Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Transportation

Stay updated on the innovations in transportation technologies. Explore the articles and technical briefs on electrification and autonomous driving that have impacted transportation design and engineering.

Question of the Week : Transportation
Will Cities be Ready for Autonomous Vehicle Fleets?

Autonomous vehicle fleets are on the way, according to Chris Heiser, co-founder and CEO of Renovo, a California-based manufacturer of automotive operating systems.

Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
Automated vehicles – fleets of them – may soon change the way we travel through cities. "How soon?" asks a reader.
How Soon Will Autonomous Vehicle Fleets Take the Streets?
Briefs : Materials
Method 3D-Prints Marine-Grade Stainless Steel
Method 3D-Prints Marine-Grade Stainless Steel

Marine-grade stainless steel is valued for its performance under corrosive environments, and for its high ductility — the ability to bend without breaking under stress. But conventional...

Method 3D-Prints Marine-Grade Stainless Steel
Briefs : Aerospace
Water-Repellent Nanotextures Possess Anti-Fogging Capability

Some insect bodies have evolved the ability to repel water and oil, adhere to different surfaces, and eliminate light reflections. Scientists have been studying the physical mechanisms underlying these properties found in nature and mimicking them to design materials for use in...

Briefs : Transportation
Electrode Design Boosts Supercapacitor Performance

Supercapacitors are rechargeable energy storage devices that deliver more power for their size than similar-sized batteries. They also recharge quickly, and they last for hundreds to thousands of recharging cycles. Today, they are used in hybrid cars’ regenerative braking systems and for other...

Briefs : Energy
Polymer Membrane Separators for Next-Generation Energy-Water Systems
Polymer Membrane Separators for Next-Generation Energy-Water Systems

Polymer membrane separators play a crucial function in many energy and water technologies including energy storage, hydrogen generation through water electrolysis, and...

Polymer Membrane Separators for Next-Generation Energy-Water Systems
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control
Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control

Technological advancements in materials, sensors, and computing have driven demand for higher-performance satellites. Satellites need to be much more capable in a much smaller size with a...

Composite Panel with Integrated Thermal Control
Application Briefs : Automotive
Autonomous Vehicles and the Burden of Testing
Autonomous Vehicles and the Burden of Testing
AB Dynamics
Wiltshire, England
www.abdynamics.com

Autonomous vehicles cannot be tested for every eventuality that might transpire in their operating environment. As the...

Autonomous Vehicles and the Burden of Testing
Articles : Lighting
Taking It to the Streets: Designing Streetlamp Optical Components
Taking It to the Streets: Designing Streetlamp Optical Components

The task of creating a streetlamp optical system has changed over the last 20 years and due to this change, so has optical design software. Let’s compare the task of...

Taking It to the Streets: Designing Streetlamp Optical Components
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
See Objects Hidden Around Corners
See Objects Hidden Around Corners

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the...

See Objects Hidden Around Corners
Articles : Test & Measurement
Principles of Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes
Principles of Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes

Today’s high-resolution laser scanning confocal microscopes (LSCM), also referred to simply as laser scanning microscopes, are powerful high-magnification surface metrology instruments with...

Principles of Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes
INSIDER : Transportation
Future Electric Cars Could Recharge Wirelessly While You Drive
Future Electric Cars Could Recharge Wirelessly While You Drive
Electric vehicles may one day be able to recharge while driving down the highway, drawing wireless power directly from plates installed in the road.
Future Electric Cars Could Recharge Wirelessly While You Drive
Blog : Transportation
Answering Your Questions: Can CFD Software Simulate 'Wear and Tear' on an Engine?
Answering Your Questions: Can CFD Software Simulate 'Wear and Tear' on an Engine?
Simulation tools offer insight into the physical processes of heavy-duty engines. But what about natural wear and tear?
Answering Your Questions: Can CFD Software Simulate 'Wear and Tear' on an Engine?
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Who Will Integrate 3D Metal Printing — Tiers or OEMs?
Answering Your Questions: Who Will Integrate 3D Metal Printing — Tiers or OEMs?
A reader asks: Will it be the OEMs or the Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers who will be purchasing 3D metal printing machines?
Answering Your Questions: Who Will Integrate 3D Metal Printing — Tiers or OEMs?
Question of the Week : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Do You Trust Self-Driving Cars on Country Roads?

Most autonomous vehicles have been tested out in city environments, where tech companies like Google can build intricate 3D maps that lay out the exact position of every lane, curb, off-ramp, and street sign.

But what about areas with less definable features, like country roads or a...

Briefs : Motion Control
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel
Sensor-Free Smart Wheel

Technology was developed that not only allows wheels to “know” when and how to rotate, but also enables them to work together in interactive teams. The new technology can be used wherever there is a need for...

Sensor-Free Smart Wheel
Briefs : Automotive
Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive
Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline, two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission, or as a supplemental add-on input...

Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Using Vanadium Dioxide to Create Programmable Electronic Functions
Using Vanadium Dioxide to Create Programmable Electronic Functions

Vanadium dioxide’s unique properties make it ideally suited for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. This compound can...

Using Vanadium Dioxide to Create Programmable Electronic Functions
Application Briefs : Automotive
Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants
Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants

Vision-guided robotics commonly used in today's automotive plants enables robots to “see” the object they are working on so they can perform the required activity accurately on/to an object that is...

Guiding the Way in Automotive Plants
Articles : Transportation
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability
Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability

When engineer Mark Doyle started to put together plans for an exoskeleton to support surgeons in 2012, he wanted to develop a lightweight product that they could wear comfortably for...

Plastic Bearings Reduce Weight and Improve Durability
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: Beyond Prototyping, How is 3D Metal Printing Being Used in the Automotive Industry?
Answering Your Questions: Beyond Prototyping, How is 3D Metal Printing Being Used in the Automotive Industry?
Can metal 3D printing help automakers with more than just prototyping? It can, and it has, says our engineering expert.
Answering Your Questions: Beyond Prototyping, How is 3D Metal Printing Being Used in the Automotive Industry?
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Depth-Sensing Imaging System Can Peer Through Fog
Depth-Sensing Imaging System Can Peer Through Fog

An inability to handle misty driving conditions has been one of the chief obstacles to the development of autonomous vehicular navigation systems that use visible light. These systems are...

Depth-Sensing Imaging System Can Peer Through Fog
Blog : Automotive
No Map Needed: ‘MapLite’ Sends Self-Driving Cars Off the Beaten Path
No Map Needed: ‘MapLite’ Sends Self-Driving Cars Off the Beaten Path
A “MapLite” framework from MIT allows self-driving cars to navigate roads – with just GPS and sensors as a guide.
No Map Needed: ‘MapLite’ Sends Self-Driving Cars Off the Beaten Path
Blog : Transportation
Answering Your Questions: Will Reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Lead to Increased Particulate?
Answering Your Questions: Will Reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Lead to Increased Particulate?
Does less nitrogen oxide mean more particulate emissions? A reader asks our expert.
Answering Your Questions: Will Reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Lead to Increased Particulate?
Briefs : Energy
Environmentally Friendly, Rechargeable Proton Battery
Environmentally Friendly, Rechargeable Proton Battery

A working, rechargeable proton battery was developed that could store more energy than currently available lithium-ion batteries. Potential applications include household storage of...

Environmentally Friendly, Rechargeable Proton Battery
Articles : Energy
3D-Printed Lab on Wheels
3D-Printed Lab on Wheels

Next-generation manufacturing takes on a 50-year-old icon as ORNL researchers transform the classic Shelby Cobra sports car into a 3D-printed laboratory on wheels. Additive manufacturing enables the seamless...

3D-Printed Lab on Wheels
Blog : Transportation
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
What's the best platform for controlling vehicle emissions? "It depends!" says one engine expert.
How to Control Vehicle Emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) or Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)?
Articles : Electronics & Computers
Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems
Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems

The market for higher-voltage automotive systems is expanding. The number of electric vehicles that use battery-powered drive systems having voltage equal to or higher than 48V is...

Circuit Protection Challenges for Battery Management Systems
Q&A : Transportation
Q&A: Dr. Abhaya Datye Creates a More Powerful Emission-Control Catalyst

Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of New Mexico have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines. Their work presents a new way to create a more...