Cidaut presents research and development projects’ results at SAHE

In the frame of SAHE, Hybrid and Electric Automotive Show, celebrated in Valladolid from the 22nd to the 24th of April, Cidaut has presented its last innovations related to sustainable mobility and intelligent transport.

At Cidaut’s booth, it was possible to see and touch two of the prototypes development in the last research and development projects carried out by the technological center. The first one was a crash test prototype that had been tested according to Regulation 94 homologation, in the frontal part of the vehicle the consequences of the crash were still visible. The rest of the vehicle has been repaired in order to shortly make an additional lateral pole crash test. Inside the vehicle, in the driving position, a crash test dummy was seated in order to make this testing tool familiar to the visitors. Most of the youngest assistants to the show were surprised and happy to see and touch the dummy while very few were surprised or scared.

The second prototype was a functional extra-light and safe urban electric vehicle. The interior of this prototype was monitored with a simple webcam and thanks to the application of artificial vision solutions, the vehicle was able to determine the position of the occupants, the direction of their glance, the number of flickers and yawns, and the alertness level of the driver. This solution will be applied to avoid unattended driving in automated driving scenarios, but also in standard driving conditions. The vehicle was open for the visitors to come in and test the performance of the monitoring systems. Again the youngest visitors were the ones who enjoyed the most the technological advances. Great to know the interest of youngest attendants in innovative solutions.

CIDAUT participates in the Zeppelin green hydrogen project

CIDAUT is one of the research entities participating in the Zeppelin industrial research project, which aims to develop efficient and circular technological solutions for the production and storage of green hydrogen. The project aims to use innovation to reduce the current costs of renewable fuel production.

Led by the company Aqualia, Zeppelin has the participation of other actors in the hydrogen sector such as Redexis, Naturgy, Norvento, Perseo, Reganosa, Técnicas Reunidas and Repsol.

The general objectives of the project are to research new green hydrogen production technologies that are alternatives to electrolysis and that promote the circular economy through the recovery of waste and by-products from different sectors (agri-food, textiles, WWTPs, refineries, etc.).

Currently, 96% of the hydrogen produced in the world comes from fossil fuels and only 1% from renewable sources. Spain’s Hydrogen Roadmap calls for 25% of the hydrogen consumed by industry to be renewable by 2030, which will begin to power our trains, planes and vehicles. The Zeppelin project will contribute to achieving these Roadmap targets.

New materials and carriers for storing green hydrogen and modelling tools for the different technologies developed will also be evaluated. All of this, aligned with the objective of reducing the energy, economic and environmental costs associated with current hydrogen production and promoting safe, efficient and clean energy.

Within Activity 4: Research into H2 storage processes, led by Redexis, CIDAUT will collaborate in the research into alternative storage processes for green hydrogen in the form of ammonia. A comparative study with other forms of H2 storage will be carried out and a process for H2 storage in form of ammonia adapted to production and use needs will be dimensioned.

Zeppelin is funded by the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), through the CDTI Missions programme, aimed at financing large strategic business R&D initiatives that propose solutions to cross-cutting and strategic challenges for Spanish society and with the support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. It has a budget of more than 7 million euros and the research will last until the end of 2024.The budget granted is financed by the European Union through the Next Generation Fund.

Is it feasible to produce electric vehicles in a micro-factory?

Cidaut together with the partners of Avangard European project is trying to get the answer to this challenging question. One of the objectives of the project is to design an electric vehicle assembly line, with 90% cost reduction relative to a standard carmaker assembly line, to produce modular four wheels electric vehicles and e-bikes. 

In order to obtain the ambitious target, IFEVS, as vehicle designer, has adopted a modular solution based on high strength steel tubular design, with highly automated 3D laser cutting and bending processes that have been properly though to avoid mistakes during assembly phase. The manufacturing process also implies the use of innovative 3D printing solutions for both metallic and plastic parts, and also the purchasing and assembly process is controlled by block-chain and cybersecurity solutions to warranty the low cost and efficiency of the project.

Cidaut’s contribution to the project is related to the security of the occupants and also of the vulnerable road users. In the case of the occupant and smart front end has been designed to maximize the energy absorbed and also the passenger spaces has been reinforced to avoid any significant deformation and finally an specific restraint system has been developed adopted to the particularities of these vehicles. In the case of the vulnerable road users’ protection, active and passive measures have been adopted. In the case of the passive solutions the front of the vehicle has been analysed to create “soft” surfaces. In the case of the active, artificial intelligent solutions are being applied to identify vulnerable road users and advice the driver or brake automatically.

Avangard project has completed two out of three years and it is expected that the final answer to the initial question will be yes.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project Avangard (GA #869986)

Cidaut integrates active and passive safety solution to improve vulnerable road users’ protection

In the frame of the European Project Multi-Moby, and with the relevant collaboration of IFEVS and Nanomotion and the participation of the whole consortium, Cidaut is developing an integral solution to protect the vulnerable road users in the new urban mobility.

This new mobility is electric, automated, connected and shared and attending to these trends the implementation of small urban electric vehicles is becoming a reality in large cities. These vehicles present two characteristics that increase the potential hazards for the vulnerable road users, the first one is the low noise emission and the second one is the geometry. Due to their reduced size, in the event of an accident with a vulnerable road user, their head will impact on the screen shield of the vehicle, which is a hard component that may cause damage to this kind of users. The preliminary results of the project have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce the damage of the users in legs, knees and pelvis, but it is very difficult to obtain acceptable values in the head working only on passive safety solutions.

One of the first conclusions of the project, attending to vulnerable road users’ protection, is that it is mandatory to integrate active and passive safety solutions. The active safety solutions of Multi-Moby project are based on artificial intelligence. Nanomotion is developing a gimball, able to work in the visible and infra-red field, to recognize vulnerable road users and determine the potential risk of an accident. Depending on the degree of automation of the vehicle the gimball will inform the driver of the potential risk all it will send directly a message to the vehicle for braking. The intensity of the signal to be sent will be equivalent to the relevance of the risk. 

The implementation of this solution will suppose an important reduction in the number of accidents involving vulnerable road users, and in those cases where the accident is unavoidable, it will happen at a lower speed, minimizing the damage.

Multi-Moby has covered one, out of three years, and important improvements are expected in relation to urban electric mobility, not only on safety but also on sustainability thanks to innovative solutions in power train, battery charging and energy harvesting.

Acknowledgment

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union (EU) project MULTI-MOBY (GA #101006953)

Cidaut: 10 years mooving electric

On 24th October 2011, Cidaut started one exciting jorney on board a Nissan Leaf. Since that day, the vehicle has been used as a laboratory for understanding the users’s acceptance, the influence of the weather and the driving style on the battery behaviour, the regenerative braking efficiency and so many other issues that have allowed our sustaineble movility and intelligent transport department to fix important knowledge to build many.

All the vehicle movements have been tracked to understand the influence of driving profiles, roads orography, weather conditions, battery temperature and vehicle payload on energy consumption. Also the charging processes have been monitored to evaluated the influence of low charging vs fast charging, battery temperature and voltage and current evolution along the charging.

Braking system has been instrumented to understand the influence of driving style and battery state of charge on regenerative braking working. Noise measurements in the interior and exterior of the vehicle have been performed and on board thermal analysis has allowed to understand some charateristics of the HVAC system. 

The vehicle has been used by more than 200 drivers that have completed surveys and have participated in interviews to better understand the initial users’ acceptance to the electric vehicle use. This information has been valuable for Cidaut in order to advance in the evolution of several projects related not only with the electric vehicle, but also with the connected one.