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Prevent accidents by making your backseat disappear

October 9, 2012 11:16 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Crunch. That’s the last sound you want to hear when you’re backing up your car. It is scary. It is alarming. It is NOT a good sound.It’s the reason dashboard cams were invented. Unfortunately, the embedded cameras only show a small portion of what’s behind the car, and accidents still happen.

September 2012: Power

October 9, 2012 10:53 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue of ECN, Associate Editor Kasey Panetta writes about the steady proliferation of electric vehicle charging stations, Jon Titus discusses brushless DC motors, and Executive Editor Chris Warner sounds the alarm about the encroaching reality of sci-fi dystopias.

Warning, automatic braking systems on autos will help save lives, research predicts

October 4, 2012 8:45 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

The second highest cause of automobile crashes is rear-end collisions – 17 percent. Thousands of people die. The solution? "It is simple," said Clay Gabler, a professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech. "Slow the striking vehicle." The concept is simple. Execution is complex and expensive.

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Controller area network (CAN): Teaching an old dog new tricks

October 3, 2012 12:06 pm | by Scott Monroe, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

There is a saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. While CAN is 25 years old, it continues to grow and gain new capabilities. It has been adapted into widely varying applications starting with its roots in simple automotive multiplexing to the current automotive networks, transportation, and industrial applications.

Why you should support improvements in electric car chargers

October 3, 2012 8:55 am | Articles | Comments

People simply don’t think of electric cars as long-distance vehicles. It’s a car to run down the street and grab some groceries, make the 15 miles commute to work or—like one of my friends—if you live in Hawaii and can’t really drive that far. It’s not an option most people think about for a regular car.

MCUs target instrument cluster systems for two- and four-wheeled vehicles

October 2, 2012 5:20 pm | Renesas | Product Releases | Comments

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced 21 new 16-bit microcontroller (MCU) products in the RL78/D1A Group, including 48-pin versions, which are said to be the industry’s smallest single-chip MCUs for two-wheeled vehicle meter applications. The new devices with packages ranging from 48 to 100 pins are designed fo

Microsoft Collaborating With Toyota On Global Communications

October 2, 2012 3:14 pm | News | Comments

In Japan and other overseas affiliates, Toyota will be leveraging a hybrid model, with on-premises editions of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync and Windows Server. Microsoft will help Toyota provide these services to more than 200,000 employees around the world during the next two years.

UQM Announces Strategic Alliance In China

October 2, 2012 2:47 pm | News | Comments

  UQM Technologies, Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with a major Chinese company for the development and marketing of UQM electric propulsion systems for New Energy Vehicles in China. This agreement expands the global reach of UQM to four continents.

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Small LEDs ideal for automotive industry

October 2, 2012 10:37 am | Osram Opto Semiconductors | Product Releases | Comments

Thanks to the flexible arrangement of these small LEDs, it is now much easier and more cost-effective to create unique, signature LED headlight designs. LEDs have faced a major challenge as light sources in vehicle headlights because, despite their high efficiency, luminous intensity and durability, different LEDs

Amsterdam goes green with electric scooter taxis

October 2, 2012 8:37 am | by Roberta Cowan, Reuters | News | Comments

Six years ago Dutchman Ruben Beugels was on an Amsterdam tram that broke down, leaving him stuck in an out-of-the way place, and late for an appointment when he couldn't quickly find another means of transport."I was very frustrated at being late, and it was then that I thought, hey a scooter

Software-based programmable automation controller ideal for computationally intensive applications

October 1, 2012 3:14 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 has announced SoftPAC(tm), a software-based programmable automation controller (PAC) ideal for use with computationally intensive applications as well as applications that must log, manipulate, and exchange large amounts of data. SoftPAC joins Opto 22's existing

10 must-see posts from September

October 1, 2012 12:28 pm | by The ECN Editors | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles for September. They all come with a witty, engaging summary just in case you missed them the first time or want to check up on an old favorite. Keep checking out the Lead and follow us on twitter @ecnmagazine for our most up-to-date articles.

Engineering Newswire 5: The world's fastest electric motorcycle

October 1, 2012 9:54 am | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Engineering Newswire, brought to you by PD&D TV: A group of dedicated engineering students from San Jose State University is attempting to build a self-balancing electric motorcycle. German researchers think they may have found a better way to protect astronauts, and future Mars colonists, from cosmic radiation.

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LED spotlight includes improved spot beam pattern

September 28, 2012 4:47 pm | Larson Electronics Llc | Product Releases | Comments

Larson Electronics’ Lxlite.com has released a high grade LED spotlight designed for demanding applications which require a more precisely focused light beam. The LEDLB-21-3C-R 21 Watt LED Spotlight produces a 1,750 lumen light beam reaching over 500 feet in length with better beam control and less spread than normally found with LED spotlights.

Nobody's driving: California governor signs legislation paving the way for driverless cars

September 26, 2012 9:10 am | by TERENCE CHEA Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. Jerry Brown rode to Google headquarters in a self-driving Toyota Prius before signing legislation Tuesday that will pave the way for driverless cars in California. The bill by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways.

Electric car maker Tesla unveils solar-powered charging stations to promote longer trips

September 25, 2012 10:04 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled a solar-powered charging station on Monday that it said will make refueling electric vehicles on long trips about as fast as stopping for gas and a bathroom break in a conventional car.CEO Elon Musk said at a news conference at the company's design

This app could save your teen driver’s life

September 25, 2012 9:26 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

We’ve all seen it. You’re driving down the road and see someone driving erratically only to find that person is messing with the radio, yelling at their reprobate children, shaving, eating, or applying makeup. Distracted driving has taken on an entirely new meaning with the advent of texting.

Thermal interface material exhibits thermal conductivity of 1.10 W/m°K

September 24, 2012 2:47 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Sarcon 30QR from Fujipoly is a low hardness thermal interface material that exhibits a thermal conductivity of 1.10 W/m°K and a thermal resistance of .57 °Cin2/W. This material is available in roll or sheet form and can easily be die-cut, molded or extruded to accommodate your unique application specification...

Toyota drops plan for widespread sales of electric car

September 24, 2012 8:53 am | by DYLAN LOVAN Associated Press | News | Comments

  Toyota Motor Corp has scrapped plans for widespread sales of a new all-electric minicar, saying it had misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands. Toyota, which had already taken a more conservative view of the market for battery-powered  

Software helps developers with driver assistance systems

September 20, 2012 2:13 pm | Product Releases | Comments

SPACE Automotive Simulation Models (ASM) now work with PreScan, a software program from TASS for high-quality sensor and environment simulation. This tool combination enables developers to optimize the efficiency of intelligent assistance systems at an early stage with highly precise sensor simulation and flexible, reproducible traffic simulation.

New airport system facilitates smoother take-offs and landings

September 20, 2012 9:13 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

For airline passengers who dread bumpy rides to mountainous destinations, help may be on the way. A new turbulence avoidance system has for the first time been approved for use at a U.S. airport and can be adapted for additional airports in rugged settings across the United States and overseas.

Robotic tuna is built by Homeland Security

September 20, 2012 9:11 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

No question about it… they're very good at what they do. But they don't take well to orders, especially those to carry out inspection work in oily or dangerous environments, or in any kind of harsh environment, for that matter. Still, they're one of the fastest and most maneuverable

LED for automotive front lighting offers low thermal resistance and high light output at high currents

September 19, 2012 12:07 pm | Osram Opto Semiconductors | Product Releases | Comments

The new Oslon Black Flat LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors is a high-performance light source for automotive front lighting systems that offers high light output at high currents, uniform light distribution, thermal stability and exceptionally good contrast for seeing and being seen.

SignalGuru app helps drivers avoid red lights

September 17, 2012 8:47 am | by Natasha Baker, Rueters | News | Comments

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a system that uses dashboard-mounted smartphones to help drivers avoid red lights and reduce fuel consumption.The app called SignalGuru predicts when a traffic signal is about to change, and the speed

Power MOSFETs address emerging eco-design standards

September 17, 2012 8:47 am | Stmicroelectronics | Product Releases | Comments

A new family of rugged, high-efficiency power products from STMicroelectronics is positioned to enable technology companies to satisfy stricter power and efficiency targets set by eco-design standards and to target green-energy applications such as solar micro-inverters, photovoltaic string inverters and electric vehicles.

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