Bridgestone, Microsoft Create Intelligent Tyre Monitoring System

Bridgestone and Microsoft have collaborated to develop a world-first monitoring system for detecting tyre damage issues in real-time, a problem that contributes to around 30 per cent of all car accidents caused by technical failure.

Bridgestone says its Tyre Damage Monitoring System (TDMS) delivers real-time awareness of damage by using the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) cloud framework along with existing sensor data, from hardware already installed, and uses algorithms to detect events affecting the tyre surface and carcass. The driver can then be immediately notified of the hazard and act accordingly to remedy the situation. According to the company, there is currently no other equivalent monitoring system available in the market as alternatives would require extra hardware to be installed.

Bridgestone says tyre issues have four main forms: inadequate pressure, fatigue, irregular wear, and damage from curbs, potholes or items on the road. However, most of these issues can already be reliably mitigated. Tyre pressure monitoring systems have been mandatory in several jurisdictions, including the USA and EU, for many years now, while regular service and replacing tyres in time will guard against wear and fatigue.

Bridgestone says the exception and safety gap has been tyre damage. Tyre damage often cannot be detected without close inspection, can potentially occur at any time and lead to accidents. It can also negatively affect other vehicle components, like damage to the wheels, and can then create a larger source of potential danger to motorists.

According to the company, the TDMS both understands when and where damage has occurred, allowing for broader insight into road conditions and infrastructure which can be used to alert the appropriate agencies of the presence and location of potholes and other hazards.

Bridgestone’s TDMS is available to all vehicle fleets and OEMs that use MCVP. The partnership with Microsoft also enables Bridgestone to further develop its solution to meet the requirements of fleets and key OEM partners around the world.

BASF Develops Virtual ‘AUVOT’ Shapes

BASF’s coating division has developed virtual AUVOT (Automotive Vehicle of Trends) shapes to help gain a realistic impression of colours, effects, and surfaces on a complete car during the early design phase.

BASF says AUVOTs display the interaction between colour and geometry, and the importance of light in the digital world of automotive coatings, helping manufacturers understand the impact of colour in industrial design in one shape with two distinct sides.

The company says it has introduced four different AUVOTs shapes which stand for various car segments in the automotive market – from compact cars to SUVs. Each of the shapes represent distinct automotive features that reveal effect highlights on the edges, showcasing dramatic flop behaviour at the same time. BASF says that while one side of the automotive geometry simulates various elements that can be found on every car, the other side features spectacular unreal formations that reveal the potential of automotive coating and give surprising insights on the behaviour of a colour.

“To visualise and display all elements relevant to coatings – such as the colour itself, the effect and the surface – is already challenging in the real world and requires deep knowledge,” said Florina Trost, Senior Designer Automotive Coatings Solutions EMEA at BASF. “Translating this knowledge into the virtual world and bridging those two worlds opens a new field of work. Our mission was the technically correct and primary realistic appearance of paint as well as a persuasive portrayal of a colour concept on the right shape.”

Representing elements of BASF’s dome shapes and panels, which will still be used to present future trends, the virtual 3D shapes are intended to support designers who will evaluate automotive colours for the upcoming model year. The company says AUVOTs are a valuable tool for OEM designers and BASF’s internal coatings experts to speed up and perfect the overall colour design process, as they are no longer solely dependent on physical samples that need to be painted and shipped. BASF added that the digital twin of a real colour concept can also be used as a starting point for further discussions with its designers, helping to develop unique shades that perfectly fit to the OEM’s models and also underline the value of the automotive brand. This is why the digital geometries of the AUVOTs have a minimum amount of trim parts to interrelate with transportation design.

The AUVOTs are part of BASF’s digital paint competence, complementing its AUROOM digital platform which gives OEM designers access to the database of photo-realistic virtual car colours and tools.

Axalta Launches Advanced Color Proofing

Axalta has announced the launch of Advanced Color Proofing, the latest enhancement to its colour retrieval software, ColorNet. The company says the upgrade provides greater insight into a colour’s blendability and saves body shops time and money.

“Advanced Color Proofing allows collision customers to view paint colours and digitally rotate them on 3D vehicle renderings to determine colour match and blendability across panels,” said Troy Weaver, Vice President of Axalta, Global Refinish. “Advanced Color Proofing reduces the need to paint multiple test panels to achieve the desired appearance, which saves time and materials and maximises productivity in the body shop.

“We are dedicated to making colour formula retrieval and match as accurate and easy as possible for collision centres. By adding Advanced Color Proofing to ColorNet, we are extending our software platform to include 3D modelling, which will transform how colour blendability is determined and enhance the user experience for our customers.”

In addition to ColorNet, Axalta says it offers a range of colour tools that are developed with advanced technology to help maximise efficiency and profitability, such as its Acquire Quantum EFX spectrophotometer.

Australia

Axalta has confirmed that ColorNet is not available in Australia.

CAPA Creates Standard For Vehicle Sensors

The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), a non-profit standard-setting and certification organisation for automotive collision repair parts, has announced its new Standard 703 for automotive sensors.

The standard contains requirements for function, performance, durability, ingress protection, electrical, mechanical, climate, electromagnetic compatibility, fit, dimensionality, appearance and materials. CAPA says it’s applicable to ultrasonic park distance control sensors but may also be expanded to include other types of sensors in the future.

The association believes the growing trend of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) means that more vehicles use sensors to assist with parking and low speed manoeuvring. CAPA estimates that rear parking sensors will be present in nearly 40 per cent of registered vehicles in 2021 and will increase up to 95 per cent over the next two decades.

CAPA says it created Standard 703 because of feedback from the collision repair industry and includes demonstrated compliance to applicable sections of ISO 17386 and ISO 22840 for function and performance, as well as ADAS-related requirements not addressed by ISO standards. The association says all CAPA-certified sensors undergo extensive testing to demonstrate comparability to OEM service parts.

“CAPA’s goal is to provide the auto repair industry with a reliable, trusted means for identifying replacement parts comparable to parts from the original equipment manufacturer,” said Clark Plucinski, Chairman at CAPA. “As parking sensors become more prevalent in automobiles, the collision repair industry, insurers and consumers require peace of mind in having access to quality, safe and affordable replacement sensors. We are thrilled to offer our new standard to fit this need.”

Colad Unveils Snap Lid System For SMART Repairs

Colad has released a small version of its Snap Lid system which is specifically designed for SMART repairs.

The system is available in two versions, 130 and 190 microns, and each system is comprised of 50 Snap Lids, 50 mixing cups and 10 sealing caps. The system is designed to enable quick and cost-effective repair to an area with small cosmetic damage by focusing on damage in a small localised area without needing to repaint the entire panel.

Colad says the solution takes less time and effort and reduces the cost of material and paint. Additionally, the cups are made of advanced durable plastic which makes them quite strong.

For more information, visit www.snaplid.com.

Nouryon Introduces Ingredient To Improve Battery Performance

Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer designed to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which are skyrocketing in demand due to increased consumer interest in electric vehicles.

Nouryon says AkuPure is an ultra-high-purity CMC that improves the electrode coating process, making the battery more efficient by helping it to retain and deliver power more effectively. CMC is a sustainable polymer derived from cellulose sources such as wood or cotton that is used as a thickener, binder and rheology modifier in markets ranging from mining to pharmaceuticals.

“Customers in this market require ultrapure CMC [and] impurities can interfere with the performance of the battery or with production efficiency,” said Geert-Jan Beijering, Nouryon Product Director. “AkuPure has a number of properties key to the battery production process, such as the speed at which it dissolves and its low level of insolubles. The possibility to frequently charge and discharge a battery without losing performance under various temperature conditions is what matters most to our customers in this segment.”

“Our R&D team worked extremely hard to create a top-tier version of AkuPure, and this is the right time to bring this technology to market,” said Larry Ryan, Nouryon Americas Executive Vice President and President of Performance Formulations. “Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to rise, and as battery manufacturers struggle to find CMC that meet the stringent demands of the industry, we are introducing a more advanced solution.”

Nouryon recently announced plans to acquire CMC business J.M. Huber Corporation, which the company hopes will significantly broaden its portfolio of CMC products.

Hyundai, Kia Develop First Predictive Shift System

Hyundai and Kia have announced their development of the “world’s first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) connected shift system”, which enables the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead.

According to the two companies, the system uses intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time input from other technology, such as including 3D navigation, cameras and radar. The TCU then predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly. For example, when a relatively long slowdown is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.

“Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions,” said Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab head, Byeong Wook Jeon. “Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimised for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies.”

The companies tested a vehicle with the ICT connected shift system on a heavily curved road, resulting in the frequency of shifts in cornering being reduced by around 43 per cent compared to vehicles without the system. The system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by about 11 per cent, minimising driving fatigue and brake wear.

Hyundai and Kia say they are planning to further develop the ICT connected shift system into an even more intelligent transmission technology that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication, along with identifying drivers’ tendencies, to further refine gear-shift control.

JLR Developing Shape-Shifting Seat

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a new shape-shifting seat, designed to improve customer wellbeing, that will target health risks of sitting down for too long.

The seat uses a series of actuators in the seat foam to create constant micro-adjustments that make your brain think you’re walking and may eventually be tailored to each individual driver and passenger.

Over a quarter of people worldwide (around 1.4 billion) are leading increasingly stationary lifestyles which can shorten muscles in the legs, hips and gluteals, causing back pain and increasing the chance of injury from falls or strains.

“The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects,” said Dr Steve Iley, JLR Chief Medical Officer. “We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.”

Dr Iley has also issued advice on how to adjust your seat to ensure the perfect driving position. He said to remove bulky items in your pocket, note your shoulder positioning, ensure your spine and pelvis are straight, and support your thighs to reduce pressure points.

Symach Develops UVA-LEDtronic Technology

Symach has announced its new UVA-LEDtronic technology for drying and curing UV coating products.

Symach says the product is unique compared to known products on the market today, because it is more powerful with a lower 90-watt energy consumption, along with being more than double the drying speed of most known systems. The UV-LEDtronic is available as a portable lamp, the UVA-LEDtronic M1, that covers an area of 50 centimetres, or in the Flydry robotic version which is available in a FlyDry Hybrid model with IR-Drytronic and the UV-LEDtronic. There is also a UV-LEDtronic-only version called the FlyDry LE.

The LEDs used are of different wavelengths throughout the UV-A segment and are assembled along a line of reflectors which are designed to achieve the fastest and most efficient drying result. The LEDs are controlled by an electronic board with a temperature control device that shuts off the electric power if the device overheats from prolonged use. The LEDs are installed on an aluminium support equipped with a heat sink which allows for prolonged use of the lamp and drying several car panels in sequence.

Hyundai Develops Enhanced Cabin Noise Dampening Technology

Hyundai Motor Group says it has developed a world-first Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system. The new system dramatically reduces noise within the cabin of a vehicle.

RANC builds on the company’s current Active Noise Control (ANC) technology, which actively reduces noise by emitting sound waves inverted to incoming noise. ANC analyses the in-cabin sound to decrease engine and road noise, as opposed to the passive method of blocking noise through sound insulation.

Existing insulation methods involved insulation materials and dynamic dampers which increased weight and failed to block all buzzing infrasound. In contrast, ANC utilises much lighter parts like microphones and controllers to control the noise and reduces infrasound more efficiently.

Current ANC technology is limited by noise measurement and analysis technology, which is only able to be utilised when the noise is constant and the occurrence of the noise predictable. The new RANC can significantly improve quietness within the cabin by analysing various types of noise in real-time and produce inverted sound waves. It can process different types of road noises such as resonant sounds created between tyres and wheels or rumble sounds coming up from the road.

RANC uses an acceleration sensor to calculate the vibration from the road to the car, with the control computer taking 0.002 seconds to analyse the road noise and produce an inverted sound wave. The microphone constantly monitors the road noise cancellation status and sends the information to the digital signal processor (DSP).

Hyundai Motor Group said RANC was able to reduce in-cabin noise by 3dB – roughly half the noise compared to without RANC – potentially decreasing the amount of unsprung weight in a vehicle and utilising fewer sound-insulating parts and dampers.

The conglomerate has completed Korean and American patent applications for the location of sensors and the signal selection method – core RANC technologies. It added that RANC will first appear in an upcoming Genesis model.