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.

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 : Transportation
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Materials
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 : RF & Microwave Electronics
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 : Software
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 : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
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 : Materials
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?
News : Imaging
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 : Propulsion
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 : Automotive
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 : Green Design & Manufacturing
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 : Automotive
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...

Blog : Communications
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
A reader asks our expert: "How do road conditions impact vehicle-to-vehicle responses?"
Truck Platooning Technology: How Will Road Conditions Impact V2V Communications?
News : Energy
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
By replacing the cam, a new valve technology may lead to more affordable — and more environmentally friendly — engines.
Replacing Camshafts with Valves Paves Way for Cheaper, Greener Engines
Question of the Week : Transportation
Will laser-based imaging help self-driving cars someday see around corners?

An autonomous-driving technology from Stanford University gives vehicles the capability to "peek" around corners. Tech Briefs spoke with the creators of the laser-based system. To make the technology road-ready, the team still needs to speed-up the data-acquisition...

Blog : Transportation
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
A Tech Briefs reader asked our expert: What is the best data-processing architecture for truly autonomous, 'Level-5' vehicles?
Sound-Off: How to Achieve ‘Level 5’ Autonomous Driving
News : Transportation
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners
Stanford University is developing a laser-based imaging technology that allows cars to peek around corners.
With Laser-Based Imaging, Self-Driving Cars See Around Corners
Blog : Medical
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
Have a product design idea? The "Create the Future" Design Contest is now open for submissions until July 2, 2018.
The ‘Create the Future’ Design Contest is Open for Entries
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars
New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars

A new approach to time-of-flight imaging that increases its depth resolution 1,000-fold has been presented by the MIT Camera Culture group. That type of resolution could make...

New Depth Sensors Could be Sensitive Enough for Self-Driving Cars
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Efficient Packaging Process for One-Piece Deployable Thin Membrane
Efficient Packaging Process for One-Piece Deployable Thin Membrane

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is building a small CubeSat that uses an 85-m2 solar sail deployed from a central location to capture the push of photons...

Efficient Packaging Process for One-Piece Deployable Thin Membrane
Facility Focus : Energy
Facility Focus: Argonne National Laboratory
Facility Focus: Argonne National Laboratory

Located in Argonne, IL, Argonne National Laboratory (ARL) is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center. Born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in...

Facility Focus: Argonne National Laboratory
Briefs : Imaging
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Gimbal for Steering Propelled CubeSats
Briefs : Transportation
Stretchable Mesh for Cavity Noise Reduction
Stretchable Mesh for Cavity Noise Reduction

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a landing gear cavity modification that reduces noise produced during aircraft approach and landing. The modification is an innovative stretchable...

Stretchable Mesh for Cavity Noise Reduction
Articles : Communications
SAE WCX Preview: Experience the Evolution
SAE WCX Preview: Experience the Evolution

Revolutionary changes are driving the mobility industry forward. Explore the next generation of transportation engineering at SAE’s WCX: World Congress Experience from April 10-12 in Detroit, MI....

SAE WCX Preview: Experience the Evolution
Articles : Aerospace
Pros & Cons of Advanced Lightweighting Materials
Pros & Cons of Advanced Lightweighting Materials

Although cars have been around for more than a century, the material they are made of (steel) has mostly stayed the same. It has only been in the past few decades that advanced materials...

Pros & Cons of Advanced Lightweighting Materials