RBS F1 Conference Centre,
first AAE conference was held at the William RBS F1 Centre near Wantage in
Cost Radar Sensor Fusion
Bell, Cambridge Consultants Ltd
background of this work is the US NHTSA study showing that 80% of accidents are
caused by driver inattention, hence the increased use of driver safety aids for
accident avoidance. The presentation
looked at some of the current techniques being investigated or in use; lane
change detection, blind spot radar, lane departure warnings, stop-go urban
cruise control, automatic cruise control, cut-in impact avoidance and active
pedestrian protection. Both vision
and radar methods were considered and the benefits and limitations of both
outlines, this included radar at 5.8GHz, 24GHz and 79GHz.
CCL have adopted 5.8GHz radar due to cost benefits of being able to
“piggy-back” off other wireless developments around this frequency (IEEE
802.11p). The fusion solution is
CLL’s mix of both radar and vision systems as the solution to the limitations
of each to provide a combined, cost effective solution to many of the
applications listed a the start.
Paper in proceedings.
The Williams RBS F1 Centre
of Key Vehicle Technologies to 2015
Venkitachalam, Frost and Sullivan
presentation was a tour-de-force of the forecast of virtually all
electronic technology areas within a vehicle for the next 10 years.
Some of the forecasts seemed a bit difficult to believe, such as a
reduction in the pervasiveness of ECU electronics and 100% penetration of
Bluetooth by 2015 (I think CSR must have provided this data), but others
were more easy to swallow such as the general increase in electronics in
virtually all sections of the vehicle architecture and others have to be
accepted as the best available guess (results were from research via
polling and trend analysis, I am being somewhat disingenuous to suggest
these are guesses). The
drivers for some of these technology changes were touched upon (e.g. Euro
NCAP driving safety innovation) but, probably due to the sheer volume of
data being presented, were not explored in detail.
The attendance for this presentation was close to half of the total
delegates and it was standing room only in the room, and well worth
standing for as this was an excellent and extremely comprehensive look at
what way the market is going for automotive electronics.
Santorelli, Maxwell Technologies
been to many presentations on the application of super-capacitors in
automotive circuits over the past 5 to 10 years, so I wasn’t expecting
much from this, but I was very impressed and this presentation showed
genuine usage and gave results of efficiency improvements.
Some of the applications had been in rail transport in the early
days of the products development, but latterly the company have clearly
made been inroads into public transport and these results suggest
impressive 30% energy reductions and 50% peak power demands from the
primary source using Ultracapacitors as the boost energy supply.
Mr Santorelli described the construction of these devices in enough
detail to get a very good understanding of the chemistry and this was
useful to understand the benefits and limitations (unlike some previous
presentations I’ve attended on this topic, this one was a “warts and
all” and did not try an suggest this technology is the solution to all
energy storage requirements). The
benefits of the technology for downsizing the battery pack for hybrids
could be one of the main areas this product gains a big foothold in the
automotive sector. It was also
surprisingly non-commercial and I had to revisit my programme to recall
who Mr Santorelli works, for so he deserves congratulating on that as well
as on providing an impressive and informative presentation.
and paper in proceedings.
Reduction, Echo Cancellation and Signal Enhancement – Being Heard
presentation featured a lot of sound clips illustrating the effect of some of
the principles being discussed that made the presentation stand out as
different. The first ideas were
relatively basic and to me seemed like rather obvious advice; use uni- rather
than omni-directional microphones, separate microphone and speaker, use wider
bandwidth (8kHz rather than 4kHz), use maximum available dynamic range.
The second part of the presentation considered the use of a DSP in 3
specific in-vehicle applications; in-car voice call, speech recognition and
emergency vehicle communications (with a siren in the background).
The presentation looked at the effect of various speech recognition
algorithms and subtraction and noise cancellation techniques.
Although the processes were demonstrated effectively there was little
detail on the non-linear programming (NLP) algorithms or how they were
implemented, I expect these are embedded within the NCT software?
The effects were 50dB of echo cancellation, increase from 90% to 100% on
spoken character recognition at 70mph and up to 18dB of noise reduction.
and white paper in proceedings.
PWM for LED Drivers
the most commercial of the presentations I attended, this firstly looked at the
emergence of high brightness, high power LED lighting as a technology gaining
market in the automotive environment. The
need to meet load dump and cold cranking conditions were considered as some of
the drivers for the gain of LED (although this has not stopped the incandescent
bulb dominating the market). The
circuits for driving these high-powered LED’s are not unfamiliar to those of
us who have designed SMPS circuits, these are the usual buck-boost circuits
running in constant current rather than constant voltage control mode.
The solutions were presented using Supertex devices and their roadmap of
product development was shown. This
minor bit of commercialism did not detract from an informative presentation on
some of the issues surrounding the change from basic regulation for LED’s or
no-regulation for bulbs to relatively complex current regulation for modern LED
lighting circuits in an automotive application.
Elements of Flexray
paper can be summed up in a single sentence; if designing a chip for an
established protocol, use available IP rather than design from the ground up.
This advice is applicable to any network interfacing chip design, not
just for Flexray. The background of
the presenter is in other network protocol implementations and the experience
there is that not using an established IP for protocol stack is a sure fire way
to produce something that is not 100% compliant with the standard, especially as
standards are emerging.
and paper in proceedings.
Having the refreshments in the exhibition hall gave a busy feel to the exhibition, which was well supported by the automotive software industry.
The museum tour at the end of the day was well attended by exhibitors and delegates alike.
exhibition was well supported with 20 stands, most exhibitors appeared to be
software tool and test organisations for the automotive market, but they were
all well visited and very professionally set-up.
The refreshments and lunch were all served in the exhibition area and
this gave the exhibitors easy access to delegates (and vice versa) and made the
exhibition look busy.
Tour of Williams F1 Museum
To top off an excellent day there was also a tour of the Williams F1 "museum", featuring many of their cars from the last thre or so decades of racing history. Williams may not be the most successful team of late, but their dominanace in the 90's and significant successes of the 70's and 80's was well displayed and well attended.
there were only 6 papers presented in any one stream, the ones I attended were
all of very high quality and the 3 morning papers on Emerging Technologies were
excellent, especially the Frost & Sullivan presentation that was worth the
trip alone for anyone working at the forefront of automotive electronics.
The proceedings, although not complete, are well compiled and supplying
on a USB pen is an excellent idea (any electronic format is preferable to paper
today). The second conference is
already in planning for next year at the Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, UK and
based on this first event I expect another excellent series of presentations.
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