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A Report on Automobile Electronics





PRATIK CHANDAK 2008B5A8PS701P Instructor: Lucky Sharan

Abstract: Cars and automobiles are increasingly using more electronic components and devices than ever before. Mechanical control schemes and elements are being reduced by electronic ones, which are more efficient and offer more functionality and flexibility. Controlling a cars movements, or the chemical, physical and mechanical processes inside it, ensuring higher efficiency by using electronic fuel injection control, providing higher safety or high quality entertainment and communication to the user are all being implemented using electronic components. This work tries to identify and explain specific cases where electronic systems are successfully designed in automotive systems.

1. Introduction
The history of cars begins probably with the invention of the internal combustion engine by Karl Benz in 1885. Over time, the motor car has evolved from a crude mechanical device into a highly complex product that could not exist without sophisticated electronic technology. Arguably the greatest changes have occurred over the last 20 years. During this period, the seemingly impossible requirement to simultaneously achieve low exhaust emissions, good fuel economy and performance has been met thanks to the development of fascinating combinations of electronic and mechanical engineering [1]. The trend is still towards increasing numbers of electronically-controlled systems. Today, more than 35-40% of the components in a typical car are electronic [2, 3]. With four hundred million cars on the world's roads, and about forty million new vehicles being built each year, the potential market for automotive electronic systems is therefore enormous. Very early automobiles had an electrical system consisting of only an ignition device such as the magneto or the battery-and-induction coil system developed by Charles Kettering in 1908 (and used right up to the 1990s). By the1920s the automotive electrical system had been extended to include the self-starter motor and headlights. The first truly electronic system to be installed on a car was the car radio, which first appeared during the1930s. Unfortunately, valves were not well suited to the automotive environment, where they made the radios notoriously unreliable, and the idea didnt really catch on until the arrival of transistor radios in the1960s. In electrical terms, then, cars evolved very little up until the late 1960s and remained fundamentally as mechanical systems with mechanical controls. The stringent automobile emission regulations introduced in the United States during the early 1970s meant that the allmechanical automobile faced an uncertain future. Automotive engineers quickly adopted electronic engine-control strategies as a solution to their problems. Crucial links between the automobile and electronics were quickly formed. Subsequently, the availability of inexpensive microprocessors has led to a revolution in automotive control systems. In modern day automobiles, 90% of the innovation involves electronics [4]. With the advent of electric and hybrid cars, the importance of electronics in automobiles is increased even more.

2. Formulation
Automobile electronics comprises three basic domains: Power train managementfor example, electronic control units (ECUs) that control ignition timing and the amount of fuel injected into the cylinders; Body electronicsfor example, ECUs that control dashboard displays, suspension settings, and temperature; and Information processing, communication with the outside world, and entertainment (often called the telematics or infotainment system). The first domain is typical of any transportation system and is characterized by tight safety and efficiency constraints. Its core competence is control algorithms, along with software and mechanical-electrical hardware design and implementation. The body control domain involves the management of a distributed system that increasingly resembles a network with protocols likely to have different requirements than standard communication protocols. Guaranteed services are the essence of this domain. A cars infotainment system is the product of industrial domains that are progressing in the technology race at a faster rate than then automotive domain. This domain can reap the most short to medium-term profits. Customers now often base buying decisions on the infotainment environment more than engine performance and handling. In this review, well mostly be looking at electronic systems which directly affect the automobiles working. Engine management system Automotive emission and fuel economy requirements demand control of a large number of engine related parameters with varying degrees of accuracy. These include the air/fuel ratio, spark timing and the quantity of recirculated exhaust gas, for all engine speed, load and temperature conditions. Under transient driving conditions the control strategies become very complex indeed and adaptive electronic management becomes essential. The electronic control unit is only a part of the system, however. A large number of sensors are used to measure air and coolant temperatures, pressures, air flow, throttle position, crankshaft position and engine knock. Actuators are used to control fuelling, airflow and exhaust gas recirculation. Whereas early emission-controlled vehicles tended to use separate electronic systems to control fuel injection and ignition, it is now usual to incorporate all engine related

functions into a single engine management system under the control of one microcomputer. Fuel injection control, air flow metering, manifold pressure measurement and ignition control are all achieved by this engine management system. Engine Control The engine management controller must (a) sense all engine operating parameters, (b) calculate all engine command values, and (c) output the commands for firing the injectors, spark timing, EGR valve opening and idle valve opening. On a four cylinder engine all four injectors and spark plugs must be fired once during each complete engine cycle (i.e. two revolutions of the crankshaft). This means that one injection pulse and one spark must occur for every 180 of crankshaft rotation, corresponding to a time period of 5 ms for an engine running at 6000 rpm. Since the control system must also carry out many non-engine tasks (e.g. diagnostics, communication with other controllers, vehicle speed measurement etc.) it is desirable that the engine senseprocess-actuate period be kept to about 2.5 ms. This requirement can just about be met with a high-performance 8-bit microprocessor, and many early systems used such devices. Automatic Transmission The rationale behind the development of electronically controlled semi-automatic transmissions is to produce a gearbox with the efficiency and controllability of a manual transmission, but the ease of driving offered by a clutchless automatic. In all cases, semi-automatic transmissions have automated actuation of clutch engagement and disengagement. Also electronic clutch control, fully automatic transmission systems have been developed. Antilock braking systems: An antilock braking system allows even an unskilled driver to retain control of a vehicle during emergency braking. By rapidly increasing and decreasing the braking pressure, the rate of wheel deceleration is maintained at a desired value to prevent the wheels from locking. This allows the vehicle to be stopped quickly and, most importantly, steering control and stability are maintained. The ABS ECU (electronic control unit) uses information provided by the sensors to calculate each wheel speed and rate of deceleration during braking. If a set deceleration limit is exceeded, the ECU can issue commands to solenoid valves in the hydraulic modulator unit to either stop any increase in braking force (HOLD braking pressure) or, if necessary, to reduce the braking force (DECREASE braking pressure) to prevent wheel locking. Once the target slip ratio is r e established, the ECU de-energises the

solenoid valves and so returns brake control to the driver. If the driver is still applying too much brake pressure the ECU will again HOLD or DECREASE the braking pressure to maintain the required slip. This control cycle is repeated rapidly (usually between 5 and 15 times per second) to keep the tyres in the region of maximum grip and prevent locking [5].

Electrical power assisted steering Power-assisted steering (PAS) is fitted to cars to provide lighter and more direct steering action, lessening driver fatigue and improving the steering sensitivity of the vehicle. As might be imagined, the most acute requirement for PAS arises on heavy and large vehicles. Traditionally, PAS has been provided by using a high pressure hydraulic servo system. Hydraulic PAS uses a high-pressure (30-50 bar) hydraulic pump driven by the engine which supplies hydraulic fluid to a spool-type control valve at the base of the steering column. Unfortunately, fitting hydraulic PAS to small cars presents several difficulties: firstly, there is little room for installation and, secondly, the continuously operating hydraulic system robs power from an already low-power engine. In order to overcome these disadvantages electrical power-assisted steering (EPAS) has been developed. It relies on the addition of an electric motor, rather than a hydraulic ram, to assist the driver in turning the wheels.

3. Results and Discussion

A few applications of electronics in automobiles have been described. Mostly power train control and chassis control have been dealt with. Other than this, safety features like safety bag control, body control, and entertainment solutions are also provided by electronics. But the intention was to focus on how electronics is involved in the actual working of the automobiles rather than in peripheral areas. The imminent commercialization of 42 V automotive electrical systems from the existing 14 V systems will also provide a new and very large market for power devices [6]. Electric cars and hybrid cars are is another important field [7]. There are also numerous other electronically-controlled systems that are now at the prototype stage, but will be common fitments soon. These include intelligent cruise control, obstacle detection and collision avoidance systems and a host of satellite-based navigation systems [5, 8, 9].

4. Conclusion
A brief review of applications of electronics has been done. It can be easily concluded that more and more processes in cars will be guided by electronics systems. With the advent of electric and hybrid cars, it is only more so. The applications of electronics are limited only by our inventiveness. Our approach to designing automobiles needs to be refined to factor in these new changes. It will be safe to conclude that eventually, cars will end up being predominantly electronic systems rather than mechanical ones.

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