Michigan-based automobile systems manufacturer Visteon showcased its e-Bee concept car in Chennai recently. The car was designed to display the futuristic vision for mobility technology in 2020. The e-Bee, based on a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, features a custom-built cabin showcasing Visteon’s broad array of electronics and materials technologies. The main concept was to maximise interior space through smart packaging of vehicle components.
The most prominent feature of the car is that multiple users will be able to adapt it to their liking: the e-Bee can store numerous user profiles, each user will originally set up the preferred look, colour and layout of the digital instrument panels, then save these settings and reload that profile every time the car is driven. There are three of those instrument panels, two of which are touch screens located on either side of the steering wheel. They provide information on vehicle controls and social media connections. At the centre, immediately in front of the driver, is the head-down projected main display – this is where the most vital information, such as driving speed, navigation system is accessed. The e-Bee has a video monitor displaying a real-time feed from a 180-degree rear-view camera unlike the conventional placement of rear-view mirror.
Bertrand Stelandre, Head of Innovations and Design, Visteon Europe said, “By 2020, your car will recognise you when you get in and immediately adjust the seat and mirrors according to your preferences. At the same time, it could bring up your calendar on a screen, and automatically program your destination based on your next appointment. As passengers get in, each would have access to his own music and be able to connect his smartphone and tablet to the car’s own Wi-Fi hot spot.”
Integrated climate system module
Visteon created a new single climate control component, combining heating and air conditioning into one module. It consolidates all refrigerant system components together and integrates the HVAC unit into a single relocated module outside of the cabin. This further provides energy efficient heating and cooling and reduces the weight of the cooling system. The car’s HVAC system additionally incorporates a gentle air diffusion feature, a cooled rear grocery storage box, and – in case there’s a passenger who stinks – a fragrance diffusion system.
According to Mr Stelandre, due to the mounting of HVAC in the engine compartment, the climate module opens up more interior space when comparing to normal cars available today. Moreover due to the independent operations from the driveline, the user can remotely enable HVAC in the car even before he or she enters it so that the car is at the desired temperature when they enter into the car.
In order to have more fuel efficiency, the designers have reduced the weight of the car by changing the material of the interiors. The surfaces of the interiors are covered in recycled polypropylene, manufactured and decorated using Visteon processes. The injected expanded polypropylene enables a 40 per cent reduction in weight according to part shape. All these design and development of e-Bee were done by Mr Stelander and his 10-member R&D team in Europe with the help of ten vendors.
HVCC’s weightless and cost effective components
Along with e-Bee, Visteon showcased its wide range new products at its plant in Maraimalainagar, near Chennai. Visteon and its majority-owned subsidiary, Halla Visteon Climate Control (HVCC) has introduced new vehicle climate and cockpit electronics products for the India market. HVCC’s new rotary suction valve (RS) compressor, with an optimised weight-reduction design, can reduce costs for vehicle manufacturers and is designed to improve fuel efficiency and durability. A second new product line – exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers – is designed to enhance fuel economy and significantly reduce emissions. HVCC also introduced an ultra-slim heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, a compact system that is approximately ten per cent lighter and 30 per cent smaller than most conventional HVAC systems. Other HVCC products available for the Indian market include thin, high-efficiency heat exchangers, internal heat exchanger air conditioner lines, and PACE award-winning cooling fan assemblies and “zero leak” metal seal fittings.
Visteon Electronics, market leader in vehicle cockpit electronics in India has developed a new infotainment system that enables multi-device connectivity and management of content to deliver a rich experience. To keep the vehicle technology relevant with consumer electronic trends, Visteon’s solution is capable of system improvements and enhancements through software updates.
This infotainment functionality is accessible to drivers and passengers through Visteon’s human-machine interaction (HMI). The new infotainment system was designed and developed with involvement of Visteon Electronics engineers at its technical centers in Chennai and Pune.
Visteon Interiors is also ready with a lightweight reinforcement patented technology for a chute for the airbag module on the instrument panel. It is designed for weight savings, is compatible with hard and soft instrument panels, and can simplify the assembly process. With these new technologically advanced products, Visteon is taking the auto industry to greater heights and moving towards its vision for future mobility.
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