Popular Posts

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Redundancy and Automated Vehicles -- Getting to SAE Level 4




DRIVE PILOT: the world’s first internationally certified Level3 system

When it comes to conditionally automated driving (SAE Level 3), safety and reliability are the top priorities for Mercedes-Benz. DRIVE PILOT is therefore based on a system architecture that enables safe control of all situations that could potentially arise. To this end, braking, steering, power supply and some parts of the sensor system are designed with physical and functional redundancy. By adopting this safety‑focused approach to system design, Mercedes-Benz is setting completely new benchmarks in automated driving. DRIVE PILOT, the world’s first internationally certified system, has been available as an option for the S-Class and EQS in Germany since 17 May 2022.

The four core elements of the redundant architecture encompass the braking system, steering, power supply and some of the sensors. This includes environment recognition and handling. The battery, steering motor, wheel speed sensors and algorithms used by the system for data calculation are likewise duplicated. Some aspects of the sensor system are also functionally redundant because their different physical concepts (incl. optical; ultrasound; radio waves) are mutually corroborative, thus ensuring safe operation at all times. This mainly encompasses radar, cameras and a LiDAR. However, ultrasound and moisture sensors as well as microphones also deliver valuable data. Overall, more than 30 sensors ensure that DRIVE PILOT is reliably able to master the task of driving.

“The name Mercedes-Benz has always stood for safety. And we are already setting standards in the development and implementation of automated driving systems like DRIVE PILOT. We are convinced that redundancy is the right approach for Level 3 automated driving and beyond. When it comes to sensors, we also see the use of LiDAR alongside radar and cameras as particularly indispensable. We can compensate for the situation-dependent deficits of one sensor with the characteristics of another. Relying on just one type of sensor would not meet Mercedes-Benz’s high safety standards,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Procurement.

Following activation of DRIVE PILOT, the system controls speed and distance, and keeps the vehicle in its own lane. Under certain conditions and on suitable sections of German autobahn, customers can hand over the task of driving to the system when traveling in heavy traffic or traffic jams at speeds of up to 60 km/h. In the unlikely event of a failure in one of the primary systems, the DRIVE PILOT system architecture is able to recognise the situation and facilitate a safe handover of control to the driver. Even if the driver is unable to comply with a handover prompt, e.g. due to a medical emergency, DRIVE PILOT initiates a safe emergency stop manoeuvre that does not pose a risk to traffic following behind.

Mercedes-Benz at the forefront of automated driving and safety technologies

Since the invention of the automobile in 1886, Mercedes-Benz has repeatedly set benchmarks in vehicle safety with innovative technologies. Safety is one of the brand’s core values, which is why Mercedes-Benz has been offering advanced driver assistance systems (SAE Level 2) in its vehicles for years. They can improve road safety and make life significantly easier in everyday situations. For instance, they provide assistance with speed and distance control, steering and switching lanes. In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz became the first automaker worldwide to receive internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving (SAE Level 3). In Germany, DRIVE PILOT has been available for the S-Class and EQS since 17 May 2021. And for parking, the brand has gone one step further – with pre-installation of INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT for the future facilitation of fully automated driverless parking to SAE Level 4.

Friday, September 9, 2022

How an Electric Car Works? Its Parts & Functions Explained




A nice introduction, especially for middle and high school students. I did like the examples of the various kinds of electric cars -- battery, plug in, hybrid, and fuel cell -- that are available in the marketplace today. 

This s a starting place for those who want to learn more about an emerging technology. 

How Electric Cars are Made? Porsche




It is a Porsche and not a Chevy! But that said, look at the video carefully in terms of what you can learn from it.  Note that the assembly facility is incredibly clean.  Also note how few line workers are really in place and how their work is minimally physical. The subassemblies are few, and parts are not as nearly numerous as on ICE cars.  It may be that Biden’s support of the union autoworkers is well meaning, but whatever happened with the electrification of the automotive industry workers will be fewer. Numbers will be considerably lower, as will workers involved in maintaining these vehicles. Knowledge and technical ability will be at a premium, even on the shop floor.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Ralph de Palma won the Elgin Road Races in August 1912 with record averages of more than 110 km/h




Vanderbilt race in Milwaukee, 1912. The later winner Ralph de Palma (starting number 22) with the Mercedes 140 hp Grand Prix model 1908. (Photo index number in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archives: 2000DIG15)


Ralph de Palma won the Elgin Road Races with record averages of more than 110 km/h

  • Ever higher speeds in races in the early days of the car
  • Five years before that, Baron Pierre de Caters won the Ardennes Race with an average speed of 92.6 km/h
  • Both drove Mercedes racing cars

Early motor racing successes: on 30 and 31 August 1912, 110 years ago, Ralph de Palma won the Elgin Road Races in Elgin/Illinois, USA, in a privately entered Mercedes 140 hp Grand Prix model 1908, followed by Erwin Bergdoll in a Benz 150 hp. With an average speed of more than 110 km/h, Ralph de Palma set a record there. The 1912 race report states: “Driving a Mercedes, he won the Elgin National Trophy Race and the free-for-all in the best time ever made on the Elgin course.” By comparison, five years before that, Baron Pierre des Caters won the sixth Ardennes Race over 600 kilometres on 27 July 1907 in the Mercedes 120 hp Grand Prix racing car developed by Paul Daimler after 6:29:10 hours. Its average speed was 92.6 km/h

1967 Mercedes-Benz Introduces a New Safety Steering System

Sectional drawing of the Mercedes-Benz safety steering system introduced in 1967 with an impact plate in the steering wheel and a deformable impact absorber; the steering column and shift rod can slide telescopically into each other in the event of a collision. (Photo index number in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Archives: U53041)



From August 1967, all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars received a new safety steering system with a telescopic steering column and an impact absorber in the steering wheel. At that time, the range comprised the W 108/109, W 100, W 110, W 111/112 and W 113 model series. Even before this, the steering was designed so that the steering column did not move directly towards the driver in the event of a severe frontal impact. For this purpose, the steering gear was positioned as far back as possible and directly in front of the front wall of the passenger compartment. The new safety steering system increased the effect: the components that could transfer forces towards the interior in the event of a serious accident could now be moved inside each other to reduce occurring impact forces and thus the strain on the occupants. This concerned the steering column tube, steering shaft and shift rod of the steering wheel gearshift. Experts quickly talked about a telescopic steering column. The journal “auto motor und sport” wrote in Issue 19/1967: “Safety research was already being carried out at Daimler-Benz when no law required it.” In addition to the telescopic steering column and impact absorber, other details improved the safety of the vehicle’s occupants from summer 1967 onwards: new door locks; child-proof door locks; protected and recessed dashboard controls; compliant plastic handles, armrests and window cranks; brake indicator lamp; folding outside mirrors

Thursday, August 25, 2022

From Alabama to the world: The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV will be produced exclusively in the U.S.

  • The first all-electric Mercedes-EQ built in the United States, the new EQS SUV, has been successfully launched at the Tuscaloosa plant
  • The first all-electric Mercedes-EQ built in the United States, the new EQS SUV, has been successfully launched at the Tuscaloosa plant
  • From Alabama to the world: The EQS SUV will be produced exclusively in the U.S.
  • Highly efficient battery systems to be supplied by the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Battery Factory in Bibb County, Alabama
  • Comprehensive sustainabilityconcept and carbon-neutral production at both sites



    Mercedes-Benz is exclusively producing the all-electric EQS SUV at its North American passenger vehicle plant. These vehicles rolling off the line is a key step in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ global initiative to produce eight all-electric vehicles at seven sites on three continents this year. The full-size EQS SUV is integrated in series production at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, which has been the production site for large SUVs bearing the three-pointed star since 1997. Tuscaloosa serves as a key production location for Mercedes-EQ luxury electric SUVs: the EQS SUV and EQE SUV, which goes into production later this year.

    Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain: “Our production network is very well positioned for the sustainable and rapid scaling of electric vehicle volumes. With the new EQS SUV joining our production portfolio of all-electric Mercedes-EQ models, we reached another important milestone in our strategy to go all electric by the end of the decade – wherever market conditions allow. I am absolutely sure that our great Tuscaloosa team will make the electric SUV another global success.”

    The Tuscaloosa plant uses state-of-the-art digital, sustainable, efficient and flexible production methods and follows the blueprint of the company`s Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, which symbolizes the future of automotive production of Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to early investments into flexible production and the use of the state-of-the-art MO360 digital production ecosystem, Mercedes-Benz is already able to produce battery-electric vehicles in large volumes.

    Michael Goebel, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI): “We have a highly skilled and motivated team that has absolutely delivered in the successful product launch of the new EQS SUV. Our Team Members in Tuscaloosa have shown a lot of flexibility, energy and commitment in helping us to achieve milestone after milestone since our first Mercedes-Benz rolled off the production line more than 25 years ago. The employees here at the site can be proud that the first all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz and its battery are being built in Alabama.”

    Local battery production is a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz's electrification initiative

    The new battery factory, which opened in Bibb County in March, produces the battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-meter or 985 feet-long production line with more than 70 workstations. A host of components is assembled into a complete system in a fully digitized production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. The battery for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Sedans. With the new plant, Bibb County is now a part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which comprises of factories on three different continents.

    Sustainable production concept

     As of this year the Mercedes-Benz US production sites operate on a CO2 neutral basis as all of the Mercedes-Benz owned passenger car and van plants worldwide. In line with the Mercedes-Benz strategy of expanding renewable energy production at its plants, the Bibb County battery site’s entire electricity needs will be met through renewable energy sources from 2024 onwards.

    With a view to the future return of lithium-ion battery systems from Mercedes-EQ vehicles, the company established a global battery recycling strategy, starting to build its own battery recycling plant in Germany, based on hydrometallurgy. Analogue to this technology, the company plans to close the recyclable material loop with high-tech partners for battery recycling in the U.S. and China

    Mercedes-Benz US production at a glance

    Since the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz has invested a total of more than seven billion dollars in Alabama. From this amount 1 billion dollars was invested into the battery plant, the logistics centers and to upgrade the production line to make EV’s. Today, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) employs around 4,500 people and also secures an estimated additional 11,000 jobs with suppliers and service providers in the region. Around four million vehicles have left the Tuscaloosa plant since 1997, with around 260,000 SUVs rolling off the production line in 2021 alone. Roughly two-thirds of annual production is exported, making MBUSI one of the largest exporters of automobiles from the US.

    The new EQS SUV at a glance

     With the luxury EQS sedan and the sporty executive EQE sedan, Mercedes-Benz has entered a new, all-electric era in the upper market segments. The EQS SUV is the third model series with this architecture developed for electric vehicles. The SUV offers plenty of space, comfort and connectivity for up to seven passengers in its avant-garde, luxurious interior. Thanks to powerful electric motors, responsive 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode, the EQS SUV is also capable of tackling light terrain with ease.

  • Highly efficient battery systems to be supplied by the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Battery Factory in Bibb County, Alabama
  • Comprehensive sustainabilityconcept and carbon-neutral production at both sites

Mercedes-Benz is exclusively producing the all-electric EQS SUV at its North American passenger vehicle plant. These vehicles rolling off the line is a key step in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ global initiative to produce eight all-electric vehicles at seven sites on three continents this year. The full-size EQS SUV is integrated in series production at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, which has been the production site for large SUVs bearing the three-pointed star since 1997. Tuscaloosa serves as a key production location for Mercedes-EQ luxury electric SUVs: the EQS SUV and EQE SUV, which goes into production later this year.

Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain: “Our production network is very well positioned for the sustainable and rapid scaling of electric vehicle volumes. With the new EQS SUV joining our production portfolio of all-electric Mercedes-EQ models, we reached another important milestone in our strategy to go all electric by the end of the decade – wherever market conditions allow. I am absolutely sure that our great Tuscaloosa team will make the electric SUV another global success.”

The Tuscaloosa plant uses state-of-the-art digital, sustainable, efficient and flexible production methods and follows the blueprint of the company`s Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, which symbolizes the future of automotive production of Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to early investments into flexible production and the use of the state-of-the-art MO360 digital production ecosystem, Mercedes-Benz is already able to produce battery-electric vehicles in large volumes.

Michael Goebel, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI): “We have a highly skilled and motivated team that has absolutely delivered in the successful product launch of the new EQS SUV. Our Team Members in Tuscaloosa have shown a lot of flexibility, energy and commitment in helping us to achieve milestone after milestone since our first Mercedes-Benz rolled off the production line more than 25 years ago. The employees here at the site can be proud that the first all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz and its battery are being built in Alabama.”

Local battery production is a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz's electrification initiative

The new battery factory, which opened in Bibb County in March, produces the battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-meter or 985 feet-long production line with more than 70 workstations. A host of components is assembled into a complete system in a fully digitized production process, including up to twelve cell modules and what is known as the EE compartment for the intelligent integration of the power electronics. The battery for the EQS SUV is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE Sedans. With the new plant, Bibb County is now a part of the global Mercedes-Benz battery production network, which comprises of factories on three different continents.

Sustainable production concept

 As of this year the Mercedes-Benz US production sites operate on a CO2 neutral basis as all of the Mercedes-Benz owned passenger car and van plants worldwide. In line with the Mercedes-Benz strategy of expanding renewable energy production at its plants, the Bibb County battery site’s entire electricity needs will be met through renewable energy sources from 2024 onwards.

With a view to the future return of lithium-ion battery systems from Mercedes-EQ vehicles, the company established a global battery recycling strategy, starting to build its own battery recycling plant in Germany, based on hydrometallurgy. Analogue to this technology, the company plans to close the recyclable material loop with high-tech partners for battery recycling in the U.S. and China

Mercedes-Benz US production at a glance

Since the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz has invested a total of more than seven billion dollars in Alabama. From this amount 1 billion dollars was invested into the battery plant, the logistics centers and to upgrade the production line to make EV’s. Today, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) employs around 4,500 people and also secures an estimated additional 11,000 jobs with suppliers and service providers in the region. Around four million vehicles have left the Tuscaloosa plant since 1997, with around 260,000 SUVs rolling off the production line in 2021 alone. Roughly two-thirds of annual production is exported, making MBUSI one of the largest exporters of automobiles from the US.

The new EQS SUV at a glance

 With the luxury EQS sedan and the sporty executive EQE sedan, Mercedes-Benz has entered a new, all-electric era in the upper market segments. The EQS SUV is the third model series with this architecture developed for electric vehicles. The SUV offers plenty of space, comfort and connectivity for up to seven passengers in its avant-garde, luxurious interior. Thanks to powerful electric motors, responsive 4MATIC all-wheel drive and an intelligent OFFROAD driving mode, the EQS SUV is also capable of tackling light terrain with ease.