The 'smart' wheel is being developed under a £200K Department of Trade and Industry-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Hampshire-based company PML Flightlink Ltd.
University scientists are providing the artificial intelligence systems for the wheels on the company's prototype eco-friendly electric super-car. The wheels use microcomputers to perform 4000 calculations per second and 'talk' to each other. The wheels use AI to think and learn as the car is being driven, making calculations and adjustments according to travelling speed and road conditions.
It is the first time artificial intelligence has replaced fundamental mechanics within a motor vehicle and will mean tighter control, a smoother ride and a safer drive, yet the driver remains in control of the car.
"Conventional wisdom says you can't reinvent the wheel. We have done just that. We have taken the wheel, given it brains and the ability to think and learn. It's a huge breakthrough," said Dr David Brown of the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Industrial Research.
Artificial Intelligence controls the suspension, steering and breaking systems, teaching it to adapt to bends in the road, potholes and other potential hazards, and compensating by adjusting the car's reactions. The information is retained in the computer’s memory and used the next time the car encounters similar road conditions. The car is learning as it drives and adapting its performance accordingly.
Dr Brown said: "Traditional suspension means the vehicle dips when the wheels detect poor road surfaces and you get a bumpy ride, while a tight corner means the drag will slow the vehicle down. Electronic traction control and suspension will counterbalance this kind of drop and drag effect but the driver won’t even know it’s there. It means a faster car but a safer one."
He added: "The next generation of vehicles have the potential to be fully autonomous, but where’s the fun in that? People get pleasure from driving and they will always want the freedom to drive how and where they please."
PML Flightlink designs specialist electronic motors and its electronic vehicle prototype has already received rave reviews at international motoring trade exhibitions.
The company has successfully converted a Mini into an electric vehicle (EV) with four direct-drive wheels, each with an electronic hub motor of 160 break-horse-power. This combined 640 bhp allows for an acceleration of 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (240 kph).
"It will out-perform a Porsche backwards," PML spokesman, Chris Newman said.
A small 250cc petrol engine charges the car’s battery while the car is being driven. In this mode it will run for up to 900 miles before needing to re-fuel, while in pure EV mode it will run for 200 miles. Previous electric models barely managed 60 mph (100kph) and had a range of less than 100 miles.
Mr Newman said: "Today’s electronic technology means that the old idea of an electric car is simply blown out of the water. With a performance of 80-100 mile-per-gallon compared with 40mpg with today’s average car it’s cheap to run and with hardly any mechanical parts, it will also be cheaper to maintain. In EV mode there are zero emissions, which means it’s very eco-friendly. It’s a car for the 21st Century."
The company projects that by the year 2012, 25 per cent of cars in production will be EVs or hybrids.
Lisa Egan | alfa
Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Two intelligent vehicles are better than one
04.10.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.11.2017 | Health and Medicine