Automated, Connected, and Electric Vehicle Systems
[Wikipedia]: A connected car is a car that is equipped with Internet access, and usually also with a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle. Often, the car is also outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver.
[Center for Advanced Automotive Technology]: Connected vehicles are vehicles that use any of a number of different communication technologies to communicate with the driver, other cars on the road (vehicle-to-vehicle [V2V]), roadside infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I]), and the “Cloud.” This technology can be used to not only improve vehicle safety, but also to improve vehicle efficiency and commute times. Listed below are some of the benefits of connected vehicles:
[National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Policy on Automated Vehicle Development]: Fully automated (sometimes called autonomous) or “self-driving” vehicles are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.” Further, the NHTSA has defined vehicle automation into five levels; the higher the level the more automated the vehicle is. Listed below are the NHTSA’s five levels of automation:
- No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times.
- Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone.
- Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.
- Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The second-generation Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation.
- Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. The third-generation Google car is an example of full self-driving automation. Vehicles with level 4 automation may also be referred to autonomous vehicles.
*Note: Vehicles with automation levels above 3 must also incorporate connected vehicle technologies.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
The automotive battery is actually a battery pack that houses many individual cells that work together. There are several types of advanced batteries being used for electric, hybrid, and conventional automotive use. The most popular types are: Lead Acid, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Lithium-ion (Li-ion). Some of the emerging battery types that are being heavily researched are: Aluminum-air, Lithium-air, Sodium-air, Zinc-air, Liquid Metal, Tin Nanocrystal Lithium-Ion.
[More to come ...]