The Connected Car

Driving Connections

Equipped with internet connectivity and sensor capabilities that can share information, the connected car has been called the biggest change to hit the auto industry since the Model T. Leaders at TE Connectivity (TE) take a look at what's driving the revolution on wheels.

The Revolution in Connected Mobility. Since the automobile was invented, its basic functionality and shape have remained largely the same. But the environment in which vehicles operate, and the data to which they connect in order to improve the driving experience, is changing dramatically. What exactly is driving this change? TE leaders take a look at what's behind the connected car revolution. Learn more about connected cars at electronica 2016, November 8-11 in Munich, Germany. TE's leading experts are ready to meet with you and your organization to discuss what TE can do. TE’s main exhibit will be in Hall B2, Booth 225. Its sensors solutions will be in Hall B1, Booth 233.

Connected Car

Driving Innovation

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Since Henry Ford is said to have uttered that famous quote, innovation has powered development in the automotive business. From Ford’s Model T to today’s electric vehicles, engineers and designers have rolled out new cars and technologies that have steadily moved the industry forward.

But the next revolution in the industry will come in a form like no other. The connected car – equipped with internet connectivity and sensor capabilities that can share information with sources inside and outside the vehicle – is expected to change the driving experience so decidedly that one industry analyst, IHS Automotive, expects sales will grow six-fold globally by 2020.

‘’We’re living in an era where the wow factor is very high,’’ said Suraj Alva, senior manager-project management in TE’s Transportation Solutions unit. ‘’What used to be fiction is now becoming reality for the driver and the passenger.’’

TE’s contribution to the connected car will be on display at electronica 2016. From November 8-11 in Munich, Germany, TE will showcase its broad portfolio of sensors and connection products. On hand will be some of TE’s leading experts, ready to meet with you and your organization to discuss what TE can do. TE’s main exhibit will be in Hall B2, Booth 225. Its sensors solutions will be in Hall B1, Booth 233.

Electronica is widely considered the world’s leading trade fair for electronic components, systems and applications. Its vast and crowded exhibit halls, 13 in total, are home to nearly 2,800 exhibitors from more than 50 countries.

Connected cars use sensors to provide feedback that can control how and when a vehicle takes an action. These actions include everything from braking, steering and throttle control, to warnings and route guidance. Externally, information is sensed and transmitted to help vehicles determine position, speed, fuel level, diagnostics and a wide array of other functions.

connected car
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that so-called vehicle-to-vehicle data exchanges will someday prevent 400,000 to 600,000 crashes, 190,000 to 270,000 injuries and save 780 to 1,080 lives each year.

Driving Growth

There are said to be multiple drivers behind the connected car’s growth.

· Safety: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology can help drivers better avoid collisions. 

· The Environment: The auto industry is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, with a focus on vehicle weight, fuel consumption, and improved electrical efficiency. Data-awareness can provide an understanding of both engine performance and the environment to improve efficiency.

· Lifestyle: Consumers don’t want the information, entertainment and convenience they gain from other devices to be lost when they hit the road.

Michael Ludwig, TE senior manager for Global Sensors, said the company has seen an increased interest in raising reliability and trust in safety systems.

‘’So in the past when we were talking about, let’s say, a brake sensor, it was a single functionality. But with all the upcoming architectures, they have to ensure that all the data is valid and can be, at the end of the day, safety-critical.’’

TE is a partner in the process of creating connected car systems, engaging with customers earlier in the design process to accelerate innovation as cars evolve. TE products connect almost every electrical function in cars – from alternative power systems to infotainment and sensor technologies. In addition, TE solutions help to meet the evolving challenges and requirements of the auto industry:

· Data connectivity: Technologies based on coax, shielded, optical and wireless mediums.

· Power and data distribution: High reliability transmission through connecting, switching, protecting and sensing competencies.

· Sensing: Data-driven technology to measure position, pressure, speed, temperature, humidity and fluid quality.

· Weight reduction through miniaturization: TE NanoMQS and MCON 0.50 interconnection systems enable a reduced size for electronic components, smaller wires and a reduced total connector package. 

· Weight reduction through shift from copper to aluminum: When applied to a typical family-size car, the shift to aluminum conductors and TE’s LITEALUM crimp can save up to two or three kilograms of weight. This efficiency reduces the weight of the car and is achieved at lower material cost.

· Reliability and experience: For many decades TE has supported global OEMs with their electrical architectural needs to enable cars to be safer and smarter – all while adapting to increased technical requirements.

Sensor Campaign
Connected cars use sensors to provide feedback that can control how and when a vehicle takes an action.

Green Connection

All of these competencies and capabilities are designed to perform in a harsh environments, including vibrations and temperature changes over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Steve Rohr, director of technology strategy at TE Connectivity’s Transportation Solutions unit, said the environmental impact of the connected car should not be undersold.

Automakers are heeding the calls to reduce CO2 emissions. In the EU, by 2021, the fleet average to be achieved by all new cars is 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This target is a 40 percent reduction when compared to the fleet average in 2007. A key link between connected cars and greener cars is more efficient routing from point A to point B.

‘’Less stopping at lights, less traffic jams, those kinds of things,’’ said Rohr. ‘’If my point B happens to be a parking spot in downtown New York, it guides me there directly as opposed to me having to spend 20 minutes hunting. That helps me with my fuel efficiency, but I just described a scenario that helps me with my life efficiency, right? I got 20 minutes of my life back because I went right to that parking spot.’’

  1. Safer, Greener, Smarter and More Connected Vehicles (English)

TE's Marcus Schulte describes how we work with our customers to help limit vehicle emissions. One example is a sensor we created to measure the quality and concentration of urea in systems that reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created by diesel engines.