My day job for the past 30 years has been helping people with their sensor data. In my time off I tinker with and build PCs, try my hand at some home improvement projects and stay on top of new technology developments through the consumption of copious amounts of online tech news website articles and YouTube videos. What I have learned—and keep being reminded of time and time again—is that there are plenty of things that I don’t know. And, that sometimes I’m not even aware of things that I don’t know. Let me explain.
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:
"What we've got here is a failure to communicate." In the 1967 Paul Newman movie classic Cool Hand Luke, that memorable line is uttered by the character "Captain" (head of the chain gang) to justify beating Cool Hand Luke, played by Newman. Captain of Road Prison 36 has just told Luke that he is wearing chains for his good—to which the prisoner cleverly responds, "Wish you'd stop bein' so good to me, Cap'n."
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 automotive industry is working toward a revolutionary event, a truly autonomous vehicle—one in which a human driver is no longer required. To accomplish this, automotive companies have focused R&D teams, whose mission is evolving and growing onboard automated safety systems. Today onboard safety systems include features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. For autonomous driving to become a reality, more dynamic safety systems are needed, for example collision detection/avoidance, and smart cruise control with vehicle-controlled lane changing.
Self-driving cars offer a safe, efficient and cost-effective solution that will dramatically redefine the future of human mobility.