Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tooling up for tomorrow’s clever cars

29.02.2008
Cars are becoming more complex, with a range of advanced features we could hardly have imagined a few years ago made possible by sophisticated software-driven electronics. The downside is, with more to go wrong, more is going wrong, but European researchers have developed an antidote: a new computer language.

The average new car coming off the production line today has the same amount of electronic systems as a commercial airliner did two decades ago. Hard to accept perhaps, but true if auto-makers are to be believed.

Growth in automotive embedded systems (software and electronics) has been exponential since the early 1990s and the trend is predicted to continue. In 2002, electronic parts comprised 25 percent of a vehicle’s value – by 2015, car manufacturers predict this will hit 40 percent.

But the more electronic systems are added, the more they contribute to vehicle breakdowns and recalls. Researchers on the European ATESST project say a substantial share of vehicle failures today can be directly attributed to embedded systems, and field data indicates this share is increasing by several percent a year. This will reach unacceptable levels if no preventative action plan is put in place.

However the EU-funded, two-year project, which comes to an end when it presents its findings at a workshop in Brussels on 3 March this year, has developed an Architecture Description Language (ADL) aimed at improving methodology to handle component failures and avoid design flaws.

Binding them all
“New tools are needed to do a job which is becoming ever more complex,” says project coordinator Henrik Lönn. “The many components which go into vehicles are being made by a host of manufacturers, often using different processes and working to different standards.”

A common language at the top level is needed to bind them together, he says.

There have been a number of important initiatives, including the European-developed AUTOSAR standard, which is used by many component suppliers and is on its way to becoming a de facto international standard. Also in common usage are off-the-shelf UML2 modelling tools which are not specific to the auto industry.

“But this is still not enough,” he stresses. “What we have developed is an industry-specific system which works with these other standards and dictates what part of the system is performing what function, and makes sure the different components will work together.”

The problem is, despite the huge strides in electronics, until now not enough attention has been paid to the big picture. When the manufacturer gets a component from a supplier, no matter how sophisticated it might be, it comes with a text file which describes the system for the manufacturer’s engineers.

The EAST-ADL2 language the ATESST project has been developing enables the computer modelling of systems. Instead of the old-fashioned text file, a supplier can now provide a computer model of his system to the manufacturer who can then immediately integrate it into the overall design.

“What this does is to give the manufacturer a complete picture at a much earlier point in proceedings than is possible at the moment,” says Lönn. “You don’t have to wait for all the electronics and software to be ready and assembled, but can do your analysis at a much earlier stage.”

Clean, green mean machines
With a holistic view available much earlier than was previously possible, late-phase integration – where failure is both common and costly – is avoided and the chance of design errors, which are felt by car buyers, is minimised.

“Complex programs, like active safety functions, involve many systems and components. But we are at the stage now where it is becoming difficult to improve them without first improving our methodology, which is the purpose of EAST-ADL2.”

As well as the economic imperative to develop the new methodology, pressure will also come in the form of a new standard, ISO26262, controlling improvements in all the safety aspects of vehicles.

“This standard will put stringent requirements on the development of safety systems which means manufacturers will have to be more rigorous. Having the EAST-ADL2 language to work with will make this possible,” says Lönn.

“There is also pressure to build more environmentally-friendly cars and, to get the best environmental performance, optimised systems which are integrated and work properly together are needed,” he says.

With the development work over, the challenge now is to get the auto industry to accept EAST-ADL2 as a de facto standard. But the advantages to everybody are so obvious Lönn feels they will be adopted in one form or another. Indeed, he believes concepts from the project provide the basis for vehicles that are safer, greener, more fuel efficient, more reliable and more intelligent than would have been thought possible just a few short years ago.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89579

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

nachricht New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
11.08.2016 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>