For more than 15 years we are hearing talk to our trusted mechanics, about “computer” of the car. Also hear you frequently that “.. .I will put the computer (his or his workshop) to the car to detect or diagnose the fault and its reason”. For many people, this is the link between Computers and Cars.
And indeed, since the early 1990s many vehicles come equipped with internal computers that receive signals from various transducers or sensors and after processing the information, execute functions of output that can be control, signaling, of diagnostic or alarm.
In recent years, the technological advancement of the world, as well as the increase in the levels of requirements of users in relation to prevention, comfort, and safety, coupled with competition from manufacturers for having the technological supremacy of the industry, has greatly elevated the use of computer in vehicles.
From simple indications of measurements (through sensors or transducers) parameters of vehicle work: oil pressure, temperature of the engine, etc. up to sophisticated functions such as use proximity sensors to warn and to braking, the vehicle.
A typical modern automotive computer is which can be seen below:
Although many indications of failures or problems that have vehicles are listed on their own boards, these indications are only informative. The diagnoses obtained after processing data from all sensors and transducers can be obtained by connecting the vehicle computer to computer diagnosis of the mechanic or repairer through a NETWORK established between both computers WIRED form or WIRELESS form.
Vehicles controlled by computers.
However, the speed at which various technologies have evolved, such as servomotors and servodrives, have brought the relationship between Computers and Automobiles to another level that is more similar to what, until very recently, was the subject of Futuristic fiction: self-driven vehicles.
The combination of sensors of approximation, light, sound, etc., with cameras, satellital global positioning systems (GPS), wireless communication, servomechanisms and Computers, wisely handled by Software developers, have managed to initiate a new technological revolution that, in a very short time, it will elevate the standards of security and comfort in the relation Man-Vehicle to unsuspected levels.
And here again it is pertinent to ask the question of rigor: Will analysts and software developers “make think” the combination of Computers and Cars in a “safe” way in any circumstance?
Some countries have already been tested, but the Authorities are reluctant to give the authorization to start marketing. Issues regarding component reliability and the ability of the Software to solve “any situation” remain the most important limitations.
The Technology of manufacture and of the materials is working in the reliability of the physical components to which we could call Automotive Hardware, but still exists the doubt about the “reactions” of the Computer that will control to the drives.
Once again, in this theme of the Computers and Cars, the “Software Men” have the last word…