Power Electronics

ABI reports hybrid technology driving by-wire to lower-end vehicles

Hybrid vehicles will exert increasing influence on the x-by-wire movement and will help the technology find its way into lower-end vehicles, according to a report from ABI Research.

ABI’s 2005 study, “X-by-Wire: A Strategic Analysis of In-Vehicle Multiplexing and Next-Generation Safety-Critical Control Systems,” examines by-wire steering, braking and electric parking brake systems. It details the integration of by-wire systems, and forecasts target technologies, divided by region, through 2012.

"Traditionally, advanced technologies first appear in luxury models, because they all add expense to the existing basic package of chassis, engine, and so on. But designers of hybrids have been able to start from scratch, and many of the systems they design are by-wire because of these vehicles' particular requirements," said research analyst Robert LaGuerra.

He added that full hybrids require by-wire systems and are able to employ them because they produce enough wattage to run mechatronics systems that would be impossible in a conventional 12 V vehicle.

”Such strategies go beyond full hybrids. For example, conventional vehicles fitted with belt-alternator-starters incorporate hybrid strategies by shutting down the engine while the car is stationary--borrowing from full hybrid regenerative braking and steering systems that are designed to keep working when the engine is off. I believe you're going to see these things in lower-end vehicles," noted LaGuerra. "Korean manufacturers are planning for low-end hybrid vehicles in the next two to three years. Even the Honda Civics and Toyota Priuses are not high-end cars. Hybrid technologies won't be the only drivers of the X-by-wire movement, but they will take a prominent role."

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