Fundamental Automotive Technology


Automotive technology refers to the study of self-driven automobiles. This is applicable to standard vehicles, marine vehicles etc. This technology develops skills related to engine building, fuel and ignition, brakes, power trains, electronic and diagnostic equipment.


After the invention of the first automobile by Karl Benz in 1886, various changes were made to self-powered vehicles so they were better suited to human needs. In 1900s, the basic controls and displays of the motor vehicle were introduced. An ignition-timing lever had escorted the steering wheel. With regard to information presentation, speedometers and other instruments were installed directly in front of drivers to improve their understanding of the vehicle’s condition.
Till the 1930s, the aim of automotive technology was to meet basic functional requirements, to improve the durability of vehicle. At that time the focus was toward designing vehicles that could go faster, resulting more rounded bodies for vehicles. First major research on automotive technology was done by Wunibald Kaam in his book on automotive engineering he gave his Kamm-tail theory. The first ones to implement this theory were the British Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA). Their suggestions revolutionized the automobile industry. Their ideas regarding the drivers were
They could view the road, traffic signals, and other vehicles outside of the car.
They could view and access the controls and displays from inside the car.

The Era Of Intelligent Vehicles And Connected Vehicles:

Driver Communications External To The Vehicle—Network Service, Mobile Phones, And Internet Access While Driving:
Information-communication technology had a primary role for driver information systems. VICS, were introduced in Japan 1996, they used Radio signals for navigation. In Europe, Traffic Message Channel was introduced which used the same technology. The technology evolved and it was adopted by famous automobile brands in late 1990s. Investigation of verbal communication between the driver and the radio operator, such as expressions used, the number of turns etc. provided significant insights into designing collaborative speech systems for driver information systems.
Mobile radio phones were introduced in vehicles for the first time in 1947 by AT&T, but the service area was restricted. By mid-1990s, cellular phones spread rapidly based on (GSM) standard, and became a safety concern for people who used cellular services while driving. To facilitate the people and reduce the probability of accidents voice communication through cell phones which interact with the automobile system was introduced.
There is a basic potential of driver distraction. To avoid this, the cell phone should first be connected to the in-vehicle system, without distracting the user. Connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth, NFC are important facilitators. These facilitators are not only improving ease of use, but also conniving systems to encourage safe driving.
In refining this system, thought should be given to what the car driver really wants or needs to know. Qualitative steps for recording and examining human behavior in everyday life are should be taken in the field of sociology. Such methods include anthropology, which explains human behavior, and action study, in which the researcher researches the complications of a society while acting as a member of the targeted culture.

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Vehicle Communications With Other Vehicles And The Infrastructure:

The aim of these communications is eventually to send information to the driver. Majority of the money in building these systems goes into the embedding systems, sensing systems, the radar, LIDAR, video, and sonar technologies to provide 360 degree coverage to support the driver by warning and avoiding any possible car crashes. These sensors enable the driver to know about all possible threats to the vehicle. This requires identifying and predicting the path of each target, to determine if the target will crash in the driven vehicle.
A system known as DSSS detects vehicles that are concealed by road structures at intersections, merging zones, and arches and notifies the driver using an in-vehicle display and by voice. In a connected-vehicle approach, vehicles, pedestrians, and some other immobile objects that are part of the road infrastructure regularly transmit radio signals which communicate and learn what the objects are, where they are, and, if they are mobile, how quickly and in what direction they are moving. This type of communication if it could be implemented as planned, could streamline the collision detection problem and save many lives by making these responses autonomous. Much work needs to be done in this aspect.

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Automotive technology is an integral part of today’s technology. Significant work has been done in this field as discussed in the article but it will always be a work in progress to make this technology more efficient and effective.


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