Page 20

EETE JAN 2014

Ford rolls research platform for automated driving By Christoph Hammerschmidt In colaboration with the University of Michigan and insurance company State Farm, carmaker Ford has developed a research vehicle capable of highly automated driving. The move is in line with Ford’s ‘Blueprint for Mobility’ project that provides for series vehicles with autonomous functions by 2025. The platform is based on the Ford model Fusion Hybrid; it aims at developing and perfecting advanced sensor technologies and driver assistant systems. The concept for the Ford research vehicle is based in part on the company’s ‘Driver-in-Control’ series of analysis, realized in Ford’s VIRTTEX driving simulator. This simulator enables developers to find out how humans and automated technologies can be conflated to create a holistic driving experience. Thus, the new research platform does not only serve for resolving technological problems but also to investigate societal and legal solutions associated to automated driving. Ford chose the Fusion Hybrid as test platform because this model is equipped with a broad range of driver assistant systems, including blind spot assistant, parking assistant active city stop and adaptive cruise control with front collision warning system. All these systems are regarded as building blocks for automated driving. In addition, the research platform is equipped with an infrared LIDAR sensor system that is said to scan the road ahead 2.5 million times per second. The instrument has a range of 60 m (about 200 ft) and generates a 3D map of the vehicle’s surroundings. Currently, Ford’s development works focus on further improving existing driver assistant systems, with particular emphasis on functions that alert drivers in the case of traffic stalls and hazards ahead. In the medium term, Ford plans to enable intervehicle communications, for instance to ‘synchronise’ vehicles and thus improve the overall traffic flow. On the long run, cars will navigate and park completely autonomously. According to Ford’s vision, the vehicles will communicate among themselves and with their environment and integrate themselves autonomously into the traffic. Nanosheets alleviate lattice matching restrictions of epitaxial crystalline thin film growth By Julien Happich Epitaxial growth has become increasingly important for growing crystalline thin films with tailored electronic, optical and magnetic properties for technological applications. However the approach is limited by the high structural similarities required between an underlying substrate and a growing crystal layer on top of it. Takayoshi Sasaki and colleagues at the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) and the University of Tokyo in Japan have demonstrated that using two-dimensional materials, the versatility of epitaxial growth techniques can be extended. In 1984 Komo proposed that certain layered materials such as mica or graphite can be easily cleaved to produce surfaces with no dangling bonds that would alleviate the lattice matching requirements for epitaxial growth. Interactions between atoms on these cleaved materials would be more prominent compared with growth on single crystalline substrates since the interlayer van der Waals interactions are weak. However the variety of suitable cleaved surfaces is limited and handling them can be difficult. With the increasing attention on two-dimensional materials over recent years Takayoshi Sasaki and colleagues decided to look into molecularly thin two-dimensional crystals as possible seed layers to alleviate lattice matching requirements in a manner similar to Komo’s van der Waals epitaxy. They deposited nanosheets of either CaNbO-, TiO0.52-, or 2310 0.872 MoO2 δ- as highly organised layers onto amorphous glass. On these different surfaces they grew different orientations of SrTiO3, an important perovskite for various technological applications. The approach demonstrated the ability to grow different orientations of SrTiO3 with a high level of precision. The researchers suggest that in the future, it would be of great interest to achieve more sophisticated control of growth geometry using nanosheets with a complex structure. They add, “Such advanced design, hardly realized with present technology, will pave a new way for further development of crystal engineering.” Schematic illustration of nanosheet structures for CaNbO-, TiO0.52-, and MoOδ− 23100.872 2 nanosheets and corresponding crystal planes of SrTiO3. Source: Research highlight from MANA, the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics at NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan. 20 Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JAN 2014
To see the actual publication please follow the link above