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.

News : Semiconductors & ICs
New Circuits Can Function at Temperatures Above 650°F

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have designed integrated circuits that can survive at temperatures greater than 350 degrees Celsius — or roughly 660 degrees Fahrenheit. Their work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will improve the functioning of processors,...

News : Defense
Inspired by Nature, Researchers Build a Tougher Metal

Drawing inspiration from the structure of bones and bamboo, researchers have gradually changed the internal structure of metals to make stronger, tougher materials. The new metals can be customized for a wide variety of applications — from body armor to automobile parts.

The research...

News : Transportation
Morphable Surfaces Reduce Air Resistance

A morphable surface developed by an MIT team can change surface texture — from smooth to dimpled, and back again — through changes in pressure. When the inside pressure is reduced, the flexible material shrinks, and the stiffer outer layer wrinkles. Increasing pressure returns the surface to a smooth...

News : Imaging
Pedestrian Detection System Captures Body Heat

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have designed a new pedestrian detection system for cars that works in low-visibility conditions using infrared cameras to capture body heat. The new driving-aid system uses images captured by far infrared with two thermal cameras to identify...

News : Materials
Testing Composite Structures for Stronger Bridges

The J. Lohr Structures Laboratory at South Dakota State University helps companies develop new materials and products — self-consolidating concrete columns and pre-stress concrete bridge girders — that bridge a physical gap. Over the past decade, researchers have conducted structural testing...

News : Software
Driving Simulator Helps Engineers Calculate Human Factor

Simulations are an important development tool in the automobile and utility vehicle. The properties of vehicle components, such as how they respond in an accident, their reliability, or their energy efficiency can be investigated using simulations before the first component is...

Articles : Automotive
2013 Create the Future Design: Transportation & Automotive Category Winner

Swift Tram: High Speed Automated People Mover

Carl Lawrence, Becky English,
Graham Hill, John Murino,
Elaine Thorndike, Gaby Aweida,
Carl Talkington, Rob Kammerling,
Kim Hedberg, Nancy Balch,
Ilse Gayl and Ron Gremban
Swift...
Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
2013 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2013 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, SAE International, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in eight categories: Aerospace & Defense (new this year), Consumer Products, Electronics, Machinery &...

News : Energy
Electric Car Battery Charger Aims for More Efficiency and Power

Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc. (APEI), a Genesis Technology Incubator client at the University of Arkansas, has developed a prototype battery charger for Toyota’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery charger that is designed to be more efficient, more powerful...

News : Energy
New Factor Found That Could Limit Life Of Electric Car Batteries

A new study of the batteries commonly used in hybrid and electric-only cars has revealed an unexpected factor that could limit the performance of batteries currently on the road. Researchers led by Ohio State University engineers examined used car batteries and discovered that over...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner (Winner of an HP Workstation)

Re-Thinking Automotive Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Ivan Batinic, ATPS, Inc., San Martin, CA

The ATPS system is a new approach to implementing vehicular Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that is more economical and ecological than existing systems. A passive,...

Products : Electronics & Computers
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Test System

SAKOR Technologies, Inc. (Okemos, MI) designed and installed a complete turnkey Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Test System for UQM Technologies, Inc. (Longmont, CO), a manufacturer of high-efficiency electric propulsion systems. UQM will use the system to test inverters and traction motors for use in hybrid...

Articles : Energy
Organic Photovoltaics - Forecasts for the Next Decade

Today there are multiple devices available for harnessing solar energy. Each device offers a different set of characteristics. Wafer-based devices consist of mono or polycrystalline and are the most mature technology due to the experience borrowed from the microelectronics industry.

News : Transportation
Low-Platinum Electrocatalysts for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Tune in for a live webcast from the U.S. Department of Energy on June 19th, from 12-1 p.m. EDT. Electrocatalysts developed by Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL) scientists use less costly platinum and increase the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles.

News : Electronics & Computers
Develop Wireless Chargers for Electric Vehicles

The U.S Department of Energy has recently announced up to $4 million available this year to accelerate the development and deployment of wireless charging systems for light-duty electric vehicles (EVs).

Researchers with DOE’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered the first strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize...

A research team from the University of Georgia has developed a "super strain" of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine - one of the most common species of trees in the U.S. Their...

News : Transportation
Jet Fuel of the Future

With the DOE, Virent, Inc., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) working together, planes may soon take to the skies using less petroleum. In June, DOE announced an award of up to $13.4 million dollars...

Articles : Transportation
Transportation Category Winner

Dynamic Aero-Shroud Oscillating Jet

Rebecca Farr, Endwell Daso, Victor Pritchett, and Dr. Ten-See Wang, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Applying supersonic counter-flowing cold gas jets of a certain mass flow rate and pressure at the nose of a supersonic vehicle can reduce drag...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Meet Our Readers: Ken Polcak, Noise Abatement Design & Analysis Team Leader

Polcak is a civil engineer by training and acoustical/noise control engineer by practice. He deals with transportation noise analysis and mitigation. Polcak's experience centers on the acoustical design of noise barriers, computer prediction and modeling of propagation,...

News : Energy
Ongoing Power Performance Research to Advance Electromobility

The AutoTram® is as long as a streetcar and as maneuverable as a bus. It doesn’t need rails or overhead lines because it rolls on rubber tires and simply follows white lines on the street. In “Fraunhofer’s System Research for Electromobility,” the AutoTram® was used as an...

Products : Transportation
Automotive-Qualified IGBTs Optimized for Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Applications

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) has released automotive-qualified 600 V IGBTs optimized for variable speed motor control and power supply applications used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The new devices cover a broad current range and offer a...

News : Energy
Technology Reduces Production Costs of Lithium-ion Cells

A development by engineers of Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is inspired by nature. To fill the porous electrodes of lithium-ion batteries more rapidly with liquid electrolyte, they use a physicochemical effect that also provides water transport in trees. The new process...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
Automotive IC

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) introduces the L99PM72PXP, an automotive IC supporting advanced networking technology to unlock valuable improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions. The new chip reduces the energy consumed by systems such as door electronics and climate controls by allowing modules to be turned off...

News : Transportation
Innovative Electric Aircraft Collects Aviation Prize

The 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge has a winner! NASA awarded a $1.35-million first place prize to team Pipistrel-USA of State College, PA. The team's electric Taurus G4 aircraft achieved the equivalency of more than 400 miles per gallon. The second place prize of $120,000 went to team...

News : Electronics & Computers
Crash-Resistant Battery Housing for Electric Cars

Fraunhofer scientists working on electronic drives have replaced a battery box for lithium-ion batteries with a lightweight component. Not only does the housing save weight and sustain no damage in an accident – for the first time ever, it can also be mass-produced.

News : Transportation
MUTE: The Efficient City Car

MUTE, an electric vehicle from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), is an agile, sporty two-seater for regional road traffic. Its lithium-ion battery is designed to guarantee a range of at least 100 kilometers. When needed, a zinc-air battery serves as a range extender.

Briefs : Energy
Hybrid Power Management-Based Vehicle Architecture
Hybrid Power Management (HPM) is the integration of diverse, state-of-the-art power devices in an optimal configuration for space and terrestrial applications. The basic vehicle architecture consists of a primary power source, and possibly other power sources, that provides all power to a common...
Briefs : Energy
Enhanced Fuel-Optimal Trajectory-Generation Algorithm for Planetary Pinpoint Landing
An enhanced algorithm has been developed that builds on a previous innovation of fuel-optimal powered-descent guidance (PDG) for planetary pinpoint landing. The PDG problem is to compute constrained, fuel-optimal trajectories to land a craft at a prescribed target...
Products : Energy
Power Module for Electric Vehicles

Mitsubishi Electric (Tokyo, Japan) recently introduced a transfer molded power module (T-PM) designed for hybrid and electric vehicle applications. The J-Series T-PM, incorporating proprietary technology that ensures power loss reduction, has a lifespan 30 times longer than industrial power modules and is also...

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Software

Using Simulation to Design Robust Adhesively Bonded Structures

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Electric-Vehicle Transmission Development and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Energy

Thermal Management Crisis: Knowing Your Passive Solution Options

Upcoming Webinars: Internet of Things

IoT’s Role in Today’s Transportation Systems

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Testing and Inspecting 3D-Printed Parts

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

3D Printed Metals Are Not All the Same