My apologies, I did not post anything last week so this week I will do a double feature: two (relatively) new systems that have been rolled out by the All-American car manufacturer, General Motors. Maybe I am biased for posting about the company I work for, but excellence is excellence! I must say that General Motors has achieved Automotive Excellence, time and time again.
One of their newest innovative “toys” is the so-called Super Cruise Mode. A very familiar concept, it acts just like autopilot except on a more temporary platform. It introduces more of a “Car-Driver-Teammate” system instead of completely taking control and letting the driver of the vehicle “relax”. When that happens, most if not all attention to their surroundings is reduced significantly which sounds quite unsafe if you are on I-75 going 70 miles an hour.
Super Cruise Mode, however, uses a plethora of LIDAR sensors and an enhanced GPS system to keep itself together. It also utilizes head positioning sensors to note when the driver’s attention veers from the road. In other words, say you glance a little bit too far to your right, to check out an interesting billboard on an upcoming exit. Your vehicle will activate vibration sensors in the steering wheel in an attempt to guide your attention back to the road. So the car quite literally acts as your co-pilot, by keeping you alert, yet cutting you some slack on the initial maneuvering and controls.
It looks to me like the term “autopilot” is better left for only such machines that can handle it without overcompensating and that operate in much lower traffic volumes. This “Buddy-Pilot System” seems much more effective and in my honest opinion looks just too cool!!
Check out the video here.
Furthermore, learn about GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which yet again put’s proprietary mechanical systems to shame with the wonders of electromagnetism (sorry my fellow ME counterparts.).
“Magnetic Ride Control is unique in that it does not use mechanical valves or small moving parts that are prone to wear. Instead, a Magnetic Ride Control shock absorber uses the following components:
- A monotube damper filled with magnetorheological fluid located at each wheel of a vehicle
- A set of sensors
- An electronic control unit (ECU) responsible for coordinating the entire system”More about MRC can be found here.
The world of automobiles is truly taking a huge step into an era of pure futuristic innovation. I am ECSTATIC (yes, that is one of my favorite words). In a few short decades, we may not even need traffic lights, who knows. I can not wait to see what the future holds.
My name is Benjamin Tomlinson, I am an Aspiring Engineer of the Future, and thank you for tuning in to BengineerFuture.
Thanks for Reading.