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
The car of the future – sleeper cars and travelling offices too?
18.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
23.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.07.2018 | Information Technology
23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine