Self-monitoring cars to detect own faults

Dec 05, 2005

Discovery News has reported a major leap forward in automobile technology: future cars will be able to diagnose and monitor their faults. According to the report, the new technology will determine which parts are damaged and state how long they can last. Scientists are aiming to make vehicles equipped with this facility available in the next few years.

According to Douglas Adams and Muhammad Haroon, co-writers of a paper on health-monitoring systems for cars, the fault-detecting device will work in a similar way to the fuel gauge. The paper was presented in November at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Orlando, Florida.

The technology will allow car owners to ascertain at which stage any car part is in its lifespan; bad news for rogue repairers seeking to replace perfectly serviceable components.

In a study of auto suspension, the system supporting the car on its axles, an Isuzu Impulse was placed on an automatic shaker, simulating the bumps and jolts of a typical car ride. Sensors were attached to the bottom of the car's strut, steering knuckle-control arm connection and other parts of the suspension system to measure the various levels of vibration generated. The scientists then simulated damage by loosening a bolt connecting the steering knuckle to the control arm through a ball joint.

The vibrations were then analyzed on a computer. The results showed a replica of human heartbeats. The computer identified and quantified the damage, making it possible to pinpoint the parts affected.

Adams told Discovery News that all mechanical systems have a 'vibration fingerprint' during operation. The fingerprint can indicate how one component responds relative to all other components. When one of the components is damaged, its fingerprint changes, in turn affecting the fingerprint of the system as a whole. It is the changes in these fingerprints that are used to determine both the location and extent of any damage sustained.

Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com

Explore further: Tech gifts for the geek who already has everything

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate conditions determine Amazon fire risk

Jun 08, 2013

(Phys.org) —Using an innovative satellite technique, NASA scientists have determined that a previously unmapped type of wildfire in the Amazon rainforest is responsible for destroying several times more ...

Bio-inspired coating resists liquids

Sep 21, 2011

After a rain, the cupped leaf of a pitcher plant becomes a virtually frictionless surface. Sweet-smelling and elegant, the carnivore attracts ants, spiders, and even little frogs. One by one, they slide to ...

Recommended for you

Shedding light on solar power

1 hour ago

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

1 hour ago

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

EU Parliament votes to break up Google

3 hours ago

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.