Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK
IAA 2011, hall 4, exhibit booth C23
Reliable electronics for electric vehicles
Press release Aug 16, 2011
Munich, August 2011 – Electronic and software systems in electric cars fully control not only the motor, but also safety-critical functions. For this interaction to function properly in E-mobility systems, communication technology is especially important. At the same time, integration of the electric car into the road infrastructure and power network has to be strengthened. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK will be presenting their solutions to these issues at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany from September 15 to 25, 2011 in hall 4, exhibit booth C23.
Because electric cars lack a combustion engine and transmission, car designers are forging new paths by developing other powertrain concepts. This is illustrated by distributed wheel hub motors in which the mechatronic differential is replaced by software. This means electronics and software are increasingly assuming safety-critical functions. To make electric cars as safe to drive as conventional vehicles, Fraunhofer ESK researchers evaluated the newly evolving risks and developed a corresponding safety concept that was tested in a prototype vehicle. The concept ensures that the distributed e-motors consistently drive the wheels with the same torque and offers passengers the same safe driving experience.
The demand for communication is increasing not only within the vehicle. E-mobility also requires integration of the vehicle into the road infrastructure to ensure a comfortable ride, because the longer battery charging times calls for optimal traffic planning. These new traffic concepts require significantly more communication between the driver, vehicle and infrastructure. In order for this communication to remain reliable as the data load increases, intelligent data management methods must be developed. The Fraunhofer ESK engineers aggregate the data by merging various sensor data, leading to improved data quality and more reliable communication between vehicles and the road infrastructure.
Charging times and growing energy demands play a role in more than just the traffic planning. The power networks are still not designed to deal with mobile energy consumers. Fraunhofer ESK is working on a concept for communication between the vehicle and the energy provider by building more flexibility into the networks to enable management of the charging status and billing of the energy used by the electric vehicle.
The Fraunhofer ESK researchers implemented the safety concept into the Fraunhofer Frecc0 (Fraunhofer E-Concept Car Type 0) prototype vehicle, a joint development project that bundles the know-how of more than 30 Fraunhofer institutes.