Monthly Archives - October 2020

Advances in car security systems

That automotive and technology are closely linked is a fact. That the technology applied to cars has significantly improved their efficiency and performance at a mechanical level, too. But another aspect in which the technology has been massively implemented and which perhaps is not given the importance it deserves, is in the security systems, both active and passive. Thanks to the new systems developed by the manufacturers, we are facing the generation of the safest cars ever manufactured.

Next, we will review the most current and innovative security systems applied by most modern cars and that take driving safety to a new level.

Traffic sign reading system

Virtually all manufacturers incorporate in their latest models a remote recognition system for traffic signs, so that the car interprets them and adapts its operation to the circumstances. Often offered in combination with adaptive cruise control systems.

Involuntary lane change notice

The system alerts the driver when the driver inadvertently leaves the path of the lane in which he is driving and invades an adjacent lane without signaling it. This system saves lives because it prevents the driver from invading the opposite lane on, for example, a secondary road, and the acoustic warning system is sufficient to alert the driver instantly.

Active suspension

The active suspension is responsible for independently managing and controlling the damping on each of the wheels. The objective: to maximize the contact of the tire with the road at all times, improving the stability and grip of the car, regardless of the floor. If we look closely, the importance of the tires being in contact with the ground and not skidding is crucial, and several of the most popular safety systems are designed for this.

The system works from the data collected by various sets of sensors (on wheels and shock absorbers, gyroscopic sensors) and controls the shock absorbers (with pneumatic or hydraulic systems inside), whose function is to vary the hardness of the shock absorber.

Blindspot detection

Every driver will know that it is a big problem when traveling on the motorway or highway and, before a maneuver such as overtaking, you have a completely blind rearview zone. In very particular cases it may be that, when deciding to change lanes, there is just a vehicle in that blind spot. It is at these moments where the detection system works, which by means of light signals indicates that another vehicle is behind ours although we cannot see it, avoiding the probable collision.

Emergency braking assistance

The emergency braking assistance system is quite simple to understand. In collaboration with ABS, the system detects when we are carrying out emergency braking (due to the speed at which we release the accelerator to fully depress the brake, for example), and makes the necessary calculations to exert the greatest possible stopping power at every moment.

Pedestrian detection

This measure, aimed at reducing pedestrian accidents, is capable of detecting if any pedestrian crosses the car’s path, to which it responds with emergency braking to avoid being run over, thus helping to save many lives, especially in cities and areas where high population density and circulation coexist.

Protective shield

This system, with the help of sensors and radars (the same as the parking sensors), calculates the environment of the vehicle, thus allowing it to calculate the optimal safety distances at all times and the car to automatically adapt to traffic circumstances, avoiding mostly range collisions.

Also, the new rear-view mirrors by the camera are condemning the life of traditional mirrors. In addition to the mirrors that automatically eliminate reflections, there are also the mirrors that are actually high-resolution screens that inform what is happening behind the vehicle but with the advantage of eliminating blind spots.

Systems have also been developed to automatically detect signs of driver fatigue or fatigue, which scan features and movements of the steering wheel to determine if you are tired to drive, thereby issuing a warning signal that recommends taking a break.

Technological advances in steering and suspension

The constant technological evolution in the steering and suspension systems has currently made elements as advanced as electronic power steering increasingly common in production vehicles.

So, if today these systems can operate autonomously during maneuvers such as parking, and there are adaptive suspension systems to achieve the best result in each terrain condition or type of driving… what is the next step?

Advances in management systems

As for the improvements related to the steering of the cars, we have seen an evolution that takes us from the traditional mechanical steering, hydraulic steering or electro-hydraulic steering, to end in the current electric steering,  where despite all the electronic management, it continues There is a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering rack, something that disappears in the Steer-by-wire direction.

This technology, in which the electronics gain weight over the mechanical parts, is already common in the acceleration system, where we did not find the gas cable, which traditionally linked the pedal with the throttle or the injection pump. Thus, at present, the cable has disappeared and in its place are angular sensors that measure the position of the pedal; This information is received by a processor, which opens the throttle valve by means of an actuator motor, or sends a signal to the injection computer (in the case of Diesel).

Going back to advances in direction, the sensors on the steering wheel measure movements by the driver.  This information is sent to one or up to three processors, which control actuators in the direction in order to maintain the direction of the vehicle in accordance with the movements of the driver, eliminating the mechanical connection between steering wheel and rack, generating greater performance, automation, comfort, and better optimization of space.

To ensure the safety of these systems, which are completely dependent on electronic management, up to three processors are used in vehicles that use this technology, and they are also provided with a clutch that will link the steering wheel with the rack in the event that detects any error or fault in the system.

Advances in suspension systems

As far as suspension is concerned, adaptive suspension systems and roll control systems have been vastly improved in recent years. Thus, the pneumatic systems have evolved to the point of converting the car into an SUV or sports car, increasing or decreasing the ground clearance as well as the suspension setting at the driver’s discretion. In automatic mode, the same system is in charge of “reading” the road to detect irregularities and thus anticipate and adapt to circumstances. Radars located in the front of the vehicle send the readings of the pavement to the suspension calculator, which determines, according to the programmed parameters, the best instantaneous suspension configuration.

Also, magnetic suspensions, as they are popularly known, are gaining ground. These systems consist of shock absorbers filled with ferrofluid, which, when subjected to a magnetic load, varies its density, thus varying the behavior of the shock absorber. The different sensors of the vehicle are in charge of giving the necessary information to the computer so that it determines the magnetic load to which the ferrofluids of the shock absorbers must be subjected, in order to instantly adapt the behavior of the car suspension.

As for the active roll control, systems similar to those previously described are applied to counteract as much as possible the role of the body with respect to the ground. These systems harden or soften the spheres or stabilizer dampers on the opposite side to which the curve is traced, thus compensating for annoying rocking and achieving greater comfort and performance.

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