Introduction The first automobiles saw the light of day around the turn of the last century. When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, the epitome of mass-produced automobiles, no one could have imagined what automobiles would look like almost 100 years later, or even how they would evolve technically. Back then, a car was no more than a carriage without horses and had virtually none of the features we take for granted today. The first car radio was also marveled at in a Model T, in 1922. Ten years later, the first European car radio was presented at the Berlin Consumer Electronics Fair. The Blaupunkt AS5, a tube device with remote control on the steering column. It was not until 1949 that the receiver was integrated into the dashboard and in 1953 the "Mexico" model was introduced The first automatic station search system was launched by Becker. In 1957, transistors partially made their way into radio receivers. A year later, Philips presented a record player for the car. The first fully transistorized car radio with FM was also developed by Philips in 1961, as well as the cassette (1968) and the CD (1983). After a nine-year development phase, the first satellite navigation system, CarIN (Car Information and Navigation System), was offered for sale by Philips in 1993. This laid the foundation for today's multimedia infotainment systems.
Around the same time as the introduction of Ford's Model T, an anti-skid controller for rail vehicles was introduced in Great Britain; the predecessor of today's ABS. However, this regulator failed due to the systems, whose technology still worked much too slowly. Only at the beginning of the 60's it became possible with the help of the semiconductor components to develop systems, which could master the data quantities in acceptable time. The speed of each wheel must be compared with that of every other wheel. Since 1964, the company Teldix GmbH in Heidelberg has been dealing with this problem, but came to the conclusion that for the time being, the technical effort would only be financially worthwhile in express trains or airplanes. With the advent of the first integrated circuits (IC), also in 1964, prototypes were used to reduce braking distances for the first time. In 1970, the test vehicles still had about 1000 components, which meant that the potential sources of error were still very high. Bosch, which is still the market leader in ABS systems today, bought into Teldix in 1973 and the development of ABS was completely handed over to Bosch in 1975. In 1978, the first ABS suitable for large-scale production was introduced in the Mercedes S-Class. At this point, it already contained only 140 components. Within only 2 years 24000 units of the ABS were sold and it was further developed. In 1980 came the traction control system (ASR), which used the data from the ABS for its own purposes, but did not go into series production until 1986. Probably the most important step in improving driving safety was taken in 1995 with the introduction of ESP, which can now be found in almost every new car. In 2003, Bosch produced its 100 millionth ABS. Its 10 millionth ESP sold.
2. Car It
The main task of modern information technology in motor vehicles is to improve safety. Whether it is active or passive safety, no car with today's safety standards can do without electronic helpers. As far as active safety is concerned, the ESP, for example, intervenes directly in the braking process and evaluates the data from sensors at lightning speed, which indicate possible yaw (turning on its own axis). A high-performance control unit evaluates this data in order to brake individual wheels in a controlled manner. When it comes to passive safety, the airbag immediately comes to mind, which has probably saved a great many lives for more than 10 years now. But even in this direction, research is continuing into the "Pre Safe" system a system from DaimlerChrysler that demonstrates. If the driver suddenly takes his foot off the gas and hits the brakes, the seat belts are tightened and the seats are moved into an upright position to reduce the risk of injury. In the event of an imminent rollover, the even sunroof closes. To make driving over longer distances on freeways more pleasant, there have long been cruise control systems where you can set the desired speed, which is then automatically maintained. Even uphill, the cruise control accelerates and brakes downhill, but with a vehicle in front slower than you, you still had to brake manually to keep the safe distance. The remedy for using the computer here is called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), a kind of autopilot. It detects an object in front of the vehicle by radar. From these data the distance. The current speed is determined. The system can catch up with the vehicle in front up to a desired distance, accelerate independently and also decelerate up to 20% of the maximum braking power. If more than this is needed, the system sounds an acoustic warning and the driver has to intervene himself. The ACC can also be used as a parking aid in the immediate vicinity of the car, but this has also been available for some time in the form of Park Distance Control (PDC). This autopilot is also an important component of the latest drowsiness warning systems. If you are driving without cruise control and an obstacle is approaching that is up to 150 meters away, the driver is warned acoustically or visually. However, collision warning is by no means the only function of this drowsiness warning system. Another is called Laneguard, which means lane guard. If the driver is simply inattentive or even falls into the infamous microsleep and leaves his lane without first setting his blinker, he is immediately alerted to this fact. The classic principle for detecting microsleep still exists, of course: a camera that films the eyelids and the gaze behavior and uses a computer to detect how alert the driver still is. If the drowsiness warning system comes to the conclusion via its systems that it is in the interests of road safety not to allow the driver to continue driving, the driver is advised acoustically and visually to take a break. The first displays in a car were probably the ones in the radio or the LCD for the odometer. These undoubtedly exist today as well, but a few have been added to them. A multifunction display has been introduced between the speedometer and tachometer, where information from the on-board computer or navigation system is displayed. In the center console, meanwhile, a 5.8-inch TFT display is used for infotainment purposes. The latest achievement in the automobile, however, is the so-called Head Up Display (HUD). This technology originates from aircraft construction, where it has been used for decades.
Fig. 1: Head Up Display
A type of video projector is used to project an image to be displayed onto the windshield rather than onto a screen. To ensure that the semi-transparent image does not appear directly on the windshield but, for ergonomic reasons, at a distance of about two and a half meters from the driver, the path from the projector to the windshield is artificially enlarged with mirrors. The curved windshield, which is also double-glazed, would produce phantom images that would also be very distorted. These distortions must be corrected by the optics of the HUD module. The information displayed is freely programmable, but in the current BMW 5 Series, only information about speed, navigation and the on-board computer is displayed today. However, this sparse selection of information shows only the tip of the possible iceberg. Combined with Laneguard, ACC and an infrared camera, it would be quite possible to drive through dense fog as in a jet not on sight, but in absolute blind flight with instrument support. Even if one does not want to drive fast then, it could become safer in any case, if one is rejected to drive in such extreme conditions. Modern information technology does not stop at light either. For example, the company Hella recently presented its latest lighting technology. The AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) is a dynamically swiveling bend and cornering light. The sweeping front headlights shine into the curve at an angle of up to 15 degrees, depending on the steering angle and speed of the vehicle. As a result, curves are up to 90% better illuminated, which greatly improves active safety. With cornering lights, intersections and narrow bends are illuminated at wide angles with the aid of an additional reflector. This depends on turn signal and steering wheel position, as well as speed. The illumination takes place up to approximately 90 degrees. About 30 meters to the side of the direction of travel. From a speed of 50 km/h the cornering light is deactivated again, so that a lane change on the freeway is not considered by the system. For the future, a cornering light with connection to a GPS navigation system is already being considered, which can calculate the headlight position in advance.
Suspension-by-wire is the name of a fully-fledged electromechanical suspension system that simulates shock absorbers and suspension by means of electronically controlled motors. Since the control computer knows the optimum setting for every road surface, every speed and every load condition, the vehicle is always tuned with the best road holding with maximum driving comfort. The preliminary stage to the completely electronically controlled landing gear already exists today. With air suspension struts that can be adjusted while driving, you can be sporty or comfortable as you wish. These spring struts, which can also be adjusted in height, can already be found in all German luxury class models and in the C5 from Citroen.
The current form of braking, by hydraulics, could soon be completely a thing of the past. In modern vehicles with ESP, there is a hybrid braking system consisting of conventional hydraulics and electronics. Pressure is still generated in a line via the brake pedal, but this pressure can also be triggered by a control unit. This is necessary because the ESP brakes each wheel individually. Just like electrohydraulics, the electromechanical brake (EMB) has already found its way into many an automobile. Instead of using a hydraulic pressure cylinder, the brake pads are pressed onto the discs by electric motors. However, this brake is at the moment only on the rear wheels, also for example as a parking brake in use. With few functions more equipped this parking brake can be used also as starting assistance. That this braking system only works on the rear axle has two reasons. On the one hand, this axle is not as stressed as the front one when braking, less force is needed. In addition, the conventional hydraulic system can be regarded as a redundancy in case the electronics fail. On the other hand, less energy is needed for braking on the rear axle. For an EMB on the front axle, either the cable diameter would have to be increased to be able to conduct more current, or an on-board voltage of at least 42 volts would have to be introduced. This is required by manufacturers of various X-by-Wire systems, but raises new problems. To increase the cable cross-section would mean more weight again. With a 42V electrical system, the entire electrical system would have to be adapted. With the current hybrid solution, manufacturers can gain initial experience as to whether the electromechanical brake will prove effective. In total, this brake system consists of 3 brake circuits, double hydraulic in the front and electric in the rear. Experts estimate that pure EMB will not be mature and ready for use until the next decade.
The most complex X-By-Wire technology is the Steer-By-Wire. It is a completely mechatronic system, without a steering column. The preliminary stage of this technology is already used by BMW in the current 5 and 6 Series models: Active Steering. In this type of steering, the old technology is combined with the modern one. A steering column is still present, but the steering gear no longer has a static ratio; instead, a servomotor can change the ratio and can also steer independently, which now becomes real countersteering when the ESP intervenes. Since there is no steering column with Steer-By-Wire, the steering feel would be very sterile. The steering wheel must therefore be able to provide feedback from the road to the driver. This is achieved with force feedback technology, similar to steering wheels for computer games.
Fig. 2: Functional principle Steer-By-Wire
The principle is simple: the motor (M) on the steering wheel provides feedback and the sensor (S) detects the steering angle. The data of the steering angle sensor are given via a control unit (SG) to a motor, which moves the steering gear. Steering angle, counterpressure and road conditions are measured by the sensor on the steering gear and this data is passed on to the motor of the force feedback steering wheel. In practice, however, you still need redundancies to make a system nearly fail-safe. For the steering input you even need a 3-fold redundancy, because with a simple one you would not be able to determine which system delivers wrong values. So angle sensors (WS) and controllers are 3-fold, so that the majority decision makers (2 of 3) can tell which system is defective. The actuator (act) is 2-fold redundant, with each actuator monitored by each control unit. The redundancy in the torque sensor (MS) in the steering wheel and steering gear module is only 2-fold, because a failure of the force feedback can be coped with in driving operation. The advantages of a fully electronically controlled steering system are obvious. The mechatronics are lighter than the mechanical components and consume less energy than, for example, a power steering system that brakes the engine mechanically with its V-belt. Eliminating the steering column would make cars safer because the steering wheel would be "soft" In the event of a frontal collision, the driver's head would be even better protected than by an airbag alone. In addition, the steering column in the engine compartment severely restricts the arrangement of components. Almost every car is built as left- and right-hand drive, which further promotes the restriction because all other components are installed uniformly. Without a steering column, the space available in the engine compartment could be used much better. In conjunction with ESP, an electronic steering system could also provide real countersteering, which in turn would increase active driving safety. With BMW's active steering system, this is already possible today. For several years, futurologists have been imagining vehicles with autopilot, but only steer-by-wire technology would make this relatively easy to achieve. A car combined with Laneguard, ACC, the current drive-by-wire methods and a satellite navigation system would certainly not be far away from the step to a completely self-driving car. Since there is practically no fixed ratio in the steering gear, every driver could set his own individual steering characteristics, from a gentle touring sedan to a sporty racing car. Unfortunately, the law still prohibits the integration of a purely electric, electronic or pneumatic steering system in a motor vehicle. It is therefore required by law that a steering column must be present. This law can be changed, however, the burden of proof for the safety of the Steer-By-Wire lies with the manufacturers. In fact, all major manufacturers have already developed so-called concept cars equipped with X-By-Wire technologies. These therefore also serve to provide evidence for the safety of the systems. Probably the most serious disadvantage of this steering technology, however, is the weight, which is increased by the redundancies and the systems' own power supply. This makes up for the weight advantage of mechatronics over conventional systems. The most important question in Steer-By-Wire technology, however, is that of safety. What happens if, despite the redundancies, the system fails completely?? Without steering, it would no longer be possible to maneuver the vehicle. One would have only the possibility to brake, but this would avoid an accident in the rarest cases. Many supporters of this system always like to compare this technology with the one from an Airbus, which is also fly-by-wire safe on the way. But undoubtedly an airplane is bigger. More expensive than a car. So one has quite different possibilities in the development of the systems.
4. Car MultiMedia
4.1 GPS navigation systems
The first satellite navigation system was the CarIN (Car Information and Navigation), introduced by Philips in 1993. There are now some companies that produce such navigation systems(Blaupunkt, SiemensVDO, Clarion and others). In principle, these systems all work according to one pattern. There is an antenna which receives the data from the GPS satellites. The GPS (Global Positioning System) consists of 24 satellites, which orbit the earth on six orbits at a height of 20000 km. To be able to navigate relatively accurately with GPS, at least four. Optimal six satellite "visible its. In dense forest areas and tunnels, however, it is not always the case that sufficient numbers can be received, which is why other techniques are still used for navigation in the vehicle. In the navigation computer there is still a gyrometer (gyrocompass), which determines the direction of the vehicle in the earth's magnetic field. In addition, the speedometer signal is used to determine how fast the car is moving, and the system can also detect directional changes via the front wheel sensors of the ABS system. The map material for visual positioning is usually on CD or in the case of the most modern devices also on DVD. With the TMC (Traffic Massage Channel) add-on module, it is even possible to dynamically plan the route to be taken. Almost all radio stations broadcast a data channel in addition to their actual program, in which information about traffic obstructions is transmitted. If there is a traffic obstruction on the already planned route, a new travel route can be calculated if the driver so wishes.
4.2 Infotainment systems
The term infotainment is a buzzword made up of information and entertainment. Today, such systems can be found in almost every German luxury car, but they are also becoming increasingly popular in the mid-range segment.
Fig. 3: Cockpit of the VW Phaeton
As the word suggests, infotainment systems combine useful information with entertainment. The common functions of such a system include control and operation of air conditioning, radio/CD, TV tuner, telephone, navigation and on-board computer. Thereby the operation of the whole system offers some advantages compared to the single elements. If you imagine that each function has its own buttons and controls, it would be very complicated to put them all within reach of the driver.
Fig. 4: Infotainment system of the VW Phaeton
This means that there is only one knob for each function and only one rotary control for everything together, which can be used, for example, to change the volume of the radio and then the temperature of the air conditioner. The knob has a stepper motor that can be used to change the grid. If there is a large range, as with the volume of the radio, the grid becomes very small. But if there are only a few choices, the grid becomes coarser, and the distance you have to turn to achieve a change becomes larger.
4.3 MC5400 – MultiMedia Center
The MC5400 from SiemensVDO is an add-on module for an existing navigation system, but it can also be operated without one. The heart is a 486 compatible CPU, which is clocked with 100 MHz. It has 32 MByte RAM, as well as a CompactFlash slot.
Fig. 5: MC5400 – MultiMedia Center
The embedded Linux operating system with additional programs is located on a corresponding CF card. A PCMCIA slot can be used for additional memory cards. In addition, there are connections for three 5.8" monitors TFT monitors are available. TV tuner and DVD player can also be connected and controlled. A cell phone can also be integrated via a serial interface with the aid of a data cable. The software package includes a fully functional HTML browser, an email and fax client and some games to pass the time. The software set also includes a MultiMadia browser, which can play music in MP3 format and display images.
4.4 Digital broadcasting
Modern technology does not stop at the radio either. Digital satellite TV and radio have been around for some time now. Terrestrial broadcasting of digital programs is also old hat in terms of the idea, but the nationwide distribution of DVB-T transmitters (Digital Video Broadcasting, Terrestrial) is still missing. However, these will not be available until there are more receivers on the market, i.E., until people predominantly replace their old analog receivers with digital ones. It is not worthwhile for broadcasters to broadcast digital and analog simultaneously. Unlike analog television, digital devices are capable of receiving compressed data in MPEG-2 format and producing an undisturbed image even in the presence of shadows or reflections while driving. Nationwide DVB-T coverage is not expected to be completed until 2010. From the company Harman/Becker there is already a receiver, with which an interference-free picture is to be ensured up to a speed of 160 km/h. With the little brother, the DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) it looks somewhat better with the surface covering, but here the spreading is also rather declining, by the missing devices and thus customers.
Due to the ever-increasing flood of information and devices in the automobile, the industry has quickly realized that it does not make much sense to install the control units and actuators/motors all individually and possibly network each one with the others. People quickly looked to the technology in conventional computers and came to the conclusion that data buses can meet the requirements in vehicles. In recent years, the electronic content of a motor vehicle has steadily increased: This applies to conventional areas such as the engine and body, but to a greater extent to new fields of application such as driver support systems and telematics applications. According to recently published figures from the IEEE, an annual increase of approx. 15 percent, electronics are expected to account for about a quarter of the development costs and value added of a mid-size car in 2005. Conventional buses in vehicles are based on serial, event-driven protocols such as CAN or J 1850 and have been used successfully in the body shop in recent years. For new real-time applications, however, they will soon reach their limits. New bus standards, such as time-triggered protocols and optical transmission media, are being defined to handle higher data throughputs. Networking in the vehicle can be grouped into four categories: Body communication: control signals and data between seat adjustment, dashboard, mirrors, seat belts, door locks and airbags (passive safety) Entertainment and driver information: communication and control between radio, web browser, CD/DVD player, telematics and infotainment system Under the hood: networking between ABS/ESP, emission control and powertrain Advanced active safety systems: Data transfer between X-by-wire systems (brakes and steering) and driver assistance.
5.1 Body communication – CAN and LIN
5.1.1 CAN bus
The Controller Area Network is currently the most widespread vehicle network for cars and trucks, with over 100 million. Installed nodes. In a typical vehicle, two or three separate CANs operate at different speeds: K-CAN: Below 125 Kbit/s for simpler control tasks in the body, such as seat adjustment and power windows. A-CAN with higher speed up to 1 Mbit/s couples more time-critical functions, such as engine management and ABS, where their high transmission reliability is crucial. I-CAN: They are intended for networking infotainment systems.
Fig. 6: CAN buses in the VW Phaeton
5.1.2 LIN bus
LIN (Local Interconnect Network) complements CAN in cost-critical applications where data traffic requirements are not as high. This includes smart sensors and actuators z.B. In door control (power windows, locking and mirror adjustment), seat adjustment, climate control and headlight adjustment. LIN is coupled to higher-level networks such as CAN via a LIN master node.
5.2 multimedia buses
Infotainment and telematics systems, such as z.B. Vehicle navigation, require operating systems of high functionality and connectivity. So far, the coexistence of open standards and licensed buses is working reasonably well. However, it is to be expected that open standards will largely prevail, so that vehicle manufacturers and suppliers can concentrate on their core competencies. The future belongs to highly integrated, open and configurable systems.
5.2.1 MOST bus
D2B (Digital Data Bus) is an open architecture network protocol for multimedia data communication between digital audio, video and other synchronous or asynchronous signals at data rates up to 11.2 Mbit/s. The medium is unshielded twisted pair (plus ground) "SMARTwire" or a fiber optic cable is provided. D2B configures itself during start-up: This allows new participants to be connected to the network at any time. For new technologies, the standard is being extended, with backward compatibility ensuring that new products can be installed in the vehicle throughout its service life. This bus is, however, somewhat outdated, so that only a few chip manufacturers and consumer. Due to its rather mediocre data rates, it is also only conditionally audio capable and not video capable.
Fig. 7: Networking the buses
5.3 Real-time critical buses
Flexray is a new network communication system designed specifically for the next generation of automotive X-By-Wire applications. These require fast bus systems that operate deterministically and fault-tolerantly, and support distributed control systems. Leading companies, including BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Philips Semiconductors, Motorola and Bosch, are involved in establishing FlexRay as the standard of the new generation. This technology complements the most important network standards in the vehicle, such as CAN, LIN and MOST. Flexray is initially designed for a data rate of 10 Mbit/s, although the protocol allows for much higher data rates. Depending on the application, purely synchronous, purely asynchronous or mixed operation is envisaged. Synchronous data transmission enables time-controlled communication for strictly deterministic system behavior, while asynchronous transmission based on the byteflight protocol is used to handle large volumes of data in event-controlled communication.
5.3.2 Time Triggered Protocol (TTP)
For fault-tolerant, distributed real-time systems, the time-triggered protocol TTP is a mature, cost-effective networking solution for safety-oriented applications. Available second-generation components support transmission speeds of up to 25 Mbit/s. Members of the TTP Group include Audi, PSA, Renault, and TTChip.
5.3.3 Time Triggered CAN (TTCAN)
TTCAN extends the CAN protocol by a session layer above the existing data link and physical layer. This results in a hybrid, time-triggered TDMA flow that also includes event-driven communication of the original CAN protocol. Typical areas of application are engine and powertrain management as well as chassis controls in view of X-By-Wire applications.
6. Question of sense
For those who are familiar with technology, and especially with the difference between theory and practice, the thought of adding even more electronics to a car might make you feel uneasy. Especially when the PC at home does not react in the same way or even crashes, the question arises why one also has to deal with systems in the vehicle that have driven many to despair. Today, some high-tech cars have worse problems than any PC: warning lights from the airbag that don't go out or supposedly defective lamps, convertible tops that open in the rain, power steering that fails, infotainment systems that pause, engines that go on strike – the list of possibilities for error is almost endless. In Thailand, for example, the on-board electronics of Finance Minister Suchart Jaovisidha's new BMW 520 failed while he was locked inside his vehicle in subtropical temperatures. Doors and windows remained closed and the air conditioning did not run either. 50% of all motor vehicle breakdowns are caused by electronics, regardless of manufacturer. Critics ask why the automotive industry is saddling itself with more and more electronics and looking for even more solutions to problems that have not necessarily been solved. Automotive engineering is increasingly becoming the domain of electrical engineers and computer scientists rather than mechanical engineers, who should actually have the prerogative in this sector. One of the serious disadvantages of the accumulation of electronics is the deliverability of chips years later. After just ten years, the supply of electronic components is becoming very difficult, because manufacturers naturally prefer to focus on current technology rather than that of the past. Experts estimate that due to the many computer support in the automobile of today's cars there will be very few to no classic cars, because after twenty or even thirty years it should be completely impossible to still get electronic components. This fact is solely due to electronics, because the sheet metal parts and bodywork of a vehicle nowadays are quite capable of withstanding this period of time. The fact that there are no standardized buses for communication makes life and existence more difficult for suppliers. If a supplier wants to sell X-By-Wire technologies to BMW and Audi, for example, he would have to talk to experts for the FlexRay and TTP buses. The many cables and redundancies, for the X-By-Wire technology, make the cars heavy again. The best example of this is the VW Phaeton, which has an unladen weight of over 2 tons. In the Phaeton 3860m of cable are installed in over 2100 cuts and that despite several bus systems. This cable harness alone weighs approx. 64 kg and connects 45 control units and their motors and switches with each other. In addition, one must not forget the power hunger of the systems, especially in the infotainment area. With all the possibilities to pass the time, for example with the MC5400, you must not forget to run the engine or to charge the battery externally, otherwise it could happen that the battery runs out quite quickly. But all the electronics in the car is not only for small car drivers to laugh at their colleagues in luxury cars, which just once again do not want to start, but it is primarily for safety. In addition, the same systems are being installed in more and more small cars as in the luxury class models, because safety comes first. Whether active safety, like ESP, or passive safety, like ACC, Laneguard, Presafe or drowsiness warning, the argument of safety justifies the heaped use of electronics in the car. The EU member states have committed themselves to halving the number of road deaths by 2010 compared to the year 2000. 42000 were in the EU and of it alone in Germany ca. 7500. By the X-By-Wire technology intervening with danger as well as by possible alcohol detectors the security is to be increased. But also among themselves networked cars, which warn each other, and thus the driver, of dangers such as black ice, fog, traffic jams or accidents are conceivable to save even more people. If all of this is of no use, the only reasonable method in Germany would be a general speed limit on the autobahns. But the safety is by far not the only aspect. All the electronics also makes the car more comfortable. There are many ways to adjust anything in the car, for example in the past every driver had to adjust his seat, the mirrors and if necessary also the steering wheel individually to himself, and this always, if someone else was on the way with the car. With today's electric motor settings, the driver can load his values at the push of a button, and everything adjusts itself as if by "magic" a. Engineers have not stopped at door opening and have developed a technology called "Keyless Entry and Go" hears. You only need to approach your car with the key in your pocket and the doors will unlock. If you are coming from shopping and you don't want to lose half of your stuff, this technology is also very useful. The same is true when you move away from your car, it is then locked automatically. The next step in this direction is to be able to assign different values to each vehicle key. Thus the seats, mirrors and the steering wheel adjust themselves automatically to the position, which the driver programmed with the respective key. Another, also very desirable, side effect of modern microelectronics is the saving of fuel. The idea of using computer chips to control mixture preparation is almost 30 years old, but this technology is still being improved in the search for the optimum. In addition, pure mechatronics is lighter than mechanics and hydraulics, which saves considerable weight. This lightening of the already very heavy cars compared to 20 years ago also saves fuel once again. At up to half a liter per 100 kilometers, the savings achieved by reducing 100 kg are considerable. Another very important aspect is that all the auxiliary units with belt drive could be omitted. The V-belts sit directly on the engine and thus represent a mechanical resistance. For example, the power steering is driven by such a V-belt. But the resistance and therefore the increase in fuel consumption is highest exactly when the power steering is used and needed the least: At high speeds on the highway. Steer-By-Wire technology would be able to provide a remedy here. According to BMW, 90 percent of the real innovations in the vehicle take place in the field of electronics. As a result, there are many small but also some large companies more than years ago. Microelectronics already account for about 30 to 40 percent of the production costs of luxury cars, and the trend is rising. For mid-range and compact cars, the figure is now 8 to 10 percent, although in the future this will tend to approach that of the luxury class. A completely different topic is the amount of data. The control units of a BMW 5 series already contain 120 megabytes of software, and the successor to the current 7 series is expected to break the gigabyte barrier. Also with the software in the car the programming language Java lies in the trend, the main reason is the platform independence, since the hardware is developed parallel to the software. In safety-relevant systems, as for example the X-By-Wire – technology Java cannot be used unfortunately, since these vehicle functions must be available 500 milliseconds after starting the car. There, the startup behavior of the virtual machine is still too slow. Therefore, programming in C/C++ is still popular in this sector. In the infotainment sector, however, Java is already established.
Modern microelectronics are an integral part of our cars. The safety standard is set ever higher and in the car advertisement this is a beating argument. Without ESP, for example, even more Mercedes A-Classes would have toppled over in extreme situations. This incident led to the fact that since then all Mercedes were delivered with ESP. Certainly, one can also think that cars more than 30 years ago were also on the road without electronics, and these also worked. For some, modern computer technology is even the scapegoat when a car is parked at the side of the road again. But definitely the cars have not only become safer, but above all more reliable, despite or even because of the electronics. In addition, today's technology also very much serves the well-being, one is practically forced to convenience. But nobody seems to be really bothered by this, because comfort is also a strong argument in advertising. If someone doesn't want any comfort, there are certainly some niche products that do without any helpers at all in order to give the driver the feeling that he really has everything under his control. However, safety is also precisely the counterargument to modern electronics. Many people would not easily entrust their lives to a computer that steers and brakes for them. This is also the reason why there is still no production-ready car with steer-by-wire, or at least there must not be. However, this is also a very ambivalent topic, in which the opponents doubt the safety, while the proponents defend their arguments with the Airbus technology. The Airbus flies with its Fly-By-Wire – technology in the last 20 years already very safe, however an airplane has also more place in the air, if any system times fails. When a car can no longer steer, the most you can do is try to brake. In the air you could still change the altitude to avoid obstacles, or perform minimal steering movements with the engines. Every major car manufacturer has developed at least one so-called concept car in the last 5 years that is drive-by-wire and packed with the latest technology. So there is feverish research and testing to prove that the X-By-Wire technology is safe and ready for the market. In this reference all experts agree that at the latest in the next decade the X-By-Wire – technology is represented in the cars as often as today an air conditioner. Surely there might be a few horror visions, of cars that act independently by a virus and kill their occupants in rows. But how many victims have there really been, for example by vampires?? A completely different issue in computer technology is the recording of telemetry data, respectively the data protection of the same. Who owns my data? Company car tormentors can be unmasked quite easily today, because the engine control unit dutifully records all data once the gearshift is in the red zone. Insurance companies could set their liability premiums according to the "pay as you drive" principle Principle claim that particularly aggressive drivers should pay more because they could potentially cause an accident faster. Up to now, not all data in the vehicle is encrypted, but that is exactly what is needed if in the future it might be possible to get firmware updates over the air at the gas station. The main problem is that the issue of data security was only recognized as relevant far too late in the development of automotive electronics to date, and that there is no uniform overall concept. My opinion about the sense of electronics in cars has changed a bit during this seminar topic. In the past I was rather an opponent of too much electronics in the car, but today I look forward to the future more friendly. And I can hardly wait to drive a car that would be able to drive by itself like the legendary Night Rider.