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Computer in your car

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Computer in your car

There's very few cars on the road today which do not have some form of computer in control of engine management etc. Nvidia give us a glimpse of the future using supercomputers in cars: http://www.alphr.com/cars/1002327/nvidia-unveils-the-supercomputer-for-your-smart-car-at-ces It uses liquid cooling.
Edit: A more geeky link and here.
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Re: Computer in your car

It's about time they upgraded the computers in cars, some are still running on a variant of the Intel 486... Grin
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Re: Computer in your car

I've never known anything like a 486 to be used in a car (though I'm thinking in terms of engine management and similar functions), reliability is paramount in such systems, the Nvidia thing looks like it might be nice in concept but a bit too advanced and complex for my liking.
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Den1
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Re: Computer in your car

Bring back points and condensers is what i say, at least you could fix them by the side of the road
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Re: Computer in your car

Quote from: twocvbloke
It's about time they upgraded the computers in cars, some are still running on a variant of the Intel 486... Grin

And even that is too complicated for the average joe to fix on the drive. Not like you can just swap out a faulty ram module in an ECU. Why do you want them upgraded? It's not like they run windows and MS Office, they are designed to run the engine / fine tune it to keep it running. Thats all that is needed.
In the passenger compartment.. well thats a different thing completely... but the engine bay does not need an overly complex system - its more to go wrong and expensive to fix.
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Re: Computer in your car

The other day my son gave me a demo of his car's self parking ability.
It's amazing how fast and precisely it performs the manoeuvre from selecting a suitable gap to reversing in.
You don't need to look back as everything is displayed on the dashboard screen.
That kind of computer technology I could live with.
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PowerLee
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Re: Computer in your car

Seems some people in the world are frightened of computers & technology being used in cars.
I dont want to go back to the days where engines needed fine tuning every few months, carbs needed tweaking & cars failed to start as they got a bit of damp in a dizzy cap or they didnt like the cold weather.
If your scared of fixing a modern engine when the diagnostic light does appear on your dash ( or the warning bulb blows on your Vauxhall as the diagnostic light is always on  Grin ) A basic engine fault code reader for your EOBD equipped car ( 2001 onwards petrol & 2004 onwards diesel ) is cheap enough to buy & easy to use.
You can even earn beers from friends by reading codes for them / turning the light off.
If you want to go slightly more advanced in to ABS, airbag & other faults you will need a slightly more advanced device, again there cheap enough for the average car diy spanner twirly to invest in now.
As someone that looks after a couple of Peugeot's in the family I invested in Peugeot Planet software & interface for my laptop.
So far for myself its come in handy to pinpoint an airbag fault, test the repair carried out on a cooling fan, VIN code a replacement radio & reset an electronic throttle body after replacement.
The fan test was very handy, instead of sitting there with the engine ticking over wasting fuel waiting for the temperature to rise & the fan to kick in, 2 clicks on the laptop in Peugeot Planet was all that was needed, test cooling fan low speed then test cooling fan high speed.
Engine diagnostic warning light has come on twice in the last 10 years on my car, both times it was a code for the after cat lambda sensor & both times it was a slight leak of exhaust gas from a back box to center section pipe join that had triggered it.



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Re: Computer in your car

I'm not that scared of computerised cars, but, there's something more fulfilling about spinning spanners under the bonnet than pushing a button on an OBD reader, but then, I do prefer classic cars, especially a certain one... Grin
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Re: Computer in your car

Quote from: PowerLee
The fan test was very handy, instead of sitting there with the engine ticking over wasting fuel waiting for the temperature to rise & the fan to kick in, 2 clicks on the laptop in Peugeot Planet was all that was needed, test cooling fan low speed then test cooling fan high speed.

Actually that sounds like a good idea... our renault has a dead cooling fan set at the moment that i've been struggling to get to the bottom of. I initially assumed it was a duff ecu but i've never been able to get into it electronically to see what its really trying to say. I know the fans both work, i've activated their relays manually but for some reason the ECU won't ground them to activate them.
Quote from: PowerLee
Engine diagnostic warning light has come on twice in the last 10 years on my car, both times it was a code for the after cat lambda sensor & both times it was a slight leak of exhaust gas from a back box to center section pipe join that had triggered it.

Engine diagnostic light? i don't know the meaning of it... and our car is a renault  Cheesy
Quote from: PowerLee
Seems some people in the world are frightened of computers & technology being used in cars.

Quote from: twocvbloke
I'm not that scared of computerised cars, but, there's something more fulfilling about spinning spanners under the bonnet than pushing a button on an OBD reader

Yet you're the one saying computers in cars need upgrading? - in effect supporting their use?
Quote from: twocvbloke
It's about time they upgraded the computers in cars, some are still running on a variant of the Intel 486... Grin

twocv... you make no sense!  Wink
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VileReynard
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Re: Computer in your car

I changed the battery in my (basic model) Hyundai recently.
Turns out the engine management package was sitting on top of it.
How does that work, every time it gets a current surge from my starter motor?

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Re: Computer in your car

Quote from: 7up
Quote from: twocvbloke
I'm not that scared of computerised cars, but, there's something more fulfilling about spinning spanners under the bonnet than pushing a button on an OBD reader

Yet you're the one saying computers in cars need upgrading? - in effect supporting their use?
Quote from: twocvbloke
It's about time they upgraded the computers in cars, some are still running on a variant of the Intel 486... Grin

twocv... you make no sense!  Wink

Neither do you half the time, but it usually gets ignored...
But anyway, I like classic cars, where the owner can do their own maintenance and control it themselves using the human brain (granted a few lack the ability to use it!), but modern cars, there's a few I like, but knowing the ECUs tend to have less power than my old Compaq LTE5300 laptop yet have things to control the steering, braking, fuel injection and other electronic stuff when there is a lot better hardware available to do far faster calculations to make them more efficient (E.G. fuel efficiency for example), it's about time they were upgraded...
With the future of cars looking to become driverless, they're going to need all the power they can get, as it is, we do have self-driving cars, but that's not a lot really, something that has to take in masses of sensor data is going to take a lot of processing power, so someone's got to develop it so cars are pulled out of the 1980s in terms of their control computers... Grin
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Re: Computer in your car

Cheeky git.
With respect to this:
Quote from: twocvbloke
but modern cars, there's a few I like, but knowing the ECUs tend to have less power than my old Compaq LTE5300 laptop yet have things to control the steering, braking, fuel injection and other electronic stuff when there is a lot better hardware available to do far faster calculations to make them more efficient (E.G. fuel efficiency for example), it's about time they were upgraded...

There is only so far you can go with one computer. Sure the main ecu may take care of the engine and fuel mixture... it may also keep an eye on the steering (if you have variable power steering for instance - otherwise there is no need) and braking is purely for ABS... so what other reason would an ECU need to be faster or more powerful for? When you have a car travelling in metres per second and an ECU monitoring your ABS rings thousands or millions of times a second it doesn't really seem like you're going to to really need the extra resolution that a faster system may add.
When it comes to driverless, that won't be done by the ECU anyway. That'll be done by another computer that sends instructions to the subsystems... which then take care of themselves. It's things like object avoidance via camera that will need masses of processing power.
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Re: Computer in your car

Here's a thought for you, the computers the average car uses today would be like someone trying to connect their modern laptop to the Colossus computer, having to slow everything right down so the old computer can accept the data input from the laptop now controlling it, so, therefore, the old 16bit, single core 80486 based hardware needs to be somewhat updated to not slow down the commands of the multicore CPUs of today, not to mention the data throughput that could be achieved with regards to a navigation system controlling the car...
Oh, and with respect to this:
Quote from: 7up
Cheeky git.

Likewise... Roll eyes
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Re: Computer in your car

Quote from: twocvbloke
Here's a thought for you, the computers the average car uses today would be like someone trying to connect their modern laptop to the Colossus computer, having to slow everything right down so the old computer can accept the data input from the laptop now controlling it, so, therefore, the old 16bit, single core 80486 based hardware needs to be somewhat updated to not slow down the commands of the multicore CPUs of today, not to mention the data throughput that could be achieved with regards to a navigation system controlling the car...

Yes but in the days of colossus there wasn't things like read and write buffers, multithreading (and synchronisation), hooks, events, triggers and all the rest of the techniques that programmers have available to them today that allow different systems to communicate.
You should also consider this. My PC is running in GHz and yet it can communicate quite happily with a mouse and keyboard operating at at a much slower speed without any problem. Would you also say those need upgrading? - They do a very basic job.. so I would expect you'd probably agree that they don't. Arduino microcontrollers also work quite happily at 16MHz and communicate with a GHz PC and they can take input and provide output - just like a car ECU.
Likewise for an ECU - speed of the two different systems isn't really an issue... and frankly, it seems a bit daft just to upgrade for speed purposes if it isn't actually needed and works well with older and cheaper tech. I appreciate that hearing that something has been upgraded always has a positive vibe but at the end of the day there are only so many things you can realistically do in code, ECU design and car mechanical design. If hover conversions suddenly came about then sure I'd expect to see ECUs being upgraded.. but at the end of the day cars are cars - they run on an engine, 4 wheels, a steering setup, gearbox and a braking system. Any other gadgets (such as auto parking) are not going to be done via the main ECU.
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nanotm
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Re: Computer in your car

there no point upgrading the main computer in the car unless you also upgrade all the bits it  connects to, having said that why over complicate by having multiple separate processor systems when a single controller can do the job much more efficiently without developing sync issues, a self drive car will work much better off a single multi core processor running subroutines in ram than having a bunch of separate subsystems each controlling themselves and reporting back, it also frees up the bus if you direct connect all the control heads and sensors to the single processor unit.
having worked on a multi controller system where the main interface ran much faster than all the sub systems and more importantly experienced the problems when one part goes awry but the main interface controller cant actually tell which bit it is and keeps chucking up separate error codes it was a nightmare to work on, then having the newer upgraded version with a single control board that just worked and when something went wrong was able to tell immediately if it was a primary secondary or tertiary subsystem that could be isolated and continue working or required a shutdown and repair reported in miliseconds rather than minutes was also a major boost.
some cars could have a mobile phone plugged into them (with the correct software) and be used as if they were a giant RC but it doesn't work very well due to the processor speed mismatch and link delays, fixing those problems will be the first step required to start getting towards small hover shuttle type vehicles from the sci-fi films
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