Around the globe, in practically every sector, manufacturing facilities are undergoing a major transformation. Factory 4.0, Smart Factories, is becoming a reality. Digitization is changing the way we process materials and make products. Data and the intelligence it can provide is proving to be the key to completely reshaping manufacturing.
The recent announcement on Reuters outlining the new partnership between GM and Honda, to bring two EV vehicles to market for a safer world exemplifies the pressures automotive manufacturers are under today. Honda and GM Partner for EV – Reuters, April 2, 2020 This announcement is not surprising as it is drafting behind GM and Honda’s current collaboration on autonomous vehicles and fuel cell vehicle technology. The companies worked together on the design of an autonomous vehicle called Cruise Origin for GM’s majority-owned Cruise Automation unit.
There’s a rumble in the Automotive Industry. A survey of automotive industries stakeholders, conducted by Jabil, showed that automotive companies are shortening product development timelines to meet new market requirements. The automotive industry has undergone a number of industry-shifting developments over the past several years. The introduction of electric vehicles and the continued development of ADAS technologies are leading these transformations. We’ve seen new challengers in the automotive industry popping up, and rapid innovation within leading automotive companies.
Car & Driver's March 2019 issue includes an article on sound Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS). With the September 2019 deadline looming for auto manufacturers to meet PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2010 (PSEA), which governs EV & HEV sound emissions, there is opportunity for new automotive products that detect and emit sound at low speeds in these vehicles (< 18.6 mph). There is also the opportunity for the reverse, removing annoying sounds. Innovative sound creation and sound reduction systems are relying on sensor data to determine what sounds to synthesize and what sound to deaden.
National Instruments will be hosting their annual customer conference and partner showcase, NIWeek 2019, this year from May 20-23 at the Austin Convention Center. NIWeek draws engineers from across the transportation, aerospace, medical device industries and many others. There are also a fair number of members of the academic community rounding out the crowd. It is a hub of activity for Viviota customers and partners and a busy time for our team. We were delighted to find out in January that Viviota will be presenting two of the conference technical sessions:
I was reminded yesterday of how cars play a role in our identity, and separately how new auto safety regulations for electric and hybrid vehicles create an opportunity for auto manufacturers to be creative. I was picking up my 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid from a car stereo retailer in Austin, and while I waited, I glanced at the stacks of sub woofers waiting for owners. They ranged in price from $149 to over $1000. Admittedly, my family has installed high-end stereos with sub-woofers in cars ranging from a 1992 5.0 Mustang GT to a Toyota Sienna mini-van, however a low-rider in the showroom brought to mind low-decibel vibrations at intersections when, by chance, I was sitting at a red light alongside a low-rider. The car and the sub-woofer are an expression of the driver and their identity.
The emergence of smarter cars means automotive companies are looking for smarter ways to work. And they know getting there requires new efficiencies in their existing design and development processes.
Whichever your team, Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull or one of the other elite F1 teams, the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin on Sunday was amazing to the end. Verstappen, of Red Bull, passed Raikkonen, of Ferrari, on the last lap. He would have had a podium position, third, but his pass was disqualified for leaving the track. Max Verstappen placed fourth by mere meters. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG placed first, Sabastian Vettel of Ferrari, second, and Kimi Raikkonen, third. Verstappen is showing himself to be a very talented young driver.
The complexity of the electric power industry creates enormous opportunity for Fortune 500 companies and promising technology companies. Increased energy demands, capacity limitations, environmental constraints, varying load shapes, distributed generation and the deployment of new smart technologies all come into play. While new technologies will be developed to build a robust and resilient 21st Century grid, this new grid is still in its infancy and will take years, most likely decades, to reach that utopia of which we dream.
I was struck by a headline in Dataconomy: “German Companies Are Behind on the Trend of using Data to Solve Business Challenges.” Headlines are a hook, but is there truth behind this statement? Well, no, I don’t think so.