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Powering the Future of Self-Driving and Electric Cars

September 25, 2018

There’s a Keystone in every great invention.

The future of the automotive industry will inevitably move beyond internal combustion and even drivers themselves. The Electric Vehicle (EV) began its commercial life in 1997 with the Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid (able to run on traditional gas or an internal battery).

Although the public displayed an initial resistence to parting with gasoline entirely, in-production cars such as the Tesla Model X or Audi e-tron® are fully battery operated, utilizing zero combustion and producing zero emissions. This is obviously a huge boon to the environment and pollution reduction, as well as saving the consumer on costly gas and related maintenance.

These advantages and the increased consumer and government demand for them are fueling the formation of a robust market, with Volvo planning to make up half its annual sales with fully electric cars by 2020.

Whereas the EV has gradually gained mainstream acceptance, the Driverless Vehicle or Autonomous Vehicle (AV) has long seemed a product of science fiction until now. Offering artificial intelligence and sensor technology that could potentially eliminate auto accidents, traffic jams, and the need for drivers themselves, AV looks to be the next epoch in automotive evolution.

ABI research predicts that by 2025 over 8 million vehicles with varying levels of autonomous technology will ship. Virtually every major automaker is pumping heavy capital into AV technology, as well, with Ford alone investing $1 billion dollars in a robotics company with the hopes of launching a self-driving vehicle by 2021.

Let’s examine the development of the self-driving and electric car a little more closely, and take a look at the technology making them possible.

Self-Driving Cars

There are five levels of autonomy when it comes to a self-driving vehicle, beginning at zero (no automation) and peaking at five (fully automated). Most current AVs possess a level of between two and three. However, the market is already beginning to see prototypes that exceed those middling tiers.

The future of the self-driving car is all about who will be the first to market with a truly driverless car that works. The key to long-term success will rest in the technology  that “drives” the car and the quality of the components within that technology.

Electric Cars

EVs have come far since their inception in the 1990s, with 200,000 sold in the United States over the past year. That number is also far less than the number of units sold in other countries.

Tesla’s newest model – the Y series – will be capable of taking you 220 miles utilizing only a single charge. Volvo recently announced that beginning in the year 2019 all of its vehicles will have a built-in electric motor.

Though the future of the electric car is bright, the demand for quality will only increase. EVs will have to look at developing new electronic components and equipment to make the EV vehicle more in line with the gasoline powered car, as this will be necessary for long term commercial success.   Keystone has   high quality electronic components and hardware to support these growing markets and emerging technologies which include:

  • Auto-blade fuse clips and fuse holders simplify the identification of automotive blade fuses, and their colored insulators also help to protect contacts and fuses, as well as reduce assembly time.
  • Quick fit terminals incorporate horizontally and vertically mounted quick-fit male terminals and mating terminals for easy mounting and soldering, as well as providing a positive connection with low contract resistance.
  • Screws, Screw Terminals, and Terminal Blocks. Screws/screw terminals are electrical connectors that utilize screws to secure wires, while terminal blocks are power distributing electrical interchanges vital to the operation of any system.

All of these components are vital to the continued development and success of both electric cars and self-driving cars.

Onward and Upward

Keystone Electronics is proud of our 70 years of experience and knowledge as a manufacturer of electronic components, and we use this knowledge to support the future of driverless and electric cars. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative work in powering the future of the automotive industry and how we can help you with your needs today

 


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