Adopted from aerospace vehicle designs, x-by-wires, also known as drive-by wires, are a key technology that has been crucial in the development of autonomous vehicles. Owing to the ability of bypassing the steering wheel of an automobile as an input device, x-by-wires can be used to improve on safety, through computerized intervention to protect passengers in hazardous situations.
As per a recent study by Future Market Insights on the global X-by-wire market, these systems are essential for the functioning of systems such as electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control, and even lane assist systems. Moreover, the drive by-wire eliminates the need for several mechanical linkage components, thereby reducing the overall weight of the automobile, and improving on ergonomics, by boosting flexibility in design. The market has seen higher rates of demand in recent times owing to increasing sales of passenger cars.
Electronic Throttle Control X-Wire Systems Powered by ASSPs
When the first electronic throttle control (ETC) x-by-wire mechanism, was successfully installed in an automobile, it was largely dependent on the engine control unit (ECU). However, today x-by-wire technology has converted the ETC into a high penetration rate system and has enabled the overall expenditure to be reduced through the easy availability of application-specific standard products (ASSPs), largely comprising integrated circuits.
These integrated circuits were designed keeping the keeping the needs of ETC and similar applications of automotive motor control in mind. For example, Infineon developed its TLE6209 Power IC, which utilized inbuilt circuitry that was optimized to control DC current powered motors by providing up to 7 amperes.
With operational requirements ranging up to voltages of 40 V, Modern ETCs require minimal heat-sink processes to easily maintain the safe operating temperature even if the engine temperatures go over 100°C. This IC variant can be utilized for applications of pulse width modulations (PWM) up to frequencies of 25 kHz, significantly reducing interference from electromagnetic fields, and minimizing audible noises during operation.
New Delphi Steer-by-Wire System Eliminates Mechanical Linkage from Rear Subsystems
Numerous manufacturers and suppliers of electro-hydraulic power steering systems, have created designs where the hydraulic pump is powered by electric motors, instead of being continuously being powered by the engine. For example, Delphi Automotive Systems Pvt. Ltd, have released an Electric Power Steering system named, E-Steer that integrates the standard steering gear with a hybrid assist mechanism and electrically powered controller, which helps users to minimize the force required for steering removes the requirements for components such as hoses, power steering pumps, drive belt, hydraulic fluids, and pulleys for operating the engine.
The system works by using sensors to accurately measure the position of the hand-wheel and the torque of the steering shaft. These measurements are then combined with system variables such as signals for vehicle speed by using an electronic control module that validates the results before identifying the direction and effort of the steering assist, required for any particular maneuver.
The company also has also revealed a new rear steering system, branded as Quadrasteer, which is designed for General Motors’ LMVs. This is a steer-by-wire system that does not require any mechanical links between the driver and the rear steering system, by bringing the best of both, the full steer-by-wire system and the E-Steer.
Brake-by-wire Systems Gain Popularity Through benefits Over Traditional Counterparts
Electrohydraulic brakes (EHB) are increasingly popularizing complete by-wire technology. Here, traditional setups of hydraulic brakes are used to gauge the braking force. However, in EHBs sensor are also integrated to the brake pedal to measure and transmit the driver’s effort for the electronic control unit instead of mechanical linkages.
For example, Continental has released EHB systems for the new Ford passenger cars. It makes use of a series regenerative brake system to boost the car’s fuel efficiency significantly, through electrical power.
The system distributes electrical regenerative braking and hydraulic brake force for optimal braking experience. The system uses a high-voltage generator, which is integrated to the powertrain to increase the efficacy of the battery recharging process. Continental’s unique system also utilizes conventional friction brakes for additional stopping power as determined by the braking system.
Find the latest developments in the ever-evolving global x-by-wire market, here.