Automotive Radical Innovation In Urban Transpor

The Mobilicity system is an automated, driverless system for GRT or Group Rapid Transit. It functions as an advanced bus or taxi substitute in a wide variety of situations. This approach offers significant environmental benefits, allowing its users to address the major problems associated with urban mobility: congestion, air quality, noise and fossil fuel use.

The Driverless Mobilicity

It is cheaper to operate than a conventional bus system and offers unrivalled flexibility in operation. The electric vehicles operate on any graded road surface and require no specific infrastructure; this is a major competitive advantage over its only current competition.

As typical new urban developments commit 30% of the available land to the private car for roads and parking, the application of the Mobilicity approach can reduce this to 8%; a very significant amount of land released for other uses.  Further, it can also bring benefits in sensitive areas such as historic city centres where it can improve the environment without any structural impact.

Mobilicity has no direct competitors. Its closest rival is the PRT or Personal Rapid Transit sector. As an example, the Ultra PRT system, which uses a car-sized vehicle requiring extensive infrastructure, has considerable capacity and operational limitations compared to Mobilicity.

This innovative GRT concept has a very wide range of potential applications; from small scale private estates through to entire city centres. An independent analysis carried out for the company estimates the global market for systems of this type to be worth more than $8 billion by 2026.

Automated Battery PRT Cars Replace Buses At Heathrow Airport, Courtesy Of Www.Cleantechnica.Com

The Mobilicity project had its first developments in 2002 when the parent company, Capoco Design Limited, reached its 25th year of incorporation since it was formed in 1977. The approach at Capoco is always to look forward so the company decided not to concentrate on a reprise of its past activities, but to investigate the fairly urgent requirements for future city mobility.

Copoco with its public transport background, it seemed natural to commission a research project into the needs of city transport over the next 25 years up to 2027. This was to take into account all the major trends acting on the transport scene as a whole. This particularly included population growth and the rural-to-urban drift. It was therefore logical to study the transport needs of the mega-cities that will increase in number as we move from a 50% urban share of a 6 billion global population, to a 65% urban share of a 9 billion global population.

This demographic trend is being accompanied by an ageing population profile in many countries, with its impact on national finances, individual wealth, social exclusion and different mobility needs. These effects will run parallel to the equally well-known trends of reducing oil supplies, environmental pressure on local and global air quality and ever-greater societal losses through traffic congestion.

To study these major trends in our transport world, Capoco collaborated with the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, headed by Jeremy Myerson, at the Royal College of Art, London. Also part of the team was the famous Vehicle Design department of the RCA, led by Professor Dale Harrow.

The work commenced with an in-depth review of the current situation, the many pre-determined global trends and all possible transport solutions. The project team invited a range of experts, from a range of sectors including city and transport planning, the built environment, social mechanisms, to ideas workshops to discuss and develop different approaches to the challenges ahead. To assist this investigation process, actual city journeys in London, Istanbul and Hong Kong were analysed by tracking actual individuals through a range of different commuter scenarios.

From studying the requirements, an idealised system was proposed that used automated vehicles, effectively of variable size, running over the assorted routes. Then a process of back-casting, or retropolation, was applied to discover how this ideal system could be achieved in practice.

It is important to confirm that the Mobilicity system was never seen as a universal solution to all the transport challenges in all cities. The characteristics were developed to be complementary to other existing systems based on the various existing road, rail and water vehicles.

One fundamental feature of the study was the need for strict technical and commercial realism. The approach had to be able to deliver practical solutions over the time-frame being studied. Therefore any solutions involving exorbitant costs, and those requiring total new city infrastructures were not pursued. This pre-condition of practicality related particularly to the road and fuel infrastructures.

Applications In Automotives

Power applications in automotives are dynamically experiencing changes and improvements. One of the benefits of slimming down the vehicle body weight is less power energy consumption. Getting more kilometers out of the same amount of energy can be possible by fully exploiting the technology available in the market. A multitude of innovative concepts, technologies and materials are in the market and are used in the vehicles and transport carriers today. The relative high costs associated hindered the development and implementation of advanced materials and production technologies.
Potential novel materials applications have large scope, but the focus on two issues:

  • The development of innovative materials for batteries based on nanotechnology
  • The development of new light weight materials and respective technologies for vehicle applications.

We already discussed reducing structural weight in Automotives Body Weight Reduction that discussed on different materials role in reduction of body weight of automotives. While, innovative automotive electrochemical storage applications based on nanotechnology technical content and scope is:

Ford has come up with volume production plans for large-capacity Li-ion rechargeable batteries that are being made targeting electric vehicles and other applications in automobiles. As per Ford, Li-Ion batteries are the obvious energy storage option for PHEV with 50% less weight and 30% less volume with

  • High degree of application compatibility
  • Well resolved SOC
  • Historic research focus on high energy
  • Reasonable power-to-energy ratio design flexibility
  • Wider range of electrode material choices
  • Long term cost potential

Lithium Ion Technology is one of the satisfactory methods that still most car manufacturers would agree for long distance EV use. Energy and power density, cost and safety improvements are needed at a higher ratio. The developmental projects shall solely address the development of innovative materials and technologies for battery components, material architectures and systems for automotive electrochemical storage at cell level within a responsible, sustainable and environmental-friendly approach looking at the entire life cycle. The affect of the battery properties at the nanoscale across a full cell includes modelling and simulation. The focus is on innovative technologies, architectures and chemistries and should address the issues like:

  • performance, safety, recyclability and cost
  • Potential capability for fast charging without significant life reduction
  • Effect of bi-directional flow at charge stations
  • Availability of other associated materials
  • Eco-design and the environmental impact by material production
  • Characterization, standardization and synergies with other applications.

Proof of concept in terms of product or process is encouraged as is participation from the manufacturing industrial sector within strong interdisciplinary consortia.

Globally many events take place on the power applications in automobiles and the industry members are thriving to bring a breakthrough in the technology.

Ticona Material Innovations for Fuel / Hybrid Systems presented its innovative automotive power solutions at ITB Automotive Energy Storage Systems 2012. Being a supplier of engineering polymers, Ticona showcased material innovations for automotive fuel and hybrid powertrain systems that are solutions for aggressive gasoline, diesel and bio-diesel fuel applications, including ESD polymers and hybrid Powertrain Systems Solutions for battery separator films and power distribution, and materials that can reduce overall system weight to offset battery mass, improve packaging and ensure powertrain reliability.

A123 systems, transportation energy storage solutions  are advanced lithium ion energy storage solutions that enable higher performance and increased efficiency in passenger and commercial electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The knowledge of electric drive-train technologies allows A123 to work closely with its customer’s fully-integrated system level to help commercialize new vehicle concepts. When compared to other battery chemistries, A123’s automotive class lithium ion battery systems delivers durability, reliability, high power density, extended life cycling, superior abuse tolerance for excellent safety performance and higher usable energy due to a wide usable state of charge range.

Absorbers In Automotives

A shock absorber is basically an oil pump, a device used to smooth the push or shake that take place abruptly and roughly and distribute it as kinetic energy. Shock absorbers are crucial in all the motorcycle and automobile suspension, where landing gear is a part of the support systems for industrial machines. A shock absorber is usually a cylinder containing a sliding piston which is cushioned by hydraulic fluid or air.

During 1900’s cars use to ride on carriage springs, which are a simple form of spring commonly used for the suspension in wheeled vehicles. With respect to suspension designs, the initial vehicle manufacturers faced early challenges in enhancing driver control and comfort of passenger. These early suspension designs found the front wheels attached to the axle using steering spindles and kingpins, those allowed the wheels to pivot while the axle remained stationary. Other than these, the up and down oscillation of the leaf spring was damped by device called a shock absorber. The initial shock absorbers were simply two arms connected by a bolt with a friction disk between them and were not very durable. Here the resistance was adjusted by tightening or loosening the bolt and their performance was least minded.

Technically, conceptually shock absorbers experienced vast developments over the 20th century. However, the developments in automobiles and the usage of automobiles demanding a new range of shock absorbers at every turn and milestone of automobile industry. Hence, 21st century has been witnessing more sophisticated concepts and designs of automobile shock absorbers.

Several shock absorber designs came into availability in the industry. The adjustable and nonadjustable shocks are basically of two different designs as twin-tube and mono-tube. Whereas, industry focus also turned to customization of the product based on the vehicles they are going to impart with.

  • Basic Twin Tube Design has an inner tube known as the working or pressure tube and an outer tube known as the reserve tube. The outer tube is used to store excess hydraulic fluid.
  • Twin Tube – Gas Charged Design is a major advancement in ride vehicle control technology and also solved many ride control problems that occurs due to an increasing number of vehicles using uni-body construction, shorter wheelbases and increased use of higher tire pressures. Currently, twin tube – gas charged design adapted in original equipment on many domestic passenger car, SUV and light truck applications
  • Twin Tube – PSD Design or Position Sensitive Damping Design is a leap beyond fluid velocity control is an advanced technology that takes into account the position of the valve within the pressure tube. The technology has solved the compromises between soft valving and firm valving. The twin tube – PSD design specialty is that it adjusts more rapidly to changing road and weight conditions than standard shock absorbers
  • Twin Tube -ASD Design or Acceleration Sensitive Damping Design is an answer to the compromises made by ride engineers to bring comfort and control together into one shock absorber. This technology moves beyond traditional velocity sensitive damping to focus and address impact. The intelligence in this technology is that the compression valve will sense a bump in the road and automatically adjust the shock to absorb the coming impact, leaving the shock with greater control when it is needed.
  • Mono-tube design is a high-pressure gas shocks with only one tube that is the pressure tube and does not have a base valve. The difference in actual application is that a mono-tube shock absorber can be mounted upside down or right side up and will work either way reducing the unsprung weight. In addition to its mounting flexibility, mono-tube shocks are a significant component, along with the spring, in supporting vehicle weight.

The 2012 release – Cadillac Escalade came with shock absorbers those decrease the impact of bumps and provides a smoother ride. 5788 from Monroe Sensa-Trac Shock Absorber is applied for 04-06 Cadillac CTS and 5787 from Monroe Sensa-Trac Shock Absorber is applied for 03-03 Cadillac CTS. Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks and struts have been recognized for their trusted ride control product for drivers who want ultimate comfort with added control.

MShock Absorbers In 21st Century

21st century is known for the innovations in shock absorbers. The shock absorbers and the autos are also structural friendly that the automobile owner him/herself can change or adjust or replace the shocks.

Performance shock absorbers are available in single- and double-adjustable configurations. Double-adjustable shocks have the ability to trim the bump and the rebound separately. Whereas, the single-adjustable shocks allows changes to the rebound portion of the shock. Single-adjustable shocks are more expensive than the traditional or nonadjustable shocks and very less expensive compared to double-adjustables. Few of single-adjustable shocks are the Koni, Competition Engineering, Tokico, and QA1.

Specialty Shocks purpose started with drag racing, because the situation actually requires shocks for the front and rear that are often much softer than stock. While nonadjustable stock replacement shocks do an adequate job of improving handling over worn-out original shocks in the high-performance applications and stock shocks are often found wanting.