Automobile

Case studies Air-cored temperature gauge – Rover

Shows the system used on some Rover vehicles for the temperature gauge. It is an air-cored device with fluid damping. The temperature gauge is fitted with a spiral pull-off spring to make the gauge read ‘cold’ when the ignition is switched off. The fuel gauge is very similar but retains its position when the ignition is off.

When the system receives a supply from the ignition the resistance of the thermistor determines the current flowing through the coils. When the engine coolant temperature is low, the resistance of the sender will be high. This will cause the voltage at point X to be higher than that at point Y. This will be above the Zenger voltage and so the diode will conduct in its reverse direction.

Current will flow through coil A and coil B directly but also a further path will exist through R and the diode, effectively bypassing coil A. This will cause the magnetism of coil B to be greater than coil A, deflecting the magnet and pointer towards the cold side.

Sneer diode. The diode is used to stabilize the gauge when reading ‘normal’ to reduce fluctuations due to thermostat operation.

Car navigation system – Alpine Electronics

The ‘Alpine’ navigation system is one of the most advanced systems in current use. It features very accurate maps, is easy to use, and even offers some voice guidance. The system consists of the base unit, a monitor, an antenna, remote control, and CDROM discs.  Shows the system in a vehicle. The following features are highlighted by ‘Alpine’.

One easy setting and you’re on your way. You can input and have the system search for your destination in a variety of ways: by address, street name, category or memory point. Destinations can be set by quick alphabetical input or you can switch directly to common destinations like airports or hotels. Popup menus allow you to choose spellings of destinations, memory inputs, etc. by using the remote control cursor.

Once inputting is done, the system calculates the best route to your destination according to your instructions. You can choose whether to go via motorway or normal streets, and also include local-points (like restaurants or fuel stations) or exclude avoid points, which you set. If traffic flow is obstructed, use ‘Alternate Route Setting’ instantly to get a new route. Cross-border routes can also be specified.

lupine gives ‘Voice Guidance’ to the destination, as well as a wide selection of display options. The ‘Basic Direction Mode’ displays only the most essential information, so as not to distract you from driving. It clearly shows the car’s direction, and distance.

Telematics

The information provided here is taken from information provided by the Automobile Association (AA), a well-respected organization, in the UK. Similar developments are taking place across the world. It was difficult to know whether ‘Telematics’ should be included in the instrumentation section or elsewhere – but here it is anyway

The car is a necessary component of our lives.

Last word

Over the last 50 years the number of vehicles has grown 10-fold and, by 2030, traffic is expected to have increased by a further 60%. The cost of personal transport is high; we should be acting now to ease congestion, save fuel and protect the environment. The technology to create some of the solutions is already available.

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