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31J Mays set to overhaul Ford's global design

Rather than have disparate design wings flung across the globe, all speaking in a different tongue, Ford's tasking J Mays with teaching everyone the design equivalent of Esperanto. The new, unified, global design language will replace the "Kinetic Design" that Ford of Europe employs, as well as superseding the "Bold American" motif we get here in the United States. We're not likely to see the Edge pick up any Mondeo themes any time soon, but Mays is looking forward about six years to see the con

3SAE Convergence: Improving automotive microcontroller performance

Without a doubt, modern expectations for automotive performance, safety, and comfort are pushing "intelligence" throughout the vehicle, with microcontrollers showing up in a variety of devices that draw together chassis control, driver assistance, and risk management. At the SAE Convergence electronics show, Patrick Leteinturier from Infineon talked about the trends that we might expect for these tiny semiconductor brains.

3SAE Convergence 2006: The difficulty in implementing effective engine management systems

Just a decade ago, engine management was a relatively simple affair. Spark advance and fuel injection quantities were the key parameters, and the determination of both was a relatively simple matter of determining engine speed and load and using those values to index a lookup table. Nowadays, however, technology to improve power, drivability, and fuel consumption - such as variable valve timing and lift, intake tuning, and variable displacement - have greatly complicated the task of calibrating

4SAE Convergence 2006: BMW's Intelligent Battery Monitoring

Battery state-of-charge and state-of-health monitoring is normally thought of as technology that's most appropriate for hybrids, but at the SAE Convergence conference this week, BMW made a good case for including it on all motor vehicles. According to ACAD (the German equivalent of AAA), battery failures account for a full 53% of roadside electrical failures, and the situation only gets worse as increased electrical loads and fuel-saving techniques such as idle start/stop come into play.

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