The objective of the NewControl project is to create a high-voltage energy storage platform, upon which two kinds of algorithms can be developed: those for managing the status of the cells for automotive use, and those for managing energy usage on board the vehicle.
Among the key players in this project is the BMS (charge monitoring system) from Flash Battery, a company that is also a partner of the NewControl Consortium.
NewControl, a European project
The European NewControl project began in 2019 as part of the Horizon 2020 European Framework Programme. Its objective is the development of advanced control systems for the technologies facilitating electric mobility (autonomous driving, PowerTrain, batteries, etc.) and it will conclude in 2022.
More broadly, the project is part of the ECSEL programme (Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership) that makes use of the Joint Undertaking (JU) to finance the competitiveness of European industry on the international stage in the field of electronics components and systems.
This is how public-private partnerships come to be established between key players in the industrial and academic worlds, uniting to contribute to the technological development of the European ecosystem.
Europe’s contribution to this activity is 11 million euros, compared to a total investment of almost 38 million allocated by the different players involved, and with substantial resources put in place by almost 50 partners specialised in diverse sectors.
Flash Battery’s BMS balancing system, the central focus of the project
Flash Battery and 49 other partners specialised in diverse sectors create a true, complete value chain: from semiconductors to OEMs, from sensor technology to integration and lithium batteries.
Flash Battery is part of a pool including research organisations, universities (including those of Pisa, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Technische Universität Delft, l’Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and the Politecnico di Torino) and companies from multiple European countries, all joining forces to create the highly-automated vehicles that will represent the near future of European mobility.
Flash Battery’s lithium-ion batteries and their proprietary BMS system
Flash Battery plays a particularly important role in the consortium, developing a high-voltage lithium battery pack and customising the proprietary Battery Management System that filed a patent in 2019.
The synergy created among the diverse members of the Flash Battery R&D department (a team of over 30 people including HW and FW developers, customisers and designers) led by Technical Director and Co-Founder Alan Pastorelli, has given rise to a high-voltage lithium battery pack in which the proprietary BMS – Battery Management System (patent filed in 2019) can be customised as needed.
In addition to the customisation of the BMS for the lithium batteries, evolved diagnostic algorithms will be introduced that consider both system and environmental data and ensure complete efficiency of the battery.
In this way, Flash Battery is making a decisive contribution to one of the main objectives of NewControl: the creation of a stable and highly efficient propulsion system as part of an intelligent ecosystem designed from a predictive and reactive perspective.
NewControl: an ambitious project for the manufacture of highly-automated vehicles
NewControl is a highly ambitious project that aims to be the point of reference for the establishment of highly-automated electric vehicles on the market.
The concrete goal is to develop virtualised platforms for vehicular subassemblies capable of supporting highly automated driving (realising functions such as perception, cognition and control) to introduce the concept of mobility as a service for the next generation of highly automated vehicles. The project also aims to set a trajectory towards greater user acceptance of automated control functions, which goes through a safety process in the early phases of system design.
The theme of intelligent, connected and digital mobility is an extremely current one the world over, and the NewControl project aims to develop systems that contribute to the safety and sustainability of mobility, both on the road and in industrial settings, where intelligent modes of transport help improve operating efficiency as well as reducing emissions.
Automated driving technology has the potential to rewrite the rules of the game in a fundamental way:
- improving safety by reducing human driver error
- improving vehicle efficiency
- optimising traffic flow
- contributing to a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions
- preventing accidents and collisions
Of course, some controls have already been successfully introduced, particularly in recent years: electronic stability control, automatic emergency braking, and cruise control systems to name a few.
However, the development of safe, efficient and stable systems for completely autonomous driving could pave the way for momentous change, allowing us to face and overcome our human limitations: the scope of the NewControl project is precisely that of pushing automated driving in Europe to the next level of safety and reliability.