The BMW i8 is a pretty impressive car, and a highly visible one at that. It's a great brand ambassador, but not just for BMW. It's really no surprise that Formula E chose it as the safety car from the electric racing series. And, for its duties at tracks around the word, the i8 safety car got some slick upgrades, including wireless charging capabilities courtesy of Qualcomm.
Like a television-broadcasting company covering the Olympics, Toyota is looking to market its future in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle production by taking the personal approach. In this case, the Japanese automaker is telling the backstory of Jackie Birdsall, an engineer at Toyota Technical Center who Toyota says is "obsessed" with fuel-cell technology.
Hiring new engineers in the auto industry is always something of a gamble. Just because someone coming out of school has a 4.0 GPA, it doesn't mean that they are well suited to the day-to-day problem solving and innovation required of a modern engineer. In the past, a lot of new engineers were recruited through co-operative education programs or internships where companies got see students work first hand. However, cost cutting efforts in recent years have caused these programs to be curtailed.
If working on high-tech batteries like the units pictured above or developing complex hybrid powertrains is your cup of tea, then boy are you a lucky one. As countless automakers turn their attention towards a future filled with electric and hybrid vehicles, the demand for mechatronics engineers will only continue to grow.
For over a century, the training of automotive engineers has focused on creating vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines. Electrical and mechanical engineers have worked on piston engines, transmissions and all manner of related systems. The future holds new directions for transportation, much of which revolves around electric drive systems. That means veterans and upcoming engineers need new skill sets.
Princeton Uni engineers have identified how to control the flow of hydrogen gas inside a newly designed fuel cell to control its power output. Previously, controlling the hydrogen flow rate was considered impossible but Princeton's breakthrough was to create a system in which the fuel input itself changes the size of the reaction chamber, and therefore the power output. Other advances with the design include increased understanding of water management in fuel cells which has up until now been a