Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Bringing high-tech to the automobile

An innovative approach to monitoring gas concentrations has led to the development of a sophisticated sensor capable of real-time monitoring of several pollutant gases in the automobile exhaust stream. The vehicle's main computer is then able to exploit this information to achieve cleaner operating conditions.
Bringing high-tech to the automobile
The addition of high-tech electronics to the automobile has improved performance, safety, fuel economy, entertainment and a number of other aspects. The oxygen sensor is one such example. It monitors the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas and informs the car's Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to adjust the fuel-air ratio accordingly.

An SME active in electronics R&D in the Czech Republic has extended this concept with a new sensor that monitors concentrations of several different exhaust gases. Whereas today's oxygen sensors are plagued by slow response times, the new sensor is capable of making over 1000 measurements per second. This allows it to accurately measure not just one, but several gases simultaneously.

The gases measured include traditional pollutants like carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide as well as greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide that are increasingly important. The data collected is supplied to the vehicle's ECU where it is analysed and the fuel mixture and other parameters are modified to optimise combustion, increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant emissions.

The Czech firm is looking to partner with organisations interested in taking the prototype to the market. The candidate company's profile should include technical expertise as well as experience in the automotive sector.
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