Our engineers just completed a project for Advanced Technology Automotive Company (ATAC) using our technology and know-how to improve the control and display systems of the Firefly. This electric vehicle will be used on college campuses as well with city police departments for functions like parking enforcement.
The goal of the project was to ensure that all of the existing electronic modules such as the motor controller, battery monitoring system, and parking brake communicate properly by using CAN Bus technology in MRS Electronic, Inc. controls and modules. The MRS Electronic, Inc. products that were added to the electric vehicle include our 7-inch Gauge M7 display, a multi-touch screen display that can run a Linux based operating system and a custom in-house programmed Qt application to display and control vehicle functions. Some of its interfaces include CAN and LIN technology along with audio, camera inputs, I/O, 3G/GSM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Along with that, our engineers included our M3600 Power Controller, which is an IP65 rated power controller programmed with MRS Developers Studio that gateways CAN messages from the vehicle’s control systems and controls outputs like the headlights, heated seats, and cabin HVAC. The motor controller’s CAN bus required optical isolation to prevent voltage spikes so we added our Optical Isolation module. Lastly, we added our 10A CAN Motor Controller. The controller is a full bridge DC motor controller with a CAN bus interface to control loads up to 10A. This module controls the electronic parking brake functionality of the vehicle automatically.
These technologies allowed our engineers to efficiently improve the following vehicle functions:
- The electronic parking brake
- Graphical user interface for the vehicle instrumentation
- CAN isolation module to isolate the CAN Bus voltages of the drive motor controller
- Control the engagement of the drive motor controller forward and reverse
- Vehicle error codes
- The windshield wiper speed and intermittent functionality
- The windshield washer pump
- The cabin and seat heater functionality
- The headlights and day-time running lights
- In cabin HVAC blower motor and heater
- Reverse lights and buzzer
Our technology allows the Firefly to be even more cost efficient since our modules simplified the vehicle’s control systems and wiring. Our Gauge M7 display contains 3G GSM communication to enable telematics functionality with our cloud dashboard service.
We are proud of the work we have done for this project and we are currently putting the final touches on the Firefly.
Don’t forget to follow us on our social media page for more information about this project!