With fuel economy regulations tightening and connectivity and autonomous-driving capability proliferating, the old-fashioned 12-volt automobile electrical system has reached the end of the road.
That’s the view of Mary Gustanski, Delphi Automotive’s vice president of engineering and program management. And I agree.
Gustanski is charged with looking into the future and developing electrical architectures that will have to support:
- All the components for autonomous driving -- cameras, radar, lidar sensors, computers, etc.
- A greater array of drivetrain components, such as the oil and water pumps, that will switch from mechanical to electrical power.
- An assortment of hybrid-drive parts that will propel the car under electric power.
- More computing power that will improve vehicles’ connectivity, not just to the Internet, but to other vehicles and buildings, traffic signals and other structures in the environment.
During a visit to Delphi’s North American engineering campus north of Detroit, I chatted with Gustanski on the changes coming to electrical systems.