Japan Corporate News - JCN

A*STAR Musters Global Leaders and Local Stakeholders of Automotive Industry in R&D Consortium for Next-Generation Vehicles

0

Source: Japan Corporate News - JCN

Singapore, Oct 29, 2010 - (ACN Newswire) - Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) today announced the funding of eight new projects under its Capabilities for Automotive Research (A*CAR) consortium, bringing the total value to S$17.5 million for the consortium's 10 research projects jointly selected with industry partners to tackle current challenges in the automotive industry.

Highlights from A*CAR's pre-competitive core research projects include:

a. Car Communications and Safety

- Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar.
Roads will become safer with the development of this electronic beam-steering system. Aimed at providing a 360-degree sensing system, this project will help drivers/cars to avoid collision with other vehicles and humans, enable drivers to overtake other cars and change lanes safely, as well as park the cars neatly. By developing both hardware and software for millimeter-wave Short Range Radar (SRR) and Long Range Radar (LRR) in vehicles, this project will enhance the thrill of driving while keeping drivers safe.

b. Precision Engineering and New Materials

- High performance ternary polymer composite materials.
Cars of the future can be lighter yet stronger. This new, higher strength plastic material made of nanofiller can replace glass fibers used widely in cars today. Lighter cars will mean driving down fuel consumption. Eg, with every 10% reduction in weight in cars, there would be an average savings in fuel of 6%.

- Wear-resistant, heat reflective and self-cleaning material for automotive body.
The new nanocomposite material, with its multi-coating layer, is not only wear- and chemical-resistant; it is also able to clean itself through photo-catalysis. It will also reflect heat from the cars to keep cars cool, and reduce the energy consumption by air-conditioning in cars.

c. Electronics

- High performance, lead-free composite solders for harsh environment.
In the light of increasing functional requirement and ever-stricter service requirement of automotive electronic components, a new generation of composite solders will be developed with superior performance to meet the harsh automotive environment. These will replace the tin-lead solders, extensively usedin the automotive industry as interconnect materials, which pose serious environmental problems.

d. Electrical Vehicles

- Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
With EVs expected to hit Singapore's roads as early as next year, thisrevolutionary concept will provide ultimate convenience to EV owners and boost the adoption of this environmentally-friendly transportation. EV owners will no longer need to drive down to specific charging stations, as every parking lot can be made into a charging station using near-field radio frequency (RF) communications.


Eight New Members for A*CAR Consortium

The A*CAR consortium, founded in 2008 with founding members Bosch, Infineon Technologies, and Dou Yee, is now joined by eightnew members. The current membership stands at 11 companies. These included global automotive industry players Toyota Tsusho, GP Batteries, and Anshan Kingpowers Advanced Materials; home-grown globally competitive company ST Kinetics; and small andmedium enterprises (SMEs) Addvalue Technologies, CEI Contract Manufacturing and Infowave.

The consortium aims to drive technology innovation in the automotive industry by forming value chains between automotive OEMs, system integrators, and localsupporting industries. By having multiple modes of collaboration in the consortium framework, members can participate in A*CAR through core projects, which are pre-competitive and fully funded by A*STAR; or through special projects which involve co-funded competitive research.

Commenting at the consortium's signing ceremony at Fusionopolis, A*STAR's Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh said: 'The significant increase in participation coming from both the MNCs and the SMEs testifies to the value proposition of the A*CAR consortium. This value is derived from the suite of world class research capabilities that have been developed in A*STAR research institutes and also the seamless access to these capabilities through the consortium.'

He added: 'Asalient feature of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2015 plans is to leverage on the investments in the public sector to catalyse the growth of private sector R&D activities. The A*CAR consortium is illustrative of this approach throughcreating a platform for public-private partnership. In addition, the consortium also provides opportunities for the SMEs to work alongside global industry leaders to stay relevant and competitive as part of the value chain in the automotive industry.'

Comments from New A*CAR Members

Said Mr Andrew Ng, CEO and Chairman of GP batteries: 'GP Batteries has always been at the forefront of developing power storage systems, and with the current trend towards more efficient and greener energy sources for automobiles, we are excited about the boundless possibilities of R&D in this area. By addressing current challenges of the industry, the A*CAR R&D consortium allows us to capitalise on the entire value chain from car makers to infrastructureproviders to obtain the best possible results.'

Mr Yasuhiro Kakihara, Managing Director of Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) commented: 'Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) has taken on several new and challenging projects to contribute to the progress of urban mobility for Singapore, and to provide cleaner, greener, and safer transportation solutions. Joining the A*CAR consortium gives us the opportunity to move forward in various aspects of this intended vision. With an available pool of technical expertise,experienced researchers, and a well-structured architecture for concept development, both on the technical and commercial front, A*CAR allows us to really speed up and realise our plans systematically, to define new standards in the automotive industry.'


A*CAR Consortium Projects

a. Car Communications and Safety

- Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar.
Roads will become safer with the development of this electronic beam-steering system. Aimed at providing a 360-degreesensing system, this project will help drivers/cars to avoid collision with other vehicles and humans, enable drivers to overtake other cars and change lanes safely, as well as park the cars neatly. By developing both hardware and software for millimeter-wave Short Range Radar (SRR) and Long Range Radar (LRR) in vehicles, this project will enhance the thrill of driving while keeping drivers safe.

- 77GHz Radar System and Antennas Integrated Package.
Lowering costs and providing better electrical performance, this project aims to develop a cost-effective radar package using Embedded Wafer Level Packaging (eWLP).

b. Precision Engineering and New Materials

- High performance ternary polymer composite materials.
Cars of the futurecan be lighter yet stronger. This new, higher strength plastic material made of nanofiller can replace glass fibers used widely in cars today. Lighter cars will mean driving down fuel consumption. Eg, with every 10% reduction in weight in cars, there would be an average savings in fuel of 6%.

- Wear-resistant, heat reflective and self-cleaning material for automotive body.
The new nanocomposite material, with its multi-coating layer, is not only wear- and chemical-resistant; it is alsoable to clean itself through photo-catalysis. It will also reflect heat from the cars to keep cars cool, and reduce the energy consumption by air-conditioning in cars.

- Structural-controlled Polymer Nanocomposites.
With simultaneous improvements in electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, this improved polymer composite material can be used to manufacture body panels, spoilers and bumpers etc. in cars allowing them to be painted using the standard technique of electrostatic spraycoating. This will lower costs by doing away with the need to paint these parts separately from the metal parts due to the materials being non-conductive, and will also benefit the environment as current techniques require a conductive primer which contains harmful solvents.

c. Electronics

- High performance, lead-free composite solders for harsh environment.
In the light of increasing functional requirement and ever-stricter service requirement of automotive electronic components, a new generation of composite solders will be developed with superior performance to meet the harsh automotive environment. These will replace the tin-lead solders, extensively used in the automotive industry as interconnect materials, which pose seriousenvironmental problems.

- Gallium Nitride (GaN) Power Devices.
To cater for high motor power and high power-source voltage requirements in future hybrid and electric vehicles, this project aims to develop novel power devices based on GaN, which surpass performance limits of current silicon power inverters. This involves developing new GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) with innovative structures to tackle challenges such as wide energy band gap and high on-state resistance present in conventional GaN HEMTs. GaN has been identified as a promising candidate for future inverters being able to operate in harsh environments (high temperature, high power, under radiation).

- Ambient Energy Harvesting Multi-hop Wireless sensortechnology.
The project aims to develop a low-cost, self-powered monitoring and guidance system for open carparks. This system uses multi-hop wireless sensor networking technology that provides for energy-efficient data dissemination from individual car park lots to a base station (data collection point). The project will also look into ambient energy harvesting (from light and mechanical energy) for the sensors to be self-powered.

d. Electrical Vehicles (EVs)

- Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles.
With EVs expected to hit Singapore's roads as early as next year, this revolutionary concept will provide ultimate convenience to EV owners and boost the adoption of this environmentally-friendly transportation. EV owners will no longer need to drive down to specific charging stations, as every parking lot can be made into a charging station using near-field radio frequency (RF) communications.

- EV Powerpack.
One of the major global challenges in adoption of EV is the high cost of its power packs. The project address the problem directly by developing affordable and reliable advanced Li-ion battery with very high energy density, longer battery lifespan, with weight and volume efficiency, for EV and HEV application.A new battery management system will also be developed to correctly adapt to the battery's chemistry characteristics, while tackling constraints of overheating and fire risk associated with it.


About A*STAR Capabilities for Automotive Research (A*CAR) Consortium

The A*STAR Capabilities in Automotive Research (A*CAR) Consortium was launched in September 2008 with the partnership of Bosch, Dou Yee, Infineon etc. It is an A*STAR initiative to bring together automotive OEMs, suppliers and the R&D community to work hand in hand in addressing key research areas in automotive technology.

The consortium aims to engage automotive industry with R&D community to drive innovation; carry out basic-directed and applied research work with strong industry participation in the automotive domain; promote sharing of resources; and keep abreast with the technological challenges in advanced automotive technologies.

The key research focus areas of the consortium are Car Communications and Safety, Connected Car and Infotainment, Precision Engineering and Materials, Electronics, and Electric Vehicles.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jaya Shankar, Programme Manager of A*CAR: jshankar@i2r.a-star.edu.sg.


About Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and nine consortia & centre, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity. A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners. For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.

Source: Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Contact:
Ms. Sam Shu Hui
Corporate Communications, A*STAR
DID: +65 6826 6309
HP: +65 9112 8253
Email sam_shu_hui@a-star.edu.sg

Mr. Clement Ng
Corporate Communications, A*STAR
DID: +65 6826 6480
HP: +65 9815 4490
Email: clement_ng@a-star.edu.sg




Copyright 2010 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

Customer comments

No comments were found for A*STAR Musters Global Leaders and Local Stakeholders of Automotive Industry in R&D Consortium for Next-Generation Vehicles. Be the first to comment!