Robot Cars – follow up video

Back in June I showed you a video of a Saab 9-5 driven by robotic controls, programmed according to GPS data and used for closed loop testing. Here’s a quick recap: A lot of vehicle testing takes place where the car is driven around a circuit by real people. There are times when this is absolutely necessary. People with experience in such things need to ‘feel’ the car as it develops. In some instances, however, the testing process can be hampered by human error because humans are ‘variable’. That is, they won’t necessarily repeat the exact same action time after […]

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Inside Saab – Robot cars

I know what you’re thinking when you read that title…. You’re thinking this might be some sort of apocalyptic horror story where we aren’t allowed to drive anymore and robots from Sweden take over the driving, plugged into some evil worldwide network that monitors traffic, your speed, where you’ve been and so on and so forth. It sounds like Big Brother moving right into your garage. Not so. The story does involve robotics and driving, though, and it’s both fun to watch and incredible to experience first hand. Klas Olsson and Carl Sandberg are engineering students from Chalmers University and […]

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Inside Saab – electrical integration

File this under “Things that blow your mind about how incredibly complex it is to design and build a motor vehicle”. Long title, I know. But this is one of the more mind-blowing insights I’ve had into the vehicle development process since being here at Saab. I’ve told people for some time now that there are no ‘fingersnap’ solutions when it comes to building/changing automobiles. It’s an incredibly complex process and whilst the evolution of electronics has given us many advances in vehicle functionality, behaviour and performance, the development work required to produce these advances is astounding. Add in the […]

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Saab 9-5 SportCombi durability testing

I’m spending quite a lot of time at the moment just visiting various departments within Saab, getting to know what they do. I spent a little time today at the climate controlled wind tunnel facility, where they can do various types of wind tunnel testing (though not aerodynamic testing, as it’s too small for that). The wind tunnel can be manipulated to simulate all types of weather conditions, but we’ll tell you more about that later. They also have a couple of climate chambers there, where they can simulate different temperatures but without the wind effects. While we were visiting, […]

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Så Nätt project seeks to ‘add lightness’ to future cars

Can you imagine driving a car with a cockpit like your living room, complete with swivel chairs, cabin-wide screens and electronically tinted glass to keep out the sun? How about active suspension systems that automatically adjust camber and toe according to driving conditions, along with composite inboard braking, or even wireless driving, braking and steering. Sounds like fantasy-land? Perhaps. But it’s all being talked about right now. In a former life, at SaabsUnited, I reported early this year on a project that Saab were participating in, one that will see a concept vehicle built and exhibited by the middle of […]

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