Over 80 per cent of all innovations in the vehicle involve automotive electronics, either directly or indirectly. Currently, automotive electronics are responsible for 30 per cent of a new vehicle's sale price, and this is set to rise to 40 per cent in the coming years. Even conservative estimates suggest that the market for automotive software is set to quadruple. As part of the vehicle's embedded electronics system, automotive software must fulfill tough real-time requirements which pose new challenges for automotive software developers. Steinbeis TIB Transfer Center for Technology Evaluation and Innovation Consulting selects and evaluates patents, including those in the automotive sector.
Today, automotive electronics play a key role in improving road safety. Safety features such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) make it easier for drivers to control their vehicles. Systems which help improve road safety are increasingly the focus of public interest. The results of the NIRWARN project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, have aided the development of new lines of robust, reflection-free lenses (for night vision and advanced driver-assistance systems). As product features are subject to a growing number of requirements, this results in new applications for optical systems in automobiles.
However, more electronic systems in automobiles also mean more weight, and thus increased energy and fuel consumption. Potential on the consumer side must be tapped to keep the total power consumption constant despite the increasing amount of electronics. For many functions, it would be expedient to question whether the customer really needs them or benefits from them.
The service life of vehicle batteries in parked automobiles has also fallen drastically in recent years, due to the growing number of electronic systems which consume power in standby mode. Electronic control chips and memory chips require energy; for developers, this means enough energy must be available at all times, whatever the vehicle's operational status. In a new vehicle, the battery capacity is tailored to the level of electronics embedded in the particular model. In general, developers are considering replacing the one-battery electrical system with a twobattery system, and to split the latter into two areas (such as a priming circuit and a supply circuit) depending on the application.
In modern automobiles, when the engine is switched off but the vehicle's embedded electronics are still consuming energy, an additional solar recharging system can be used to keep the on-board battery permanently charged. Installing a mobile, compact solar recharging system is easy and inexpensive, and the system can be easily adjusted to local environmental conditions. Unlike conventional systems, the patented solar recharging system can be fitted inside the vehicle. Because it is not exposed to the elements, the design and materials do not need to be weatherproof and can be kept simple.
The patent for this system is currently being evaluated by Steinbeis TIB. As expert partner to Alpha Patentfonds, the team members of the Steinbeis TIB select and evaluate patents with potential real-world applications. The Steinbeis TIB team includes over 40 specialists with expertise and in-depth professional experience in evaluating technology, markets and industries. In addition, Steinbeis TIB actively seeks out new technologies and innovations on an order basis.