PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Apr2018

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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 Feature by Dan Feinberg I-CONNECT007 Those of us who have been driving for the last 50−60+ years have seen great change. At first, it was slow; we went from manual shift to automatic shift transmissions, then we start- ed adding simple things such as FM radio (yes, that was a premium add-on in the early '60s), then air conditioning and power windows, fuel injection, cruise control, airbags, and in the last decade everything from GPS to LED lighting to automatic speed and distance con- trol, back-up and surrounding cameras and so much more. Many of these additions are now considered standard features and some are still premium add-ons; however, the trend is that today's premium add-ons on a very high-end car will become standard on an economy vehi- cle after a few years. Many of these features added comfort, en- tertainment and convenience; however, many also improved safety (e.g., airbags), driver ca- pability and reliability (over the last few years, computer diagnostics). For example, comput- er diagnostics has significantly shaped the way that automobile owners maintain their cars. Since the turn of the century, cars have increasingly been built with on-board com- puters to warn owners regarding power train problems or other issues before any damage is done. Before the addition of computer diagnos- tics technology, most car owners did not know something was failing until something actual- ly did. At first, these advances were slow to arrive—every few years there would be some- thing new—then a few years later it would be- come commonplace. But lately, just as the rate of advance has accelerated for everything, so has it been for the transportation industry. Transportation vehicles of all kinds are about to see an amazing acceleration in capability, with huge changes in not only the source of power, from liquid fossil fuel (gas/diesel) to hybrid electric, to full electric to the possibility of full electric with the power being transmit-

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