Consumer demand to drive electrical innovation
A top spokesperson from Toyota, Ankil Shah, has said that customer requirements for advanced safety and comfort features in their cars is adding such a large amount of weight due to the electrical systems needed to run them that technological innovation and parts consolidation may be necessary to keep them on the road.
Features such as heated seats, DVD players and built-in GPS screens are using such a large amount of power that Mr Shah also predicted it may soon be commonplace to have two batteries working in tandem, one for the engine and another for all of the electrical components we’ve become so accustomed to, and reliant upon.
Another problem that may lie not too far up the road is that legislation on carbon emissions will mean either significantly reducing the load on some vehicles, or increasing the miles per gallon they can do. One area that is therefore seeing a lot of interest at the moment from car manufacturers is simplifying parts, making them smaller or dual-purpose, and using more lightweight materials. One firm for instance, DuPont, is known for producing printed circuit boards that cut the requirement for electrical wiring.
The challenge as always is making sure that any innovation in materials used on cars is done in conjunction with safety measures so that in the event of a crash the occupants are still fully-protected.
Here at Halls Electrical we are used to fitting and maintaining all kinds of electrical systems, particularly Clarion entertainment products, and have noticed that over the years vehicles are steadily becoming larger, not just for comfort but to hold more equipment. We’ll be watching what happens in the manufacturing industry over the next few years with interest, because when it comes to automobile innovation, it’s in our blood.