Car Electronics 2012

The Year of The EV article tells that We can dub 2011 the year of the EV (electric vehicles) and gives a timeline what happened 2011. The end result is that today there are enough Volts on the road (along with competitors like Nissan’s Leaf, various hybrids, and an electric Ford Focus) that it might be safe to suggest that the electric car is here to stay.

There has been many different car charging connectors in use on electronic vehicles. Electric Car Charging Standards Split article tells that many car manufacturers have agreed on a single EV charging port connector standard that has been in development by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for several years. European car companies have been divided on standards for both AC and DC charging. The new single connector will support fast DC charging as well as be backward compatible with the J1772 AC charger that is standard on many plug-in electric vehicles today. I think that use of that standard will rise in 2012, and common charging standard will speed up the EV deployment.


Automotive electronics: What’s hot in 2012 article tells that in automotive electronics, 2012 looks to be a year of consolidation as technologies introduced previously become more widespread across model lines. In particular, voice recognition, with different features and interfaces, is seen as a way of distinguishing one brand from another, while electrified power trains in the form of hybrids and pure electric drives will be available in more models. In keep costs down driven auto industry the more mature the technology that goes into a car, the less risk of failure and costly warranty claims.

Cars and smartphones start to communicate using MirrorLink technology to allow new features. MirrorLink™ has been developed with the objective to provide a technology, offering seamless (extremely simple from the consumer perspective) connectivity between a smart phone and the in-vehicle infotainment system. It uses IP technologies in order to be independent of the physical transport mechanism and supports many car connectivity solutions (Bluetooth, WLAN, USB etc.). Whereas MirrorLink™ does allow any legacy application on the mobile device to show-up on the car display, it specifically enables easy development of mobile device based automotive applications.

Ethernet for Vehicles is gaining momentum in in the car. Ethernet for Vehicles Advances article tells that Ethernet technology in the car (a concept that was once unthinkable for the automotive industry) has been gaining momentum lately. Special interest group, known as the OPEN (One-Pair-Ether-Net) SIG, is aimed at driving broad-scale adoption of Ethernet in vehicles, largely to serve the expected boom of camera-based applications in cars. Many vehicles now have backup cameras, and many others are going to add cameras for such applications as lanekeeping, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance.

There is going to be an increasing number of Driver Information applications that involve displaying complex images and graphics. Xilinx Paves the Way for a New Generation of Automotive Driver Assistance and Infotainment Systems at CES 2012. World’s first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (EAVB) network implementation optimized for carrying high-speed data traffic within the automobile was shown at CES 2012. The IEEE 802.1 EAVB standard is already gaining the attention of a number of leading automotive manufacturers even though the specifications are still being finalized. OMG! Amazing home displays and automotive Ethernet AVB stuff from Xilinx article gives some more details what is expected in near future.


New electronics features are making challenges for developers. Automotive Electronics: Do We Really Need All This Stuff? article tells that everyone in the auto industry knows that the number of electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles is nearing the point of unmanageability. Low-end vehicles now incorporate between 35 and 40 ECUs, while luxury cars may have 80 or more. “We’re right up against the limit right now. We need to find unique ways to integrate features and functions, and give our customers what they want without overloading our controllers.” The number of automotive features and functions keeps rising.

Would Cellphone Ban Secure Car Safety? article tells that the proliferation of in-car entertainment technologies (internet routers, smartphone links, MP3 connections, capacitive touch screens, etc.) are great for selling cars. Auto executives understand what consumers want: Many people don’t want a car with no extra features. Those new extra features have also sparked a serious debate about driver distraction dangers. “According to NHTSA [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents.” “You’re dealing with human nature here. People want what they want. And sometimes they want more than they should have.”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Toyota to launch hydrogen (ie, NATURAL GAS) powered fuel cell hybrid
    Mirai released only in Japan … for now

    Toyota will launch its all-new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan on 15 December before introducing it in the UK and other selected European markets in September 2015, with that date dictated by getting a refuelling infrastructure rolled out.

    Fuel cells, which produce electricity directly as they combine fuel with oxygen (as opposed to producing mechanical power from heat which is then turned into ‘leccy by a generator) have been the power of the future for nearly 100 years, and even provided some fizzy drinking water as a by-product of powering the Apollo landers (the Space Shuttles also used fuel cell exhaust as drinking water).

    Mirai uses the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which brings together fuel cell and hybrid technologies. It includes Toyota’s new, proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. Toyota claims this is more energy efficient than internal combustion engines and emits no CO2 or pollutants when the vehicle is driven.

    Toyota points out that there are distinct advantages over other forms of electric power as the system has a range of 300 miles and a hydrogen refuelling time of around three minutes. But with a top speed of just 111mph and a 0-62 time of 9.6 seconds, it’s way behind a Tesla S, let alone a Tesla D. This is clearly not helped by the Mirai having a kerb weight of 1,850kg.

    Filling a car with something as explosive as petrol is pretty dangerous, but pressurised, to 700bar, hydrogen poses an additional level of risk so the car has two carbon fibre-reinforced plastic tanks well inside the wheelbase and mounted low.

    A pre-collision system with millimetre-wave radar could help prevent collisions, or reduce damage in an impact by triggering driver alerts and (if a high collision risk is detected) brake control.

    This is very much a halo project with European sales forecast at 50 to 100 cars a year over the next two years so you can expect it to be more than an optioned Tesla at £100,000.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Renesas Shifts Automotive Center of Gravity to Europe

    MUNICH — Concentrating its ADAS R&D activities in one organization with worldwide responsibilities, chipmaker Renesas has established its Global ADAS Solution Group in Düsseldorf, Germany. At electronica, Jean-Francois Chouteau, general manager of this group, explained the chipmaker’s intentions and strategies with respect to ADAS markets.

    Achieving some 60% of its global sales with customers in the automotive industry, automotive OEMs as well as tier ones and twos are the most important pillar in Renesas’ business. Currently, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are not only in high demand from these customers, ADAS also is the place where Renesas’ experience in safety-critical systems meets with its expertise in the data-intensive infotainment world, Chouteau explains. “ADAS is in the middle of both,” Chouteau said. The new ADAS competence Centre in Duesseldorf, launched as recent as October, represents a strategic activity for Renesas and its new major shareholders like Toyota.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Jaguar Land Rover Tours Its Cars
    “Not an easy roadmap,” says engineer

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — An engineer from Jaguar Land Rover sketched out the guts of its latest cars and gave a sneak peek at plans for future ones in a keynote at the Printed Electronics USA show here.

    The company’s Discovery Vision concept is a self-learning car that acts in some ways like a smartphone on wheels. Onboard computers map out routes, check traffic, scan the owner’s calendar for meetings, and informs him when to leave and what route to take. If the car thinks it will arrive late, it sends a message to the meeting organizer.

    Inside, the car responds to a driver’s gestures. A wave of the hand opens doors, turns on the radio and headlights, and changes the level of tint on windows.

    The car not only sports a heads-up display on the dashboard, but it also uses lasers to project guidelines on the way ahead when terrain is challenging. Drivers can use a tablet to pilot the car remotely on particularly rugged terrain.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Automotive Industry Drives Chip Demand

    IC Insights compared the six most significant end-user markets for integrated circuits. These are the computer, consumer, communications, automotive, industrial/medical, and government/defense markets. During the time frame, until 2018, the IC demand from automotive customers is expected to exhibit the strongest average annual growth — 10.8% on average. This is significantly higher than the communications industry, at second place with 6.8%.

    The computer market, once the IC growth driver per se, apparently is approaching saturation status. With 3.3% CAGR, it shows the lowest growth of all segments (albeit certainly at a very high sales level).

    In contrast, automotive chip demand is still growing from a smaller base. While a high semiconductor content in earlier years was associated to the luxury class, higher quantities of chips are installed now in vehicles of all categories.

    Demand drivers include safety features that increasingly are becoming mandatory, such as backup cameras or eCall. But driver-assistance systems are also becoming ubiquitous. Future drivers will include connectivity, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications, as well as sensors and controllers necessary for various degrees of autonomous driving.


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