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Automated, Connected, and Electric Vehicle Systems

SAE Levels of Automation_081323A
[Levels of Automation of a Vehicle - Society of Automotive Engineers]

Beyond Smart Cities: Emerging Design and Technology



- The IoV and The Wireless 5G Era

Currently, the Internet of Vehicles or Internet of Vehicles (IoV) is regarded as an important infrastructure for the development of smart cities and is expected to have the fastest industrialization speed among all application markets. 

The IoV includes five main elements: people, vehicles, roads, communication and service platforms. "People" is the road user who is the target of the IoV service. "Roads" are essential infrastructure in the IoT ecosystem. "Car" is the application method of intelligent network equipment and technology, and has the greatest potential for future development of the industry. "Communications" include large amounts of data transmitted within vehicles, between vehicles and the road, and between vehicles and the cloud. "Service platform" is the platform for IoV services. 

With the advent of the 5G era, the advantages of low latency and high bandwidth have greatly shortened the communication time between people, vehicles, roads, and service platforms participating in the IoV business, greatly improved the carrying capacity, and enabled the intelligent operation of the IoV business. The 5G provides a new level of intelligent operational collaboration between each IoV element.


- Connected Vehicles and Levels of Automation

A connected car is a device that exists in a car that connects the device to other devices within the car/vehicle and/or to devices, networks and services outside the car, including other cars, homes, offices or infrastructure. Internet access is usually connected to a local area network. Many experts say that connected cars are part of the huge Internet of Things. An internet connection can provide connectivity that warns of traffic, collisions and other safety alerts. A concierge service from an app or automaker will remind drivers of the on-time arrival via a calendar, and send text reminders to friends or business associates to remind them of their arrival time. 

Connected vehicles use any of a number of different communication technologies to communicate with drivers, other vehicles on the road (vehicle-to-vehicle [V2V]), roadside infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I]), and the cloud. "The technology can be used not only to improve vehicle safety, but also to improve vehicle efficiency and commute times.


- Automated Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a fully autonomous (sometimes called autonomous) or "self-driving" vehicle as "a vehicle whose operation does not require direct input from the driver to control steering, accelerate." , braking and design remove the need for the driver to constantly monitor the road while operating in autonomous mode. 

Additionally, NHTSA defines five levels of vehicle automation; the higher the level, the more automated the vehicle. NHTSA's five levels of automation are listed below: 

  • No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times.
  • Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone.
  • Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.
  • Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The second-generation Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation.
  • Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. The third-generation Google car is an example of full self-driving automation. Vehicles with level 4 automation may also be referred to autonomous vehicles.


Note: Vehicles with automation levels above 3 must also incorporate connected vehicle technologies. 

Of these five levels, only up to level 2 is currently available to the public. However, the federal government and manufacturers are now researching, developing, and testing level 4 automation technologies on public roads in certain states that have passed enabling legislation. The states that have passed legislation allowing higher level automated vehicles include California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada. Several other states are also working to pass similar legislation.  


[Budapest, Hungary - Civil Engineering Discoveries]

- Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) 

A HEV is a vehicle powered by more than one power source, such as an engine and an electric motor. They are categorized by type and level. The benefits of HEVs are improved fuel economy, efficiency and reduced emissions. The downside of HEVs is cost . The cost side is likely to be offset over the next few years due to higher gas prices and improved hybrid vehicle technology.


- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) 

BEVs run solely on electricity stored in batteries, without an engine. They emit zero emissions from the vehicle and are more energy efficient than HEVs. However, BEVs must be recharged via a plug, have short range, and are expensive for batteries. While some BEVs, like the Tesla Model S, have a range of up to 265 miles on a full charge, most are limited to about 100 miles per charge. Although the range is small, "100 miles is sufficient for more than 90 percent of U.S. household vehicle trips" in a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.


- Automotive Batteries

The purpose of batteries is to store chemical energy and convert this chemical energy into electricity when needed. An electric or hybrid vehicle battery is like any other battery -- except it's rechargeable and has enough power to move a large, heavy vehicle down the road for a few feet or miles. 

A car battery is actually a battery pack that contains many individual cells working together. There are several types of advanced batteries available for electric, hybrid and conventional vehicle applications. The most popular types are: lead acid, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium ion (Li-ion). Some of the emerging battery types that are being heavily researched include: aluminum-air batteries, lithium-air batteries, sodium-air batteries, zinc-air batteries, liquid metal batteries, tin nanocrystalline lithium-ion batteries.


[More to come ...]

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