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The Future of High Tech Automotive

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Matt Roush’s monthly Technology Report event series discussing high-tech automotive trends at Lawrence Technological University. Joining Roush was a panel of four esteemed guests: Andrew Pontius, Chief Engineering Technical Officer, NAO, Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies; Tom Apostolos, President, Ricardo USA Inc.; Jeff Gilbert, Automotive Reporter, WWJ Newsradio 950; and; Jerry Klarr, Director of Innovation and Strategy, AVL.

Pontius started off the morning’s festivities with an intriguing discussion on the current state of future of the automotive emissions industry. With Faurecia being the sixth largest automotive supplier in the world, Andrew offered an expanse of insight. The audience was shocked to hear that with emissions as they are today, a V6 Toyota Camry today is just as fast as a classic Chevrolet Camaro IROC. For the automotive emissions industry, Pontius sees one of the major shifts is the downsizing of engines – predicting that the industry is headed for two liter turbo engines for everyone.

“Engines overall are operating at lower speeds with less cylinders,” said Pontius. The main problem with this is increased noise. Cars are trending towards less space and less weight, but still need to somehow remain quieter than their predecessors. Pontius predicts we are moving towards cylinder deactivation and silencing volume. Contributing to this, Faurecia has begun a new, innovative lightweight initiative and has already built an exhaust system that is 40 percent lighter than its competitors.

“We are coming to the age with the digitization of exhaust sound,” stated Pontius. “We cancel out the current sound and produce another.” His focus on the acoustics and dynamics of exhaust compelled the audience. “The next thing to focus on is energy recovery,” said Pontius. He concluded with the fact that 30 percent of fuel energy is lost through the tailpipe. The future of auto emissions also will focus on harnessing that energy to make it useable.

Automotive panel discussion

At the completion of Andrew Pontius’s presentation, Matt Roush and audience members posed questions to the panel. What is the most interesting automotive tech today? Jerry Klarr stepped in stating that the most interesting piece of automotive tech to him is… Read my entire article on Airfoil Group’s company blog at:

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