Automation in Automobiles

Automation is the use of machines, control systems and information technologies to optimize productivity in the production of goods and delivery of services. The correct incentive for applying automation is to increase productivity, and/or quality beyond that possible with current human labor levels so as to realize economies of scale, and/or realize predictable quality levels. The incorrect application of automation, which occurs most often, is an effort to eliminate or replace human labor. Simply put, whereas correct application of automation can net as much as 3 to 4 times original output with no increase in current human labor costs. Incorrect application of automation can only save a fraction of current labor level costs. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanisation. Whereas mechanisation provides human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work. Automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements while increasing load capacity, speed, and repeatability. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience.The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic (coming from automaton), was not widely used before 1947, when General Motors established the automation department. At that time automation technologies were electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic. Between 1957 and 1964 factory output nearly doubled while the number of blue collar workers started to decline.Automated manufacturing refers to the application of automation to produce things in the factory way. Most of the advantages of the automation technology have its influence in the manufacture processes.

The main advantages of automated manufacturing are higher consistency and quality, reduced lead times, simplified production, reduced handling, improved work flow, and increased worker morale when a good implementation of the automation is made.

An early representation of the autonomous car was Norman Bel Geddes’s Futurama exhibit sponsored by General Motors at the 1939 World’s Fair, which depicted electric cars powered by circuits embedded in the roadway and controlled by radio.
In the 1980s a vision-guided Mercedes-Benz robotic van, designed by Ernst Deskman’s and his team at the Bundeswehr University Munich in Munich, Germany, achieved 100 km/h (62 mph) on streets without traffic. Subsequently, the European Commission began funding the €800 million ECEUREKA Prometheus Project on autonomous vehicles (1987–1995).
Also in the 1980s the DARPA-funded Autonomous Land Vehicle (ALV) in the United States achieved the first road-following demonstration that used laser radar (Environmental Research Institute of Michigan), computer vision (Carnegie Mellon University and SRI), and autonomous robotic control (Carnegie Mellon and Martin Marietta) to control a robotic vehicle up to 30 km/h. In 1987, HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Labs) demonstrated the first off-road map and sensor-based autonomous navigation on the ALV. The vehicle travelled over 600m at 3 km/h on complex terrain with steep slopes, ravines, large rocks, and vegetation.
In 1994, the twin robot vehicles VaMP and Vita-2 of Daimler-Benz and Ernst Deskman’s of UniBwM drove more than one thousand kilometers on a Paris three-lane highway in standard heavy traffic at speeds up to 130 km/h, albeit semi-autonomously with human interventions. They demonstrated autonomous driving in free lanes, convoy driving, and lane changes left and right with autonomous passing of other cars.
In 1995, Deskman’s´ re-engineered autonomous S-Class Mercedes-Benz took a 1600 km trip from Munich in Bavaria to Copenhagen in Denmark and back, using saccadic computer vision and transputers to react in real time. The robot achieved speeds exceeding 175 km/h on the GermanAutobahn, with a mean time between human interventions of 9 km, or 95% autonomous driving. Again it drove in traffic, executing manoeuvres to pass other cars. Despite being a research system without emphasis on long distance reliability, it drove up to 158 km without human intervention.
In 1995, the Carnegie Mellon UniversityNavlab project achieved 98.2% autonomous driving on a 5,000 km (3,100 mi) “No hands across America” trip. This car, however, was semi-autonomous by nature: it used neural networks to control the steering wheel, but throttle and brakes were human-controlled. In 1996, Alberto Broggi of the University of Parma launched the ARGO Project, which worked on enabling a modified LanciaThema to follow the normal (painted) lane marks in an unmodified highway. The culmination of the project was a journey of 2,000 km over six days on the motorways of northern Italy dubbed MilleMiglia in Automatico, with an average speed of 90 km/h. 94% of the time the car was in fully automatic mode, with the longest automatic stretch being 54 km. The vehicle had only two black-and-white low-cost video camerason board, and used stereoscopic vision algorithms to understand its environment, as opposed to the “laser, radar – whatever you need” approach taken by other efforts in the field.

Engineers can now have numerical control over automated devices. The result has been a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities. Computer-aided technologies (or CAx) now serve the basis for mathematical and organizational tools used to create complex systems. Notable examples of CAx include Computer-aided design (CAD software) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM software). The improved design, analysis, and manufacture of products enabled by CAxhave been beneficial for industry.
Following picture shows automation done in industries with the help of robots.



Figure 1. Automation in production

Information technology, together with industrialmachinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialized hardened computers which are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.
Automation has had a notable impact in a wide range of industries beyond manufacturing (where it began). Once-ubiquitous telephone operators have been replaced largely by automated telephone switchboards and answering machines. Medical processes such as primary screening in electrocardiography or radiography and laboratory analysis of human genes, sera, cells, and tissues are carried out at much greater speed and accuracy by automated systems. Automated teller machines have reduced the need for bank visits to obtain cash and carry out transactions. In general, automation has been responsible for the shift in the world economy from industrial jobs to service jobs in the 20th and 21st centuries. Automation has its greatest impact in consideration of reliability and precision, Health and environment, Convertibility and turnaround time.

Vehicular automation involves the use of mechatronics and artificial intelligence to assist a vehicle-operator or driver. These features and the vehicles employing them may be labeled as intelligent or smart. A vehicle using automation for difficult tasks, especially navigation, may be referred to as semi-autonomous. A vehicle relying solely on automation is consequently referred to as robotic or autonomous. After the invention of the integrated circuit, the sophistication of automation technology increased. Manufacturers and researchers subsequently added a variety of automated functions to automobiles and other vehicles, relieving the driver of a portion of the decision-making necessary while driving.Extensive automation for cars focuses on either introducing robotic cars or modifying modern car designs to be semi-autonomous. Semi-autonomous designs could be implemented sooner as they rely less on technology that is still at the forefront of research. An example is the Dual mode monorail. Groups such as RUF (Denmark), BiWay (UK), ATN (New Zealand) and TriTrack (USA) are working on projects consisting of private cars that dock onto monorail tracks and are driven autonomously around the track.As a method of automating cars without extensively modifying the cars as much as a robotic car, automated highway systems (AHS) aims to construct lanes on highways that would be equipped with, for example, magnets to guide the vehicles. Highway computers would manage the traffic and direct the cars to avoid crashes.The European Commission has established a smart car development program called the Intelligent Car Flagship Initiative.
This seminar concentrates upon some of the worlds smartest automobiles in each of the following fields as -Smartest Braking System – Bugatti Veyron, Smartest Attacking Technology – Ah-64 Apache, Smartest Safety System – Toyota Crown, Smartest Security System – B2 Spirit Aircraft, Smartest Parking System – Toyota Lexus, Smartest Eco-friendly Automobile – Toyota Prios

Bugatti Veyron with an engine of 3000 horse power is unique in its class because of the fact that power needed by its braking system is more than that is needed by its engine to accelerate. The braking system of Bugatti Veyron is dual in nature as it make use of the extra aerodynamic braking system in addition with conventional power braking system, which make use of automatic controlling of wind shield operating with respect to speed of car to make room or to apply resistance against the speed of car. The extra aerodynamic braking system used itself produces 70% of the total power produced by any domestic car. The combined power finally can stop the car running at top speed of 256 KMPH, in less than 15 seconds.
Following picture shows Bugatti Veyron with its intelligent aerodynamic braking system.



Figure 2. Bugatti Veyron with its intelligent aerodynamic braking system

The Veyron’s brakes use cross drilled, radially vented carbon fiber reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composite discs, manufactured by SGL Carbon, which have a much greater resistance to brake fade when compared with conventional cast iron discs. The lightweight aluminum alloy monobloc brake calipers are made by AP Racing; the fronts have eight titanium pistons and the rear calipers have six pistons. Bugatti claims maximum deceleration of 1.3 g’s on road tires. As an added safety feature, in the event of brake failure, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) has also been installed on the handbrake.
Prototypes have been subjected to repeated 1.0 g braking from 312 km/h (194 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) without fade. With the car’s acceleration from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 312 km/h (194 mph), that test can be performed every 22 seconds. At speeds above 200 km/h (120 mph), the rear wing also acts as an airbrake, snapping to a 55° angle in 0.4 seconds once brakes are applied, providing an additional 0.68 g (6.66 m/s2) of deceleration (equivalent to the stopping power of an ordinary hatchback). Bugatti claims the Veyron will brake from 400 km/h (250 mph) to a standstill in less than 10 seconds, though distance covered in this time will be half a kilometer (third of a mile).

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. The Apache was developed as Model 77 by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975. The AH-64 was introduced to US Army service in April 1986.
Following picture shows AH-64 helicopter with its intelligence system for attacking.



Figure 3. AH-64 APACHE

One of the revolutionary features at the introduction of the Apache was its helmet mounted display, the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS); among other abilities the pilot or gunner can slave the helicopter’s 30 mm automatic M230 Chain Gun to his helmet, making the gun track head movements to point at where he looks. The M230E1 can be alternatively fixed to a locked forward firing position, or controlled via the Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS). The AH-64’s standard of performance for aerial gunnery is to achieve at least one hit out of 30 shots fired at a wheeled vehicle 800–1200 m away. The AH-64 is designed to endure front-line environments and to operate during the day or night and in adverse weather using avionics, such as the Target Acquisition and Designation System, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS), passive infrared countermeasures, GPS, and the IHADSS. A newer system that is replacing TADS/PNVS is Arrowhead (MTADS); it is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, a contract was made on 17 February 2005 to begin equipping all models of American Apaches.

Driver Monitoring System, also known as Driver Attention Monitor, is a vehicle safety system first introduced by Toyota in 2006 for its and Lexus latest models. It was first offered on the GS 450h. The system’s functions co-operate with the Pre-Collision System (PCS). The system uses infrared sensors to monitor driver attentiveness. Specifically, the Driver Monitoring System includes a CCDcamera placed on the steering column which is capable of eye tracking, via infraredLED detectors. If the driver is not paying attention to the road ahead and a dangerous situation is detected, the system will warn the driver by flashing lights, warning sounds. If no action is taken, the vehicle will apply the brakes (a warning alarm will sound followed by a brief automatic application of the braking system). This system is said to be the first of its kind.
In 2008, the Toyota Crown system went further and can detect if the driver is becoming sleepy by monitoring the eyelids.
In 2009, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a system called Attention Assist which monitors the driver’s fatigue level and drowsiness based on his/her driving inputs. It issues a visual and audible alarm to alert the driver if she is too drowsy to continue driving safely.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit (also known as the Stealth Bomber) is an American strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is able to deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty 500 lb (230 kg) The B-2 is the only aircraft that can carry large air to surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.



Figure 4.Worlds smartest security aircraft – B2

Development originally started under the “Advanced Technology Bomber” (ATB) project during the Carter administration, and its performance was one of the reasons for his cancellation of the B-1 Lancer. ATB continued during the Reagan administration, but worries about delays in its introduction led to the reinstatement of the B-1 program as well. Program costs rose throughout development. Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman with assistance from Boeing, the cost of each aircraft averaged US$737 million (in 1997 dollars). Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft, which includes spare parts, equipment, retrofitting, and software support. The total program cost including development, engineering and testing, averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997.
By the mid-1970s it was becoming clear that there was an entirely different way to avoid missiles and intercepts. Known today as “stealth”, the concept was to build an aircraft with an airframe that deflected or absorbed radar signals so that little was reflected back to the radar unit. An aircraft having stealth characteristics would be able to fly nearly undetected and could be attacked only by weapons and systems not relying on radar. Although such possibilities existed such as human observation, their relatively short detection range allowed most aircraft to fly undetected by defenses, especially at night.
In 1974 DARPA requested information from US aviation firms about the largest radar cross section of an aircraft where it would remain effectively invisible to radars. Initially, Northrop and McDonnell Douglas were selected for further development. Lockheed had experience in this field due to developing the Lockheed A-12 and SR-71, which included a number of stealthy features, notably its canted vertical stabilizers, the use of composite materials in key locations, and the overall surface finish in radar absorbing paint. A key improvement was the introduction of computer models used to predict the radar reflections from flat surfaces where collected data drove the design of a “faceted” aircraft. Development of the first such designs started in 1975 with “the hopeless diamond”, a model built at Lockheed to test the concept. Improvements quickly followed that allowed designs with more traditional configurations and manufacturing techniques.Plans were well advanced by the summer of 1975, when DARPA started the Experimental Survivability Testbed (XST) project. Northrop and Lockheed were awarded contracts in the first round of testing. Lockheed received the sole award for the second test round in April 1976 leading to the Have Blue program.
A number of upgrade packages were applied to the B-2 during the 21st century. In 2004, Northrop Grumman tested a new alternate high-frequency material (AHFM) for use as a radar-absorbent material (RAM) coating for the B-2. The Air Force Research Laboratory developed a new material to be used on the part of the wing trailing edge subject to engine exhaust to replace the existing material which degrades. In 2008, the US Congress funded upgrades to the B-2’s weapon control systems for hitting moving targets.
In July 2008, the B-2’s computing architecture was redesigned with a new integrated processing unit (IPU) that communicates via a fiber optic network and a smaller, faster single-board processor that runs a new version of the operational flight program (OFP) software converted from JOVIAL to C by automated tools.

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in 1989 in the United States, Lexus is now sold globally and has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars. The Lexus marque is marketed in over 70 countries and territories worldwide, and has ranked among the ten largest Japanese global brands in market value. Lexus is headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Operational centers are located in Brussels, Belgium, and Torrance, California, United States.
Figure shows self parking system provided by Lexus.



Figure 5.Self parking system in Toyota Lexus

Lexus originated from a clandestine flagship sedan project, code-named F1, which began in 1983 and culminated in the launch of the original Lexus LS in 1989. Subsequently, the division added sedan, coupé, convertible, and SUV models. In 2005, a hybrid version of the RX crossover debuted, and additional hybrid models later joined the division’s lineup. In 2007, Lexus launched its own F marque performance division with the debut of the IS F sport sedan, followed by the LFA supercar in 2009.
The marque returned to the champagne glass theme in a 2006 LS 460 spot showing the sedan maneuvering between two stacks of glasses using its self-parking system, and in a 2010 LFA spot showing its engine sound shattering a glass via resonance frequency.

A green vehicle or environmentally friendly vehicle is a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Presently, in some countries the term is used for any vehicle surpassing the Euro6-norm such as LEVs and ULEVs, and also more informally it is used for California’s zero emissions vehicles and other low-carbon emission vehicles.
Green vehicles can be powered by alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies and include hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, compressed-air vehicles, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, neat ethanol vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, clean diesel vehicles, and some sources also include vehicles using blends of biodiesel and ethanol fuel or gasohol. Several authors also include conventional motor vehicles with high fuel economy, as they consider that increasing fuel economy is the most cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector in the short run. As part of their contribution to sustainable transport, these vehicles reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to energy independence by reducing oil imports.
An environmental analysis extends beyond just the operating efficiency and emissions. A life-cycle assessment involves production and post-use considerations. A cradle-to-cradle design is more important than a focus on a single factor such as energy efficiency.
After looking through this entire seminar if we think that computers in automobiles are helping us in every field of comparison and there is no match to computers power then its time to change our thinking. Because all the way computers today have their own limits, mechanics and physics are one of them.
Figure shows the worlds most power producing car engine from Bugatti Veyron



Figure 6.Engine of Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron with an engine of 3000 horse power is unique in its class because of the fact that power needed by its braking system is more than that is needed by its engine to accelerate. The braking system of Bugatti Veyron is dual in nature as it make use of the extra aerodynamic braking system in addition with conventional power braking system, which make use of automatic controlling of wind shield operating with respect to speed of car to make room or to apply resistance against the speed of car. The extra aerodynamic braking system used itself produces 70% of the total power produced by any domestic car. The combined power finally can stop the car running at top speed of 256 KMPH, in less than 15 seconds.
But at this time it becomes unbelievable to know that the engine of Bugatti Veyron can support up to 260 KMPH. The only reason that we cant drive the car after 254 KMPH is that the computers which handle the speed of car cant handle the speed above that limit after which it becomes unstable.Still the speed issue has got its prestige by default. The Super Sport version of the Veyron is the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph). The original version has a top speed of +408.47 km/h (253.81 mph). It was named Car of the Decade (2000–2009) by the BBC television program Top Gear. The standard Veyron won Top Gear’s Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005.The Veyron at the time had the highest top speed of any street legal production car. Back in the Top Gear studio, co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson commented that most supercars felt like they were shaking apart at their top speed, and asked May if that was the case with the Veyron at 407 km/h (253 mph).
Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC).An automated online assistant on a website, with an avatar for enhanced human–computer interaction.Human-machine interfaces or computer human interfaces, Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments they are called stationary engineers.

7.1 The main advantages of automation are:
• Increased throughput or productivity.
• Improved quality or increased predictability of quality.
• Improved robustness (consistency), of processes or product.

7.2 The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness.
• Install automation in operations to reduce cycle time.
• Install automation where a high degree of accuracy is required.
• Replacing human operators in tasks that involve hard physical or monotonous work.
• Replacing humans in tasks done in dangerous environments (i.e. fire, space, volcanoes, nuclear facilities, underwater, etc.)
• Performing tasks that are beyond human capabilities of size, weight, speed, endurance, etc.
• Economy improvement: Automation may improve in economy of enterprises, society or most of humanity. For example, when an enterprise invests in automation, technology recovers its investment; or when a state or country increases its income due to automation like Germany or Japan in the 20th Century.
• Reduces operation time and work handling time significantly.
• Frees up workers to take on other roles.
• Provides higher level jobs in the development, deployment, maintenance and running of the automated processes.
7.3 Reliability and precision
The old focus on using automation simply to increase productivity and reduce costs was seen to be short-sighted, because it is also necessary to provide a skilled workforce who can make repairs and manage the machinery. Moreover, the initial costs of automation were high and often could not be recovered by the time entirely new manufacturing processes replaced the old. (Japan’s “robot junkyards” were once world famous in the manufacturing industry.)
Automation is now often applied primarily to increase quality in the manufacturing process, where automation can increase quality substantially. For example, internal combustion engine pistons used to be installed manually. This is rapidly being transitioned to automated machine installation, because the error rate for manual installment was around 1-1.5%, but has been reduced to 0.00001% with automation
7.4 Health and environment
The costs of automation to the environment are different depending on the technology, product or engine automated. There are automated engines that consume more energy resources from the Earth in comparison with previous engines and those that do the opposite too. Hazardous operations, such as oil refining, the manufacturing of industrial chemicals, and all forms of metal working, were always early contenders for automation.
7.5 Convertibility and turnaround time
Another major shift in automation is the increased demand for flexibility and convertibility in manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from manufacturing Product A to manufacturing Product B without having to completely rebuild the production lines. Flexibility and distributed processes have led to the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles with Natural Features Navigation.
Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parameterization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.
Discrete manufacturing plants adopted these technologies fast. The more conservative process industries with their longer plant life cycles have been slower to adopt and analogue-based measurement and control still dominates. The growing use of Industrial Ethernet on the factory floor is pushing these trends still further, enabling manufacturing plants to be integrated more tightly within the enterprise, via the internet if necessary. Global competition has also increased demand for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems.

The main disadvantages of automation are:
• Security Threats/Vulnerability: An automated system may have a limited level of intelligence, and is therefore more susceptible to committing an error.
• Unpredictable development costs: The research and development cost of automating a process may exceed the cost saved by the automation itself.
• High initial cost: The automation of a new product or plant requires a huge initial investment in comparison with the unit cost of the product, although the cost of automation is spread among many products.
According to a survey made by J.D. Power and Associates with 17,400 vehicle owners, more than a third (37 percent) of all survey responders initially said they would be interested in purchasing a fully-autonomous car. That number of willing car buyers dropped to 20 percent once they learned the technology would cost an additional $3,000. With an additional cost of $3,000, 25% of the male vehicle buyers were willing to pay for a fully autonomous vehicle, while only 14 percent of women wanted the feature.
According to an online survey of 2,006 consumers in the US and the UK conducted by Accenture, 49 percent of all survey responders said they would be comfortable using a “driverless car”.
The under development projects are as follows: –
• Google driverless car, with a test fleet of autonomous vehicles that as of May 2012 has driven 175,000 miles (282,000 km).
• The €800 million EC EUREKA Prometheus Project on autonomous vehicles (1987–1995). Among its culmination points were the twin robot vehicles VITA-2 and VaMP of Daimler-Benz and Ernst Deskman’s, driving long distances in heavy traffic (see #History above).
• The VIAC Challenge, in which 4 vehicles drove from Italy to China on a 13,000 kilometers (8,100 mi) trip with only limited occasions requiring human intervention, such as in the Moscow traffic jams and when passing toll stations. This is the longest-ever trip by an unmanned vehicle.
• The third competition of the DARPA Grand Challenge held in November 2007. 53 teams qualified initially, but after a series of qualifying rounds, only eleven teams entered the final race. Of these, six teams completed navigating through the non-populated urban environment, and the Carnegie Mellon University team won the $2 million prize.
• The ARGO vehicle (see #History above) is the predecessor of the BRAiVE vehicle, both from the University of Parma’s VisLab. Argo was developed in 1996 and demonstrated to the world in 1998; BRAiVE was developed in 2008 and firstly demonstrated in 2009 at the IEEE IV conference in Xi’an, China.
• Stanford Racing Team’s junior car is an autonomous driverless car for paved roads. It is intended for civilian use.
• Team CIMAR’s NaviGator is one such vehicle developed at University of Florida which is capable of driving on its own and will feature new features which can also be adopted to make conventional navigation better.
• The Volkswagen Golf GTI 53+1 is a modified Volkswagen Golf GTI capable of autonomous driving. The Golf GTI 53+1 features an implemented system that can be integrated into any car. This system is based around the MicroAutoBox from dSpace. This, as it was intended to test VW hardware without a human driver (for consistent test results).
• The Audi TTS Pikes Peak is a modified Audi TTS, working entirely on GPS, and thus without additional sensors. The car was designed by BurkhardHuhnke of Volkswagen Research.

All cars manufactured today contain at least one computer. It is in charge of monitoring engine emissions and adjusting the engine to keep emissions as low as possible. The computer receives information from a many different sensors, including, the oxygen sensor, the air pressure sensor, the air temperature sensor, the engine temperature sensor, the throttle position sensor, the knock sensor, the oxygen sensor etc.
Using the information from these sensors, the computer can control things like the fuel injectors, spark plugs and the idle speed to get the best performance possible from the engine while keeping emissions low. A mechanic can read a diagnostic code from the computer and fix the problem.
Depending on how expensive the car is, there can be all sorts of other computers. For example, there is probably a computer controlling the automatic transmission, if the car has anti-lock brakes, there is a computer reading the wheel speed and controlling the brakes, many air bag systems have their own computers, some cars now have motorized seats and mirrors that can remember the settings for multiple drivers, and these contain computers.
Any radio or CD player with a digital display contains a computer of its own, Cruise control systems use computers.In other words, a modern luxury car is a rolling computer network. It is amazing how many embedded controllers a car can have. The computers in our cars have no idea what today’s date is because it is irrelevant to their calculations. If you take the battery out of your car to replace it, all of the computers lose power.

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