Renault applies model-based systems engineering to dual-clutch transmission

Car manufacturers are facing various and sometimes contradicting constraints such as energy efficiency, high performance, driving comfort, reliability, and safety. In a global context, they must also adapt driveline designs to different markets. Therefore, Renault must handle a variety of powertrain designs. Moreover, due to increasingly intelligent systems, mechanical and controls system design cycles are more and more linked. A common system mock-up is needed.

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Renault has implemented model-based systems engineering (MBSE) to manage these challenges as well as to reduce development cycle and costs. With MBSE, design and integration problems are solved earlier, the number of prototypes and test benches are reduced, and cross-team collaboration is improved. The MBSE approach allows Renault to evaluate, throughout the development phases, the key attributes of the complete vehicle including the engine, transmission, actuators, and chassis.

Renault recently extended its MBSE approach to include a new dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and controls strategies validation and optimization.

The DCT, developed by Getrag, is being integrated into C-segment vehicles such as the Renault Mégane or Scenic, and will be widely applied to other vehicle ranges.

Ohio State’s ‘Bullet’ EV has a short range, but could surpass 400 mph

There were several electric vehicles (EVs) on display at the New York International Auto Show, but one of them is 38 ft (11.6 m) long, and weighs 8000 lb (3630 kg). It has a cockpit for just the driver, and will be trying to push the land speed record for an EV to over 400 mph at the Bonneville, UT, Salt Flats this August.

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It’s a college student project, but there’s no reason to sell the engineering team short. They are graduate students in Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR), which holds the existing world EV record—307 mph.

The team is working with a premier engineering company, Venturi Monaco, a racing EV team with a solid record of success, and is using a new generation of 2000 lithium-ion-phosphate pouch cells from A123 Systems. The total pack capacity is 100 kW·h and the weight is 3400 lb (1542 kg). Although the cells are similar to other A123 pouch cells, the ones in the “Bullet” EV’s pack are not yet commercially available, according to student team leader David Cooke.


Smart collaboration results in new Fortwo

The third-generation Smart Fortwo has a new look, but with some familiar styling cues of its predecessor, and more importantly it incorporates significant changes under the skin. Overall length remains the same at 106.1 in (2694 mm), and the 73.7-in (1872-mm) wheelbase sees a modest 0.2-in (5-mm) increase. The car has been on sale in Europe for five months and just made its U.S. debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.

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The new model was co-developed by Mercedes-Benz and Renault, and many of the parts, including the basics of the platform and the powertrain, reportedly are shared with the somewhat larger Renault Twingo.

Turbocharged three-cylinder

The rear-mounted, rear-drive powertrain represents what will be the greatest difference in the driving experience. The car goes on sale with a 0.9-L three-cylinder, turbocharged with an electronically controlled wastegate, and rated at 90 hp (67 kW) and 100 lb·ft (136 N·m). This engine will represent a major power increase over the 70-hp (52-kW) naturally aspirated 1.0-L three-cylinder previously used. However, a lower-output 71-hp (53-kW) engine also is available

New Trends in Auto Repair Shops

Every industry is currently experiencing a lot of changes that the players have to keep up with if their businesses are to survive. The auto repair industry is no exception. Technological advancement in the automotive field, as well as other related fields, are catalyzing these changes.

Like in all the other industries, auto repair entrepreneurs must keep up or become irrelevant and obsolete. It is, therefore, important to understand the direction the industry is taking. Here are some of the major changes you need to pay attention to.

Changes in Automobile

This is a trend from manufacturers that affects repair shops directly. Manufacturers are now building better and more efficient cars every day. Because cars are now more efficient, the manufacturers recommend shorter service intervals for their consumers. This is good for motorists, but certainly, it could mean fewer business opportunities for auto repair shops.

The effects of the more efficient newer cars are already being felt by mechanics worldwide. Many of them have decided to adopt by encouraging their customers to make frequent visits to their premises. They recommend regular inspections for everything from changing the oil, air filter and the overall maintenance of the vehicle.

This can help auto repair businesses to get

Mercedes GLE

GLE is the first SUV and Mercedes launched its first generation i.e., W163 series M-Class on 1997. Before it was known as M-Class, then it renamed as GLE- Class. The G stands for Gelandewagen and in the long running it is G- Wagen.The Mercedes M-Class was awarded as Luxury Crossover SUV category. Here the basic difference between the old one and new model is a slight face-lift along with some new features and plug-in hybrid.


The GLE 500 E is the first and latest hybrid model which has the capacity of 333 hp V6 engine with a great power of 116 hp electric motor. In new GLE we are going to experience the smooth and quiet driving experience with wide power -trains selection. It offers a powerful power-trains base-level up to GLE350 with high performance AMG GLE63S.

So, GLE350 models offers 302 hp 3.5-liter V6 returns 18 miles and 24 mpg. Next model is GLE400 which offers a 329-hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, which goes up to 18 mpg city and 22 mpg hwy. Topping in the range is the GLE63 AMG, which has a power of 551-hp 5.5-lite turbocharged V8 there is another same model GLE63 AMG

Tech Mahindra to collaborate with Wichita State University in the areas of aerospace engineering, automotive testing

Country’s fifth largest software services firm Tech Mahindra has inked a pact with US-based Wichita State University (WSU) to collaborate in the areas of aerospace engineering, certification, information technology and automotive testing.

Tech Mahindra will collaborate with WSU and its National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), the largest academic aviation R&D institution in the US, on multiple areas of engineering including composites, advanced materials and structural testing, it said in a statement.

“I strongly believe that this synergy can help reach the next level of solution offerings to our marquee customers addressing their custom needs and industry specific requirements in the areas of certification and testing,” Tech Mahindra Head of Americas (Aerospace and Defence) Krishna Balasubramaniam said.

The Indian IT firm plans to invest in equipping the engineering talent available in the region to enhance their employment opportunities in the Wichita aerospace community.

“This investment will enable Tech Mahindra to provide end-to-end solutions from design, to testing and certification for global aerospace and automotive customers and prospects in the region,” it said.

Apart from creating a local pool of trained aerospace, IT and automotive engineers, the partnership will also facilitate cooperative initiatives

Ultracapacitors meet mild hybrids

Valeo and Maxwell Technologies are slated to collaborate on the development of a new stop-start and regenerative-braking system with the emphasis on cost effectiveness. The aim is to create a system using ultracapacitors instead of nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion batteries, achieving very significant cost savings but still achieving much of the benefit of a conventional mild hybrid application.

The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that involves the incorporation of Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors in Valeo’s next-generation StARS+X system.

The new 14+X architecture StARS (starter-alternator reversible system) comprises a reversible starter-alternator, a multi-cell ultracapacitor energy-storage module, and other power and control electronics in a 14-V architecture. The system is applicable to standard gasoline and diesel engines. Valeo estimates that the system can reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions by about 12% in normal operation, and by more than 20% in stop-and-go urban traffic.

Valeo’s first-generation StARS provided start-stop technology but did not include a dedicated energy-storage component. The 14+X architecture incorporates enhanced electronics and an ultracapacitor energy-storage module that allows it to capture and store energy from

Chrysler optimizes process for steel selection, placement

Chrysler’s traditional approach to vehicle development has taken a detour as engineers recently started using new computer tools and an advanced engineering process as a means of designing safer, lighter automobiles.

“The old version was you’d design the major subassemblies first and then integrate those subassemblies into a total vehicle structure. In many cases, we’re able to get the same end results, but we can now refine a design to a level that we previously weren’t able to do,” said Thomas Seel, Chrysler’s Manager of Component Integration, Knowledge Based Engineering.

Using what is referred to as “bio-mimetic topology optimization” combined with a refined engineering process, engineers can determine which body-in-white zones have the highest strain. The process highlights the prime location for the various critical-load paths on the vehicle.

“Taking a holistic approach to body-in-white is similar to concurrent engineering because unlike an iterative solution, the engineering process is looking at all the load cases—durability, stiffness, and safety—simultaneously,” said Seel.

Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) are part of the optimized body structure design process. “Drivers

Schaeffler developing novel powertrain for 2015/2016 FIA Formula E season

“We are in the process of developing an electric motor and a new transmission in the defined specification that FIA came up with,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer for Schaeffler AG.

Gutzmer and Schaeffler’s CTO for the Americas, Jeff Hemphill, sat down with Automotive Engineering prior to Formula E’s March 14 street race in Miami, the first U.S. stop in the 2014/2015 inaugural season of all-electric racing in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

As Team ABT Sportsline’s exclusive technology partner, Schaeffler is developing a novel power unit to replace the McLaren Applied Technologies powertrain. “We are now starting to get parts in for the prototype model,” said Gutzmer.

Schaeffler technical specialists are leveraging their extensive application development know-how together with the ABT race team and other technology experts to develop jointly a powertrain for Team ABT Sportsline. Said Hemphill, “One of our strengths in the automotive arena is systems engineering, and we’ll apply that systems approach to this development task.”

Each Formula E racecar in the 2014/2015 season uses a 57-lb (26-kg) motor to accelerate the single-seat car from 0 to

Super Taikyu and Japanese Formula Renault races, SEMA Show, and more

The last few races have been very tough – as they started really well and ended very bad. The Super Taikyu race at Okayama, a circuit I had never seen before, went off to an awesome start when we qualified on pole in our class with a couple of tenths to spare. The qualifying position is determined by the sum of the top lap time of both drivers, each in a 15 minute session, thus requiring that both drivers land a near perfect lap to be on top.
This was our first pole position of the year and the race was ours to lose based on the consistently good setup of the car and fast laps in a variety of conditions that we saw in Friday practices.
Maejima-san started the race off, keeping his position on the start, but in the brake zone going into turn 3, the #113 Z, driven by Ooi, attempted an overzealous pass on the inside, crashing into the right rear of our car at a rather severe speed and further taking out a total of 5 Nissan Zs from the race. We got hit another time in the front by a

Mazda reveals 2016 Global MX-5 Cup racer at SEMA Show

Based on the 2016 MX-5, the Global MX-5 Cup Car Concept shown at SEMA offers a glimpse of the car to be raced in a new Global Cup series, in North America, Europe, and Asia. Mazda is developing the racecar to be available as an affordable, turnkey, “ready-to-race” platform.

Starting in 2016, multiple Mazda Global MX-5 Cup series will take place around the world, all using identically prepared cars. Full details of the Global MX-5 Cup, including which countries will be involved and when the races will take place, will be announced as they are confirmed, Mazda says.

The Global MX-5 Cup will culminate at the end of 2016 with a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA, to crown the series champion. The winner will receive, among other prizes, a one-day test in Mazda’s Tudor United States SportsCar Championship SkyActiv prototype racecar.

“Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft, and this has made the professional MX-5 Cup series very successful to date,” said John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American operations.

The Global MX-5 Cup

Tesla applies for dealership license in Michigan

Tesla Motors Inc. has applied for a Michigan dealership license, a move the automaker said is intended to test a state law effectively banning the electric-vehicle maker’s direct-sales model.

A decision on the application is expected within two months, Michigan Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said today.

Tesla applied for the license in November, about a year after Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill prohibiting the direct sale of vehicles from automakers to consumers.

The application is a way of testing the state’s seriousness in enforcing the law, a Tesla spokeswoman wrote in an email to Automotive News.

“As recently amended, current Michigan law prohibits Tesla from being able to license its own sales and service operations in the state,” the spokeswoman wrote. “Submission of the application is intended to seek the secretary of state’s confirmation of this prohibition. Once confirmed, Tesla will review any options available to overturn this anti-consumer law.”

Tesla applied for a Class A dealership license, which would allow the company to sell new and used vehicles if approved, Woodhams said. A Class A dealership also must have an on-site repair center or be affiliated with a third-party

Alfa Romeo finally returns to U.S. with 4C

After twenty years of absence and many delays, Alfa Romeo is finally coming back to the U.S., and the company is packing for the long haul. After the very-low-volume and very-high-end 8C, the Italian automotive manufacturer is officially returning with a two-seat, mid-engine sports car that can only be called a raw, untainted performance machine—or the 4C, depending on how poetic you want to be.

Alfa Romeo’s return has been nothing but poetic, with a series of broken promises and broken hearts for the brand-loyal fans here in the U.S. This time its official, as Alfa has signed with 82 dealerships across the U.S. to sell the new sports car. Three of the dealerships will be sharing showroom space with Maserati (in California, Maryland, and Wisconsin), while the rest of the 79 will be run alongside Fiat dealerships.

For those who have worked on bringing the car to the U.S. market, it means a lot. Michael Berube, Head of Product Planning for Alfa Romeo, is excited about the manufacturer’s return. “It’s not just any brand,” Berube said proudly. “Alfa Romeo is one of the oldest brands still in

Arvind Saxena appointed as MD of Volkswagen Passenger Cars in India

a leading German car manufacturer has announced Arvind Saxena as the managing director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars in India.

Saxena, former director, sales & marketing at Hyundai India, will now be heading the Volkswagen brand with responsibility of sales, after sales & marketing, said the statement issued by the company on Wednesday.

ET had exclusively reported in July that Saxena was looking at growth options with leading automotive companies in the country including Volkswagen India.

Gerry Dorizas, president & MD, Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited said, “”We are confident that his (Saxena’s) extensive experience in the Indian automotive sector will contribute towards the growth of the Brand.””

With the appointment of Saxena, Volkswagen has created a new position of managing director in the company. He will manage the function of Neeraj Garg, who was member of board, director – passenger cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited.

With over 3 decades of experience in the automotive industry, Saxena has worked for various automobile majors like Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Fiat India and Hyundai India. He has assumed various roles right from area manager,

GKN spins a new compact AWD disconnect system for small SUVs

GKN Driveline is claiming a “world first” for its new compact disconnect system for all-wheel drives (AWD) that can be incorporated into the powertrains of A, B and C-segment vehicles.

The campaign to reduce vehicle fuel consumption involves all aspects of vehicle design but it can be complicated by market trends. The increasing international popularity of small AWD SUVs brings particular challenges but GKN engineers claim their new system can alleviate the problems, with fuel consumption during cruise reduced by up to 4%, and CO2 emissions also lowered.

The entire system including software was developed in-house, said Rob Rickell, Senior Vice President of Engineering. It replaces the usual standard power transfer unit (PTU) with a monobloc housing that also fully integrates the propshaft’s CV joint. A dedicated driveline control unit continuously monitors vehicle dynamics and environmental conditions.

The PTU is linked to the vehicle’s final drive differential and contains a fast-disconnect capability and a braking system to stop the AWD system upstream of the unit’s hypoid gears. An electro-mechanically-actuated clutch located on the rear axle biases drive torque and disengages the AWD system downstream of the hypoid gears in low-load cruise conditions. The clutch system is a development of that

Automotive industry unit in Tihar to be run by inmates

or the first time in the history of Indian automotive industry, a manufacturing unit has been set up inside a jail premises where work will be carried out by prison inmates.

The Director General of Delhi prisons, Alok Verma, today inaugurated the small scale automotive workshop in Jail number 2 of Tihar here, under a public-private partnership providing training and employment opportunities for the inmates.

The manufacturing unit has been set up by Minda Furukawa Electric Pvt. Ltd (MFE), a joint venture company between Spark Minda, Ashok Minda Group of India and Furukawa of Japan.

The company develops and produces the entire range of wiring harness for four wheelers, and components related to wiring harness.

“The inmates will profit in both long term and short term working here. They will be paid wages and will gain work experience which will be useful for them to rehabilitate themselves after completing their terms here,” Delhi prisons DIG and PRO Mukesh Prasad said.

The inmates working here will be supervised by professionals and will earn more wages in comparison to other inmates working in the jail.

Kettering FSAE team improved as season progressed

This year brought many new challenges to the Kettering University Formula SAE team. Since the team’s previous chief engineer had left and other core members had graduated, members knew that it was going to be an uphill battle coming into this competition season.

Additional challenges arose when the team decided to switch to ten-in wheels from the old, heavy thirteens that GMI2014’s predecessors wore (GMI is a reference to General Motors Institute, the former name of Kettering University). With new members coming aboard and a redesign of key parts such as the chassis, uprights, suspension, and brakes, this year tested not only the team’s engineering skills, but also its patience.

A Kettering strength

After completing GMI2014 and having a few days to test it, the story of the Kettering University Formula SAE team’s competition at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) began. Arriving at MIS on Thursday (May 15) morning, sleep-deprived and teeth-stained from coffee, team members quickly got ready for the static events while preparing to go through technical inspection. The first event for the team was the cost event. There, the judges looked over the team’s car

Racecar with composite-intensive suspension gets track tested in 2015

The tangy yellow-colored 1986 Honda CRX emblazoned with SANLUIS Rassini on its hood uses a patents-pending rear suspension as a replacement to its most recent setup of coil-over-springs and a straight axle with a Mumford linkage for lateral control.

“We’ve converted it to a dual-cantilever thermoplastic spring in the rear. It’s very similar to a double-wishbone geometry. The thermoplastic upper control arms are coupled with what’s very similar to a Watt’s linkage. That means during a two-wheel bump, the rear wheels move together. But when the car goes into roll, the coupling linkage locks the arms and those arms flex to add roll stiffness,” Jonathan Spiegel, Polystrand Inc.’s Senior Engineer, told Automotive Engineering.

The racecar will compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Grand Touring Lite (GTL) 2015 race season on various tracks in the U.S. Project GTL partners are Polystrand, PPG Fiber Glass, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and SANLUIS Rassini.

Polystrand provided the thermoplastic composite material. PPG supplied the continuous fibers for reinforcement of the thermoplastic material. UAB conducted materials property evaluation and molded the glass-reinforced springs

Trimming wiring harnesses becomes design focus

Wires and cables help design teams add electronic features and functions, but networks and wiring harnesses add a fair amount of weight while their connections can be the cause of failures. That’s prompting developers to examine ways to reduce the size and weight of wires and cables.

TechNavio market researchers expect global automotive wiring harness market revenue to see an average of about 7% compound annual growth through the almost completed 2011-2015 time frame. Design teams struggling to meet fuel efficiency and cost requirements want to rein in expansion in wiring, which continues to grow as more electronic modules are added.

“OEMs are trying to drive down cost and weight by reducing the size of the wiring harness and the number of electrical connections,” said Anil Sondur, Vice President of Tata Elxsi. “As the value and volume of electronics goes up, there’s a huge drive to consolidate devices and bus systems.”

However, it’s challenging to reduce wiring. For example, engine and transmission controllers must communicate with each other as powertrain designers strive to keep engines running in their sweet spot. That sometimes requires specialized wiring.

Audi details piloted driving technology

Before autonomous vehicles make drivers obsolete, electronic technologies will depend on people to make decisions when something unusual happens. During normal driving conditions, autonomous controls could pilot the vehicle, relying on humans when complex decisions are required.

Audi recently provided technical insight into its piloted vehicle project, in which an Audi A7 concept car drove from San Francisco to Las Vegas earlier this year. The vehicle drove itself most of the journey, though drivers had to remain alert to take over when alerts directed them to resume driving.

The concept car has a range of computers in the trunk. Audi engineers plan to reduce them to a single board over time. The mainstays of the piloted vehicle technologies are an array of cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors that are controlled by what’s called the zFAS board. It combines sensor inputs to give the car its view of the world.

“All raw signals from the sensors is collected in a sensor fusion box,” Matthias Rudolph, Head of Architecture Driver Assistance Systems at Audi AG said during the recent Nvidia GPU Technology Conference. “From that input, a virtual environment

Continental shows next-generation highly automated car

A highly autonomous driving vehicle needs a suite of advanced technologies and a ready-to-take-control driver.

“We’re using infrared driver analyzer cameras on our next-generation highly automated driving vehicle to collect data for the development of a ‘driver model.’ The driver model would tell us if the driver is attentive. And it would predict the driver’s reaction time to resume control of the vehicle,” said Ibro Muharemovic, head of Continental’s advanced engineering in North America.

Continental’s second-generation concept was featured during a media technology preview at the supplier’s Brimley, Michigan proving grounds late last month. Muharemovic began a two-lap driving demonstration with Automotive Engineering by accelerating the vehicle to a highway speed. He then engaged the full-speed-range adaptive cruise control and activated the highly automated driving mode. The specially equipped 2014MY Chrysler 300 responded by autonomously driving at 60 mph (97 km/h), slowing to 46 mph (74 km/h) to navigate smoothly through a banked turn, then resuming highway speed through a straightaway.

Since August 2014, test engineers in the U.S. have been taking turns in the driver’s seat of the next-generation demonstrator as two in-vehicle cameras recognize and track facial