Inductive charging for electric vehicles while driving: a major ecological challenge

Inductive charging is one of the candidate technological solutions for the deployment of the “Electric Road” in France and Europe. It allows electric vehicles to be recharged while driving. The main advantage is the reduction in the size of vehicle batteries while increasing the range of electric vehicles. It is particularly suited to the needs of the logistics sector and long-distance road transport.

Successfull trials

Since a world first in July 2018 as part of the European H2020 project called FABRIC, with two vehicles charging at 20kW while each one is travelling at 100km/h at the same time on a track (American tertiary system), VEDECOM has developed with its partners Renault, Stellantis and EDF, a clean charging technology while travelling by induction at a power of 30kW. The system consists of coils and electronic boxes that must be integrated into the road during its renewal or construction. 30 kW is enough power to recharge a light vehicle on a motorway.

According to the first tests obtained on a test platform, the efficiency obtained is over 90%, which is an excellent rate. Other tests validated compliance with electromagnetic field standards, bearing in mind that the system is secure: induction is only activated when the vehicle passes by and if the communication system recognises and validates the triggering of its recharge. VEDECOM is continuing to develop its system as part of the VERA project (PIA).

Other inductive charging technologies are being tested in Europe, notably the Israeli ElectReon solution: its DWPT (Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer) system is being tested on the 1050m Italian “Arena del Futuro” circuit.

INCIT-EV and Use Case 2 – Demonstration of inductive charging while driving in Paris

VEDECOM will test its technology in an urban area, in Paris, in the second half of 2022, as part of the European INCIT-EV project. INCIT-EV aims to test and evaluate seven different charging technologies. With a budget of €18M, it brings together 33 partners from 8 different countries. The objective is to demonstrate the replicability of these solutions, to guarantee interoperability and to provide a decision-making tool to help make the most appropriate choices for the territories. A project focused on the user experience, to INCITE the use of Electric Vehicles. These experiments have a lot at stake for the deployment of electric vehicles.

A promising technology that requires a collective dynamic

Dynamic contactless recharging promises to be one of the most interesting and interoperable recharging solutions: interoperable from one vehicle to another, but also from one supplier to another.

Aesthetic and sustainable, since it is buried underground, it is perfectly suited to urban environments where the constraints of space dedicated to infrastructure are particularly strong and where speed limits are more conducive to charging. Since we drive slower, we stay longer on the track and therefore recharge for longer. This is also the solution that would be the most widely shared: recharging while driving would solve the problem of the inevitable bottlenecks at the charging stations.

The key to progress is both a dialogue among the players and a political strong will.

 

>> More info on INCIT-EV Project

Thesis Defense : Transformateur à air pour un convertisseur dc-dc bidirectionnel haute densité de puissance et haute fréquence pour l’application automobile

Valentin Rigot, doctorant chez VEDECOM dans le domaine Electrification/Electronique de puissance, soutiendra sa thèse le 21 avril 2022 à 10h. Cette thèse concerne le lot 2 du projet HiDePe mené par l’Institut VEDECOM :

Transformateur à air pour un convertisseur dc-dc bidirectionnel haute densité de puissance et haute fréquence pour l’application automobile

le jeudi 21 avril à 10h
Amphi V dans le bÄtiment Eiffel de Centrale Supélec, 3, Rue Joliot-Curie, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Les travaux présentés contribuent à l’amélioration de la densité de puissance dans les chargeurs embarqués dans les véhicules électriques, en profitant notamment de l’essor des composants semi-conducteurs à grand gap, qui autorisent la réalisation de convertisseurs plus compacts.

  • Encadrant académique Pr. Tanguy PHULPIN, CentraleSupélec
  • Directeur de thèse : Pr. Daniel SADARNAC, CentraleSupélec
  • Encadrant industriel : Dr. Jihen SAKLY, VEDECOM
Attend the thesis defense

Contact : Leyla Habarek Arioua : leyla.arioua@vedecom.fr

Thesis Abstract

The electric vehicle is currently strongly expanding to face climate change. The power density requirements for onboard power are constantly growing and need evolution to go over the present electronic limitation without decreasing the efficiency.

This thesis focuses on modeling, optimization and realization of a high-frequency coreless transformer integrated into a dedicated converter to validate a bidirectional on-board battery charger operating at 1.5MHz.

The work contributes to the increase of the on-board charger power density by taking benefit of wideband gap semiconductors emergence which opens a new range of admitted switching frequency. It consequently offers an opportunity to increase the compacity of the converters.

After a study on high power density transformers and coreless transformers, a highlight of the opportunity that an air-core transformer designed for power density is presented. The high-frequency electrical conductors have also been considered to determine the best one for our application by considering the skin and the proximity effects. The new transformer geometry is the result of an optimization program able to propose the best turns’ positions for minimizing the magnetic emission while ensuring a certain value of self-inductance. This geometry establishes the first technical breakthrough of this thesis.

Several transformers’ trials were realized on 3D printed polycarbonate supports resulting in a 7kW prototype. An electrical, magnetic, and thermal characterization was done on the transformer after its winding process and validate the prediction. Those values were taken for the start point of a dedicated DC-DC topology. The automotive and bidirectional context led us to merge on the Dual Active Bridge converter. The switching frequency was determined to ensure the required power transfer with a soft-switching operation. This frequency value in automotive chargers establishes the second technical breakthrough of this thesis.

After determining the command signals and choosing the required components for the realization of the converter, a ready-to-use inverter branch was chosen to simplify the complexity of construction. A dedicated printed circuit board was realized to link the inverter branch with the DC bus, the transformer, and the command board of the converter. Finally, experimental results on the converter respect the requirement specifications with an efficiency conversion of 96% for a power transfer of 9kW and a switching frequency of 1.5MHz. The final estimated power density is 8.5 kW/L which is higher than the existing power density in the industry.

Some complementary works must be done to validate the prototype in a final application. It is however possible to observe this kind of transformer in an electrical vehicle in the future. The results were indeed in rupture and presents better volume, better thermal management, and better efficiency.

 

Olivier Orfila, new scientific director of the VEDECOM Institute

Olivier Orfila has been appointed Scientific Director and Director of Development and Training at ITE VEDECOM. An engineer from ISAT (Institut Supérieur de l’Automobile et des Transports), he has a doctorate and is qualified to direct research at the University of Evry Paris Saclay. He has developed a multidisciplinary vision of mobility and its challenges.

Oliver Orfila was previously deputy director of the LIVIC (autonomous vehicle) laboratory from 2015 to 2020 and then PICS-L (mobility from a multidisciplinary perspective) from 2020 to 2022 at the Gustave Eiffel University, in laboratories located near the mobiLAB in Versailles.

He joined VEDECOM on 21 March 2022, and according to him, his three new functions – science, development and training – form a “virtuous triptych” that he particularly likes.

 

An interdisciplinary vision to support the energy transition

Convinced of the relevance of cross-fertilisation of disciplines from the very first phases of conception and definition of research questions, he co-directed the development of the LIVIC and PICS-L scientific projects. His work focused on the problems of vehicle energy consumption, the automation of functions to limit it and the understanding of eco-responsible driver behaviour.

 

Entrepreneurship and training as a result of research

As an entrepreneur, in 2008 he created a start-up company offering driver monitoring in natural conditions for the insurance sector. He also supported the emergence of the Stanley Robotics startup in the valet parking sector.

Lastly, passionate about transmitting knowledge and much appreciated by his students, he is involved in several courses: either with academic partners such as the University of Evry Paris Saclay, or ENSTA and IFPSchool, or with professionals such as Renault Group.

 

Knowledge of the challenges of mobility on an international scale

Internationally, he has been the scientific leader of numerous European research projects such as ecoDriver, GamECAR and Trustonomy. He has been a laureate of two Hubert Curien Partnerships with Australia and China where he was an associate professor at Tongji University in Shanghai from 2016 to 2022. Finally, he was an expert for ACEA (The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) on the subject of CO2 emissions reduction and an expert for the Ministry of Ecology on driving automation in China.

 

“I have found a dynamic and very professional teams at VEDECOM. They know how to take into account environmental issues and the final needs of the market and users. In the coming months, our objective is to co-construct answers to these new mobility needs, to accelerate the transfer of research results to the industrial world”.

European 5G-MOBIX Project French site Demonstration and Seminar

5G for connected and automated cooperative mobility: towards greater safety and efficiency

21 April 2022, 9 AM – 6 PM

Organisation : VEDECOM, Catapult, AKKA Technologies and VALEO

Location: VEDECOM headquarters at mobiLab and Satory tracks, Versailles. 23 bis allée des Marronniers, 78000 VERSAILLES, FRANCE

Parking: parking des Cavalières, located at allée des Marronniers on the left 200 m before the mobiLAB. The gate will be open for the occasion

Booking:

Book my ticket

 

5G is not a simple evolution of 4G. It is a truly disruptive technology because it can be used in many new applications. Its main benefits: improved broadband, a significant reduction in latency, i.e. the time it takes for data to transit between transmission and reception, and density, which will reduce congestion when too many devices are connected at the same time.

In this context, how will the connected and automated vehicle (CCAD) react? How can it handle network changes, bandwidth fluctuations? What benefits can 5G bring to manage the entry of other vehicles in its lane?

 

Infrastructure-assisted driving: France’s contributions to the European 5G-MOBIX bix project

The 5G-MOBIX project aims to evaluate the contribution of 5G on connectivity for Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) services and functionalities, under cross-border conditions. The 5G-MOBIX test sites include two cross-border corridors (Greece-Turkey and Spain-Portugal) and six local test sites in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, China and South Korea. The local sites provide additional and complementary contributions to the cross-border trials.

The contributions from the French test site focus on continuity of service and dynamic communication quality in the case of infrastructure-assisted driving. Together with its partners Catapult, AKKA Technologies and VALEOVEDECOM answers the following questions:

  • What happens when a vehicle enters the lane of an automated vehicle from an entry ramp?
  • How can the infrastructure help the automated vehicle and through which technologies?
  • How can the vehicle adapt to the needs of the use case (lane change), via its 5G communication system (OBU) and via its AD (autonomous driving system)?
  • How can the data from the inserting vehicle go up through 5G and be translated into commands that go back down through 5G in the automated vehicle, allowing low latency and high reliability?
  • At what level does the fusion of perception data, collision risk analysis, and lane change decision occur?
  • What happens when the automated vehicle switches from a 5G Bouygues network to a 5G Orange or TDF network? (hand over)
  • To what extent does 5G bring more reliability, better latency and better bandwidth?

 

April 21, 2022 Event Program

The event on April 21, 2022 will be an opportunity to discover the first tests conducted in France and their results through conferences in the morning and demonstrations in the early afternoon. The day will end with a panel discussion on the challenges and prospects. It will bring together different players involved in the value chain of automated and infrastructure-assisted mobility.

  • 9h. Welcome coffee.
  • 9h30. Introduction by Eric Lebeau, General Manager of VEDECOM. Context and stakes.
  • 9h40. Presentation of the European 5G Mobix project: methodology, key innovations, tests and results of the French site.
  • 11h25. Connection with other European and French projects dedicated to 5G: 5G Med project, 5G Meta platform and 5G Open Road experimentation in Paris-Saclay cluster.
  • 12:00 pm: Lunch break.
  • 13h15. Group departure on foot and demonstration session on tracks:
    1. Infrastructure assisted automated lane change at highway entry (demonstration with an L4 automated vehicule prototype)
    2. Maintaining continuity of service when a vehicle switches from one network to another
    3. Dynamic quality control of 5G communications
  • 15h30. Vision of 5G and CCAM by market players. Panel discussion with vehicle manufacturers, telecom and road infrastructure operators, public transport players and territories.
  • 16h40-16h50. Conclusion by Tony Jaux, President of VEDECOM, VP Innovation at Stellantis and Director of the connectivity program at the French Automotive Platform.

 

On-site public event. Replay will be available after online the event

Registration required before April 19, 2022, subject to the agreement of the organizer and conditioned by the capacity of the room

Registration link:

Book my ticket

 

5G Mobix: a 360° project on the 5G benefits for automated vehicles

5G-MOBIX is a European project funded by the Horizon 2020 program. Its goal is to develop and test automated vehicle functionalities integrating 5G along several cross-border corridors and urban test sites in Europe. These tests are critical to develop technologies to ensure service continuity and system resilience across operators, available networks and bandwidths. These tests take place in all conditions of vehicle traffic, network coverage and service demand. They take into account specific legal, commercial and social aspects.

 

A large-scale project with 8 test sites and 55 partners

5G-MOBIX brings together 55 ICT industry partners from 10 European countries as well as Turkey, China and Korea.

Eight different test sites will enable a comprehensive evaluation of 5G for connected, cooperative and automated driving (CCAM):

  • Six urban test sites: Espoo (Finland, FI), Versailles (France, FR), Berlin and Stuttgart (Germany, DE), and Eindhoven to Helmond (Netherlands, NL), plus two test sites outside of Europe, namely Jinan (China, CN) and Yeonggwang (South Korea, KR).
  • Two cross-border corridors: Spain-Portugal (ES-PT) and Greece-Turkey (GR-TR)

 

The role of VEDECOM and the French experimentation site

VEDECOM is responsible for the overall coordination of the experiments on the various corridors and test sites.
The institute is also piloting the French test site, which aims to test infrastructure-assisted driving in hybrid traffic. The technologies developed will then be tested in real life in March 2022 at the ES-PT cross-border sites of the 5G Mobix project.
For these tests, VEDECOM is providing a fleet of small electric, connected and autonomous vehicles that incorporate an OBU – onboard unit – designed by its teams. The Institute set up the 5G infrastructure and the centralised control centre. VEDECOM addressed the use case of lane changing and seamless connectivity solutions, when the vehicle changes telecommunication operator at the border crossing.

 

Infrastructure and technical equipment of the French site

The French 5G Mobix site is shared between two sites: the UTAC TEQMO tracks and the Versailles Satory tracks located near the VEDECOM premises. The sites are equipped with 5G networks (commercial or experimental), road infrastructure sensors and equipment for V2X research projects. VEDECOM has several demonstrator vehicles, some of which are fully autonomous.

 

5G-MOBIX website  

 

This work is a part of the 5G-MOBIX project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825496

Follow 5G-MOBIX on Twitter and Linked In!

Second Edition of the VEDECOM & MACIF Autonomous Vehicle Barometer

Three out of four French people are in favor of the autonomous vehicle, which could play a decisive role in rural areas

The second edition of the VEDECOM & MACIF barometer on the acceptability of the autonomous vehicle by the French reveals that 73% of them have a positive attitude towards this means of transportation: an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2020 (equivalent to about 2 million of the French population).

In 2020, the French had a positive perception of the automated vehicle, given that it’s introduced in a context of environmental preservation and improvement of inclusive mobility. With the growth of autonomous mobility experiments on the French territory, has the perception of the French changed in 2021? Do they see themselves using it regularly, everywhere and for everyone? What do they expect from it?

“Mobility for all, autonomy for all: this is the ambition of our community of interest on shared autonomous vehicles for the past 3 years. The autonomous vehicle must first meet a societal need before being a technology used by individual drivers. It’s in this way that the shared autonomous shuttle will help to revitalize isolated areas by providing access to employment, health care or by making mobility accessible to all.” Yann Arnaud, Director of Responses to Member’s Needs and Innovation at Macif and Leader of the Autonomous Vehicle Community of Interest.

 

More than 50% of French people are ready to try it

18% of respondents have already seen an automated vehicle, 6% more than in 2020. More and more people want to test it, and 5% have had the opportunity to use one this year (2 points more than in 2020).

More than half of the French people (53.50%) say they intend to try autonomous mobility in the coming years (+11 pts). More than 6 out of 10 say so when they have already seen an automated vehicle (+15 pts) and more than 7 out of 10 when they have already used one (+10 pts). In general, nearly 4 out of 10 French people (39%) plan to regularly use an autonomous vehicle (+6 pts).

Iifography 1

The autonomous shuttle: a way to revitalize remote areas

The autonomous vehicle is highly anticipated in rural areas to provide for day-to-day services (e.g., on-demand services for isolated seniors or last-mile deliveries to industrial zones). It will finally make mobility accessible to all. A new way to get around? Yes for 67% of French people who believe that the shared autonomous vehicle will allow people living in rural areas to no longer be dependent on the private car. Nearly 3/4 of them think that shared autonomous shuttles would be useful in rural areas to go to appointments or to do shopping and 2/3 to go to the nearest town, the nearest train station or to work.

Automated mobility would respond to a concern that the French have for the most vulnerable populations. It would be useful in rural areas for the elderly (for 81% of respondents), then for those who do not have a driver’s license (78%), who do not have a car (74%), or for people with reduced mobility (64%). One French out of two would also be in favor of transporting children and teenagers in rural areas by autonomous shuttles.

Reaching out to those who will need it most

Although still low, the visibility of the autonomous vehicle is increasing throughout the country, including among rural residents. 12% of rural residents have already seen an automated vehicle, a figure that is up 4 points from 2020, but only 2% have used one (+ 1 point) compared to 7% of urban residents (+ 2 points).

The visibility of the automated vehicle is higher and growing more quickly among young people, city dwellers and executives: 24% of the 18-24 years old have seen an automated vehicle (+6 points), 23% of city dwellers (+7 points) and 22% of executives (+4 points). More than 8% of the latter have already tried an automated vehicle (+3 points). There is therefore an educational balance to be found between urban and rural populations, but also between young and old.

As for the unemployed, only 3.5% have tried an automated vehicle. This is a progression, though, since none had tried one last year.

 

Infography 2

The autonomous vehicle, associated with green energies

Autonomous vehicle is perceived as more ecological than non-autonomous vehicles by nearly 63% of respondents (+ 3 pts); 77% (+ 7 pts) of them even think that compliance with ecological standards will be mandatory. 62% of the French perceive the ecological side of the shared autonomous shuttle more than for individual automated vehicles, for which they have a reservation.

 

6 out of 10 French people say they are safer in an autonomous vehicle

Trust and safety is the second element that encourages the French to use an autonomous vehicle. Moreover, the same as last year, nearly 6 out of 10 French people (57.80%) say they feel safe in an automated vehicle and more than 5 out of 10 (54%; +2 pts) think that this vehicle is reliable.

The respondents consider using an autonomous vehicle as soon as they have seen or tested it at least once. To try it is to adopt it!

More confidence among the youngest respondents for level 3 – More than half of the French say they trust automated vehicles (+3 points). There is a 14 points increase in the 18-24 age group, with 41% trusting at least limited automated driving (i.e., level 3).

 

Autonomous mobility, symbol of freedom

 When asked this year about the main elements that would encourage them to use an autonomous vehicle in general, the French mention the first, the possibilities of well-being and freedom that it brings (41% of responses). Autonomy is associated with comfort and serenity, via the on-board activities it makes possible (talking on the phone, sleeping…). Autonomous mobility everywhere and for everyone is also very appealing to the French, who are already planning to use it in concrete ways (e.g., improving mobility for the elderly and connections between cities).

However, when the French have the choice between different types of automated vehicles, they prefer the one that allows them to be able to regain control (level 3) in order, for 55% of them, to keep the mastery and maintain complete command of the car.

 

Trying would be adopting it

The results of this second edition clearly show that the introduction of automated vehicles, as well as the more advanced experiments, have an impact: they maintain the positive perception of the French and their a priori confidence, as well as reinforce their feeling of safety. Awareness and perception indicators confirm that the French need to know more about this new kind of mobility.

INfography 3

For Eric Lebeau, Managing Director of the VEDECOM Institute, “this second survey clearly shows the direct and positive link between experimentation and acceptability of the autonomous vehicle: it is now time to move on to deployment and to observation during real-life operational service pilots. The popularity rating of autonomous vehicle is slowly but surely improving, with a strong expectation for shared and electric services such as shuttles, which are perceived as more environmentally friendly and inclusive than the individual vehicle.”

The major expectation is in rural areas where autonomous mobility makes sense. Autonomous shuttles will be relevant in these areas to improve the existing network and therefore the mobility of residents who do not have access to a personal vehicle, to provide new services, and to encourage car owners to use shared formulas.

“We still need to structure a sector that can respond to the needs of the local authorities, both in terms of opportunity studies, vehicles supply, services and appropriate infrastructure,” concludes Eric Lebeau.

 

Methodology of the VEDECOM & MACIF Acceptability Barometer

The Automated Vehicle (AV) Acceptability Barometer was conducted with a representative panel of the French population (gender, age, geographic distribution) consisting of 4,061 people. The questionnaire was administered from October 18 to 28, 2021. The questions asked made it possible to collect data on :

  • the relationship with the autonomous vehicle and in particular the main brakes and levers for using an automated vehicle
  • the preferred type of autonomous vehicle to be chosen among 4: Personal Vehicle (PV) level 3 (limited autonomous driving), PV level 4 (almost complete autonomy), Robot cab level 5 (complete autonomy), Bus / autonomous shuttle level 5
  • evaluation of the acceptability of the 4 vehicles including in particular the perception of the AV in terms of safety, trust, protection of personal data and attitudes (i.e. judgments on the desirability of an object or a behavior and/or its consequences, a positive attitude towards the AV amounts to judging it desirable whereas a negative attitude amounts to judging it undesirable) and the reasons for these choices
  • themes related to current issues: ecology, mobility in rural areas, energy, deliveries
  • the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents and their degree of technophilia (i.e., a technophile is a person who appreciates and/or encourages new technologies).

The barometer was built on the basis of the previous edition, new scientific studies and a series of interviews conducted with French people.

 

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