Commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles (CAV)
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The right terrain and technologies for greater efficiency
From autonomous driving to electrification, the most significant mobility megatrends of today are shaping the field of commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles (CAV). Semi- and fully-autonomous technologies make CAVs safer for operators while also being more efficient and precise. Machines that run 24/7 with no downtime. Tractors that independently navigate their surroundings and react based on data they collect. Such machines literally leave fully human-operated systems in the dust. At the same time, electrification is becoming an increasingly attractive option for CAVs. Manufacturers rely on electric drivetrains to comply with the latest emissions and energy regulations. At the same time, operators use electrification to boost higher process efficiency and yields. It’s an increasingly complex field in which the latest semiconductor technologies have a lot to offer.
Autonomous driving: highest availability, lowest cost
More than anything today, CAV operators have their eyes on one goal: maximizing profits. As a result, CAVs must be designed to offer highest possible availability and lowest-possible operating costs. Electronic semiconductor-based systems already play a key role in making commercial vehicles and work machines more efficient. The inevitable next step: fully self-driving, self-operating vehicles. In agriculture, autonomous tractors spread fertilizer and plant seeds with outstanding precision. Autonomous technologies also enable small, lightweight swarm robots to replace heavy machinery, which is challenging to use on fertile soil. Such technologies help prevent overcrowding of farmland and can even individually treat plants with herbicides and pesticides. A practice that’s kind to the environment – and to farmers’ wallets.
CAVs’ ability to operate increasingly autonomously is also giving rise to new safety features. A battery disconnect switch, for example, has become an essential application in tractors and other heavy-duty machines. As an emergency master cutoff designed to keep the driver and bystanders safe, it must deploy reliably if needed, no matter the external conditions.
Lower fuel consumption and emissions
Hybrid and fully electric drivetrains have the potential to reduce or even eliminate operators’ fossil fuel consumption and reduce their CO2 emissions. Compared to combustion ones, electric drivetrains are low maintenance, which translates to less hassle and greater productivity for operators. Electric drives controlled by modern power electronics can be used as a complement to or substitute for traditional drivetrain technologies. In hybrids, the combustion engine delivers part of the propulsive power, while the electric drive provides torque for peak loads. This reduces fuel consumption and recovers braking energy, which is then stored for use later down the road.
With no gearbox or clutch, electric machines can provide maximum torque from a standstill – ideal for heavy-duty applications. Other appealing characteristics of electric drives are their on-board energy storage solutions, which often provide enough energy to operate the vehicle for a significant amount of time. Finally, eliminating the combustion engine represents a major step in improving vehicle availability and reliability.
Your source of proven CAV semiconductor solutions
With proven expertise in CAV and a comprehensive portfolio of robust, high-quality control and power semiconductor solutions, Infineon helps you engineer successful designs for all kinds of commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles. Explore our selection of CAV applications to discover more about the best-fit components and solutions for your project.