Auto Electronics

Open Standard for Universal Applications

Together with Autoliv and Bosch, Continental Temic (www.conti-online.com) has developed the PSI5 sensor interface as an open standard for universal applications in the automobile. The new version of the PSI5 is the result of continuous refinement of Continental Temic's multi-restraint satellite digital (MRSD) digital sensor interface that is well established in passenger protection systems application and has already been incorporated in 50 million vehicles. PSI5 will be used in future generation passenger protection systems.

Vertical Calibration System uses MPC5500

An electronic control unit (ECU) is adapted to a specific engine type by means of calibration devices. The engine data has to be recorded and processed with the engine running in order to be able to analyze immediately the effect of the parameters that have been set. Labeled Vertical Calibration System, Freescale Semiconductor (www.freescale.com) offers a calibration device with which an ECU can be adapted more easily to the engine. This system uses a normal ECU with series software, which is connected by a few wires to a host computer that dynamically modifies constants in the flash memory of the microcontroller. For this purpose, Freescale uses the MPC5500 series chip, which is widely used in engine management systems, but in a special housing that has additional external connections. The calibration software is provided by Freescale's software partners, e.g. ETAS. This software ensures that the engine data are passed to the non-volatile memory of the microcontroller.

The Vertical Calibration System solution comes in a miniature housing with a dedicated address/data bus for the calibration, and last but not least a standardized calibration connection for all MCUs and housings. The system makes use of sophisticated and fully tested technologies, while being extremely flexible, adaptable to the tools of the third-party and based on mass produced silicon.

Electronic License Plates with Active RFIDs

The British Ministry of Transport is starting a field trial on license plate detection with active RFIDs. The first active RFID modules will be fitted to vehicles belonging to the police force. In this system, transmitters integrated into the license plates send out a clear identification code to reading devices, which can be located up to 100 meters away. The aim of the trial is to determine whether in this way it is possible to make license plates more difficult to falsify.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, such as the “e-plate” (www.e-plate.com) marketed by the British company Hills Numberplates consisting of an 868 MHz ISM miniature transmitter (see illustration) are also suitable for collecting road tolls according to the company, who say that the e-plate represents an alternative to the more complex automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems in which the license number is photographed by a camera and then has to be recognized using image processing algorithms. Other fields of application for the system are the checking of motor vehicles, tracking stolen or suspicious vehicles, access controls to secure zones and multistory parking lots.

Product Roadmap for AUTOSAR

Vector Informatik (www.vector-informatik.de) intends to adapt its design tools and standard components for embedded systems to the AUTOSAR standard. The aim is to provide tools for designing software components and distributed systems in accordance with the AUTOSAR methodology. Furthermore, tools will also be developed that allow the developer to configure AUTOSAR-compliant control devices in a simple manner. Vector's product range for embedded standard software is to be extended by operating systems and communication stacks that meet the AUTOSAR requirements for control device target architecture. With the help of special configuration and generation tools it will be possible to configure and optimize these standard components.

The first systems are expected at the end of the third quarter. Further components will follow in the fourth quarter and the first quarter of 2006.

Futuristic Platform for Data Recording

Simple validation according to mechanical load over kilometer cycles and time rarely fulfill the demands placed on safety today. In order to comply with the increasing demands with respect to efficiency, installation space and costs that are placed on validation systems, AFT Atlas Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH (www.aft-werdohl.de) has developed a modular platform in collaboration with National Instruments (www.ni.com). This platform is based on the latest FPGA technology and is embedded in the new 4Measure product line. The advantages seen by the two companies for the new generation of 4Log devices are the robust design of the modules, the fact that they can be operated in the temperature range from -40 8C to +85 8C and their compact construction. The modular structure increases the lifetime of the investment because when the user changes over to newer technologies it is no longer necessary to replace the entire data logger, but only the respective modules.

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