The e-car basic concept is represented by the role of the electronics technology in making the car more comfortable, safe and effectively interacting with the driver. The first characteristic, comfort, is nowadays being dramatically enhanced by the new solution known as Road Noise Control (acronym: RNC) that has been introduced by BOSE during the CES 2019 in Las Vegas (see Figure 1):
“Bose Quiet Comfort RNC uses a plethora of devices that includes accelerometers, microphones, a proprietary signal-processing software, and the audio system of your car to control noise inside the car’s cabin generated from roads. The accelerometers are installed around the car and using an algorithm created by Bose they measure vibrations that create noise. These vibrations can be caused by the different types of roads a car drives on. The info generated is used to create an “acoustically opposite signal”, pumped out through your car’s audio system that reduces the noise. The microphones are installed in the car and they monitor the residual noise level for future optimizations. The whole process of noise identification and cancellation is continuous and adjusts the older a car gets. Bose already offers sound management solutions for cars. There is Engine Harmonic Cancellation (EHC) that reduces noise from the car engine and there is Engine Harmonic Enhancement (EHE) which uses the sound system of the car to enhance select engine sounds.” (Source: GIZMOCHINA)
The RNC basic principle of operation shown at CES 2019 on SONY XB32 (Source: YouTube [You can skip ahead to 3:47 in this video to reach the Bose Road Noise Control portion])
The key elements of such a great solution are the accelerometers that are able to sense, and effectively cancel, vibration noise external to the vehicle; the smart electronic circuitry allows control of the noise level, creating an unprecedented level of comfort for the driver and passengers.
This is the reason why many big companies in the field of semiconductors are massively investing in solutions for accelerometers for automotive applications (see Figure 2):
“ST offers a portfolio of MEMS automotive sensors qualified according to AEC-Q100. Our automotive sensor portfolio includes digital accelerometers with low and high g full scale, and digital 3-axis gyroscopes. ST’s low g 3-axis accelerometers have advanced power-saving features and an extended temperature range that make them the ideal choice for non-critical automotive applications including telematics, navigation, infotainment and security. Our high g acceleration sensors feature an extended temperature range and are suitable for airbag applications in vehicle safety restraint systems. Our 3-axis gyroscopes offer superior stability over time and temperature and guarantee the level of accuracy required by the most advanced navigation systems embedding dead reckoning. ST’s 3-axis gyroscopes have a single sensing structure for motion measurement along all three orthogonal axes, while other solutions on the market rely on two or three independent structures. Our solution eliminates any interference between the axes that inherently degrades the output signal. The result is increased accuracy and reliability of motion-controlled functionalities.” (Source: st.com)
The MEMS offer from STMicroelectronics Company for automotive applications (Source: st.com)
MEMS devices are a huge example of the contribution from electronics technology to the development of the e-car. Do you like this new trend? Do you think this is the future of the automotive industry?