swift market launch of the technology, which is expected to feature in passenger car systems for private customers from 2024. The two companies will each implement the technologies in their respective series products independently. The cooperation will see more than 1,200 specialists working together, often in mixed teams. They will be based at locations including the Mercedes-Benz Technology Centre (MTC) in Sindelfingen, the Daimler Testing and Technology Centre in Immendingen and the BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim, near Munich.
Ford has recently opened its research centre in Tel Aviv, Israel, to augment its research and advanced engineering team and also support its automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and startup companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security. The centre will include a vehicle lab to support proof of concept efforts and AI work conducted by the team SAIPS, a world-class provider of customised algorithmic solutions in the fields of computer vision and machine learning.
Side impact collisions are among the most dangerous type of road traffic accidents, accounting for nearly 700 deaths a year and nearly a third of all occupant fatalities on German roads. In order to mitigate this, ZF has developed a new pre-crash safety system prototype using external side airbags deployed milliseconds before a collision. It provides an additional lateral crumple zone, which can help save lives and reduce occupant injury severity by up to 40 percent. To make this possible, ZF has networked the airbags to the vehicle’s sensor systems and developed algorithms that are capable of determining if a crash is imminent and decide whether or not to deploy the airbag. What a marvel of innovation! It reminds me of the imagination of a child asking for an airbag to cover the entire car during a drawing competition to express innovative ideas, organised a couple of years ago by a leading OEM in Japan.
See you next month with more Trailblazing Trends.