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Mechanical Engineering. 2016;138(12):S5-S11. doi:10.1115/1.2016-Dec-2.

This article focuses on dynamics and control of connected and automated vehicles. The complexity and difficulty can grow significantly from low automation levels to higher levels. The paper briefly highlights three challenges, i.e., sensing, localization, and perception. The Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) is a public/private research and development partnership led by the University of Michigan. MTC aims to develop the foundations for a viable ecosystem of CAVs. A popular alternative to test high-automation-level AVs is the Naturalistic-Field Operational Test (N-FOT). In an N-FOT, a number of equipped vehicles are tested under naturalistic driving conditions over an extended period. In the near future, connected and automated vehicle technologies are expected to be deployed rapidly. While there has been a lot of research in, and attention to, the field of sensing, localization, and perception, this paper aims to point out a few areas related to the field of dynamics and control that are opportunities for further research.

Topics: Vehicles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2016;138(12):S12-S17. doi:10.1115/1.2016-Dec-3.

This article presents evaluation results of connected vehicles and their applications. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2I) can enable a new paradigm of vehicle applications. The connected vehicle applications could significantly improve vehicle safety, mobility, energy savings, and productivity by utilizing real-time vehicle and traffic information. In the foreseeable future, connected vehicles need to operate alongside unconnected vehicles. This makes the evaluation of connected vehicles and their applications challenging. The hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbed can be used as a tool to evaluate the connected vehicle applications in a safe, efficient, and economic fashion. The HIL testbed integrates a traffic simulation network with a powertrain research platform in real time. Any target vehicle in the traffic network can be selected so that the powertrain research platform will be operated as if it is propelling the target vehicle. The HIL testbed can also be connected to a living laboratory where actual on-road vehicles can interact with the powertrain research platform.

Topics: Vehicles , Traffic , Hardware , Roads
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Mechanical Engineering. 2016;138(12):34-38. doi:10.1115/1.2016-Dec-1.

This article emphasizes the need to update Ukraine’s end-to-end electric power grid to provide secure, resilient, and reliable electricity for the future. More than any other publicized attack, the Ukrainian attack demonstrated the sophistication of today’s hackers and the malware they now wield. Despite the risks, policymakers nationwide are pushing for clean and reliable electricity. Grid managers count on either in-house meteorologists or third-party vendors to determine the most accurate weather forecast. A self-healing smart grid needs to be supported by secure sensing and communication networks, it needs built-in computational technologies, and it has to be controllable in real time. In order to protect the electrical system from both cyber and physical attacks, each of its components could in theory be replaced or retrofitted. The expert suggests that the sensing and communication technology on far-flung grid elements would give command-and-control centers better situational awareness; they could use this to plan for future conditions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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