Delphi Corp, Troy, Michigan, displayed its latest technology for commercial vehicles at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. New developments ranged from an improved on-board computer, driver fatigue detection, a better satellite radio antenna, and an electronic diesel injector.
Introduced in 2003, Delphi's FleetOutlook on-board computer was improved with the addition of Dossier Onboard — an automated fleet maintenance-management program from Arsenault Associates. FleetOutlook helps detect maintenance issues, and the Dossier Onboard product automates the reporting and recording of the maintenance issues.
If there is a major problem, the system alerts the driver through the truck radio speakers. Additionally, information about the problem and the vehicle can be automatically sent to the fleet manager's pager or cell phone.
A minor problem is recorded as a “work pending issue” in Dossier's automated daily reminder feature for future attention. Later, fleet personnel can convert the information into an open repair order with all the important information already pre-entered.
Driver fatigue is another issue drawing the attention of Delphi engineers. Delphi is working on a solution to help make sure drivers are awake and alert while they are on the road. The Drowsy Driver product employs optical sensing to determine a driver's level of drowsiness.
Using a single camera integrated in the center of the instrument panel or console area, Drowsy Driver will average the driver's blink rate and gaze over time. As a driver gets drowsy, eye closures increase and last longer. Using sophisticated algorithms, the system can detect if the driver is getting drowsy. If a drowsy driver is detected, an alert will be given in the form of a blast of fresh air or audible warning. The system can even alert a call center that can phone the driver and suggest a stop at a rest area.
Delphi is developing a new antenna system that tracks a geostationary satellite from a moving vehicle allowing passengers to receive satellite television without a traditional satellite dish being attached to the top of the vehicle.
The antenna is compact and can be fully integrated into the roof of the vehicle, without affecting the styling, headroom, safety or aerodynamics of a truck. It is fully steerable in both horizontal plane and elevation to consistently track a satellite as the vehicle changes direction and attitude.
One of the highlights of Delphi's engine management systems is the E3, Delphi's newest diesel injector. The E3 is one of the first electronic unit injectors to provide variable injection rates. This allows for optimization of combustion and helps increase performance and balance between superior fuel economy and reduced emissions. The system also allows multiple injections giving engineers the opportunity to introduce pilot, close-coupled pilot, main split, and late post injections in addition to the main injection event.