15-16th March 2005, Savoy Place, London, UK
This was the IEE's first Automotive Electronics
conference and according to some delegates I spoke to took 5 years to plan.
The on-site organisation was difficult to fault, as were the facilities
since it was at the IEE headquarters, but the proceedings supplied left a lot to
be desired due to the absence of a large number of the papers and presentations.
The 2-day conference was divided into 4 tracks, 2
running in parallel on each day. The
division of the tracks was relatively logical, but did make it impossible to
combine certain topics if these were of interest.
Track 1: Embedded Software in the Automotive Sector
I can only comment on this from the proceedings as I
attended Track 2 (see below).
The software session appeared to focus on
use of IEC 61508, the latest release of MISRA-C and the use of formal
verification tools for safety critical applications. All the
presentations, bar 1, were in the proceedings and most presenters were either at
Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (VMs) or their suppliers.
The IEE's Headquarters, Savoy Place, London, home to the first IEE Automotive Electronics Conference
Track 2: Motors and Power Electronics in Automotive
This was an extremely interesting combination of papers
presented mainly by academia, but nonetheless containing many real world
examples. The main applications of
interest covered were starter-generator applications and motor assist, although
an overview of other motor applications was also provided by at least 2
presenters. The main impression one
obtained from this session was that motors are not only highly pervasive today
but are getting more so for the future (a total of 120 motors in a recent
Mercedes was quoted several times, and this is without any starter-generator
technology). Another common theme
was that brushed DC motors would remain the dominant technology due to the cost
of the drive electronics for permanent magnet (PM) machines. It should be noted however that the presenters were primarily
motor designers and not power electronic engineers!
The biggest let down of this session was the total
confusion or substitution of speakers from the agenda.
It appeared that only 2 or 3 or the speakers listed in the agenda
actually provided their presentation. Sadly
the proceedings similarly only contained 4 papers or printed presentations of
the 10 that were given. This makes
the proceedings especially useless as a record of the days events as there is so
little in print of what was an excellent session to attend.
Although the roundtable was supposed to cover the whole
days sessions it was totally dominated by the software contingent and focussed
on the applicability of IEC 61508 and DO178B to the automotive environment.
In fairness to the keynote speakers at the roundtable the software people
were much better prepared and gave good introductory presentations, in contrast
the track 2 presenters had 2 poor slides for the first introduction and no
slides for the second representative (in fairness he was a last minute stand-in)
The proceedings for day 2 were as bad as for day 1,
half of the papers and presentations were not available
in the printed document.
Track 3: Advanced Vehicle Electrical Architectures
As I attended track 4 I can again only go on what a
colleague at this session told me as there is insufficient detail in the
proceedings. The session included
the usual look at hybrid and battery systems and a talk on drive-by-wire, but
mainly covered simulation of systems and electrical architectures.
Presentations were primarily from industrialists and some had a definite
hint of commercialism (e.g. "Buy our simulation software it's great!")
in the presentation.
Track 4: Vehicle Highway Communications and
This session was another excellent collection of papers
and presentations, mostly from the industry. The majority of the papers were concerned with the
infrastructure of road tolling and other road tolling systems, mostly a review
of existing systems and look at what standardisation is needed for a global
standard in this (5.9GHz radar being the popular roadside-to-vehicle dedicated
short range communications method).
The genuine on-board system talks looked at the
possibility of creating ad-hoc intercommunicating networks between vehicles and
vehicle-to-roadside. Most of this
was future looking (i.e. theory for the time being), with the notable exception
of the last presentation from Trafficmaster that discussed both roadside
infrastructure and on-board electronics that are used for their traffic
information and off-board satellite navigation system.
This last presentation trod on the toes of some of the future wish-list
based presentations in that it included existing systems and a prediction of the
next generation based on the commercial reality of what this company is actually
doing today for launch in the
immediate future, and not dependant on government co-operation or additional
On day 1 there was a small table top exhibition with
approximately 6 to 8 of the embedded system tool vendors showing their wares to
the attending delegates. This was
not running on the second day which was shame as although small seemed quite
popular with delegates.
In general the conference was an excellent collection
of topics and presentations that covered a very wide range of the automotive
electronics spectrum. There really
was something for everyone involved in the auto-electrical industry at the
event, it is a shame the proceedings let it down by being so sparse in content.
Attendance was good with approximately 120 on the first
day and around 80 on the second. The
second day was not as well organised as the first however as they moved the
conference operation centre from the ground floor to the third floor and had a
different event on the ground floor (a publishers seminar I believe). Fortunately
the IEE staff were on the ball in redirecting delegates to the correct venue,
but it was a bit confused in the morning session of the second day.
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Editors note: the Trafficmaster presenter was
Martin O'Hara, one of the AutoEMC.net founding members.
It is not known if the author of the above review knew this when submitting the
we have not edited the text above from the version that was submitted to us by e-mail.
Martin O'Hara responds;
I agree with the author about the poor state of the
proceedings. I am not sure who is
to blame as the IEE Automotive & Transport Professional Network (PN) who
organised the event and the IEE Events committee who did the on-site
arrangements blamed each other. There
was some discepancies in timing as well as my paper was submitted on-time and
wasn't included, whereas I know another presenter in my track was 3 days late
and yet was included? In fairness
to the IEE they are putting the missing presentations/papers on their internet
site and this should allow a wider audience than those that attended to access
I also agree with the authors comments that overall it
was a very successful and worthwhile event.
I was disappointed that more of the UK automotive electronics industry
did not turn up in support in the form of presentations and few vehicle OEM's and
Tier 1 suppliers were in
attendance. However, I think this
is partly the IEE's past policy of charging presenters to attend such events
(which was changed for this event at least) that has lead to a dominance of IEE
events by companies wanting to give a "soft-sell" commercial message
or academia who have to achieve quotas of paper submissions to such conferences
and similar events.
If the IEE run a second event in the next 12-18 months
I'd personally recommend it on the basis of this first attempt and hope more of
the automotive electronics industry turn up in support.
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