<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - DaimlerChrysler Concepts Demonstrate Advanced Electronics
DaimlerChrysler Concepts Demonstrate Advanced Electronics

Jeep Grand Cherokee ConciergeAUBURN HILLS, MI - Two new DaimlerChrysler concept vehicles equipped with advanced electronics technology to improve customer convenience and safety were displayed at the Convergence 2002 conference in Detroit.

One vehicle, called the Jeep Grand Cherokee Concierge, is a specially outfitted Grand Cherokee with 10 different innovative technologies designed and engineered to increase customer comfort, convenience and security. The Concierge showcases technology to anticipate customer needs.

The Chrysler 300M IT-Edition, based on the Chrysler 300M luxury sedan and developed in collaboration with the Media Labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, uses advanced sensing and computing technology to monitor the driver and activity in the vehicle to determine levels of stress and potential distractions. Onboard computers use this information to adjust the flow of information to the driver to minimize distraction in critical driving situations.

The vehicles were part of DaimlerChrysler's exhibits at Convergence 2002, the world's premier automotive electronics conference which was held at Detroit's Cobo Center October 21-23. More than 10,000 attendees were expected for the event which featured keynote addresses by seven CEOs and industry leaders, 75 technical sessions and exhibits by leading automotive and electronics companies.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Concierge"The DaimlerChrysler vehicles demonstrate the kinds of new technologies that are only made possible by computers," said Bernard I. Robertson, Senior Vice President - Engineering Technology and Regulatory Affairs at DaimlerChrysler and Chair of this year's Convergence conference. "Computing power continues to expand rapidly and that is creating many new opportunities in automotive electronics," Robertson said.

Robertson cited Chrysler Group's two new concept vehicles as an important step in evaluating customer interest and acceptance in new technology.

"Experience has shown us that our customers can't really evaluate a new technology until they experience it personally. That's why we build concept vehicles, such as the Concierge and the 300M IT-Edition -- so people can experience these new technologies first-hand," Robertson said.

Chrysler 300M IT-Edition

Jeep Grand Cherokee ConciergeThe Chrysler 300M IT-Edition incorporates state-of-the-art sensing and computing technology developed at MIT to monitor the driver's activity, evaluate stress levels, and impute the driver's state of mind. Computers then manage the flow of information to eliminate distractions during highly stressful driving situations. For example, when the vehicle is in heavy traffic, the electronic systems could temporarily shut down extraneous and potentially distracting inputs such as cell phone calls and noncritical vehicle information displays.

The vehicle's system can also "coach" drivers into better driving habits, such as reminding them to check periodically rear-view and side mirrors.

"This vehicle has become a rolling laboratory, in which researchers and students at MIT can test out their ideas and get real-world feedback on how well they perform," said Thomas Moore, Vice President and head of DaimlerChrysler's Liberty & Technical Affairs advanced technology group in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Concierge
The Concierge seeks to increase safety, convenience and utility by anticipating customer needs.

Jeep Grand Cherokee ConciergeFeatures on the Concierge include:
* Lane departure system that provides an audible rumble-strip-like warning when the vehicle is departing the driving lane without the
turn signal on
* Radar-based front parking aid system, using both visual and audio media, communicates the distance to an object in the vehicle's path
* A similar rear parking aid system. A rear video camera views the zone within two meters of the rear bumper. When an object is detected and the vehicle is in reverse gear, the rear view mirror automatically converts to a video display for the rear camera
* A radar-based blind spot warning system
* Voice-activated, multiple-function remote control key fob. Passwords or voice recognition increase security
* Center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) that converts to a rear message center
* A power liftgate system similar to that found in the DaimlerChrysler minivans
* Integrated heart defibrillator. When the defibrillator is removed from the vehicle and connected to a patient, the Concierge will utomatically initiate a cellular phone call to a medical emergency ervice to notify them of the vehicle's position via GPS and the condition of the patient
* Intelligent door hinges that increase the number of door check positions
* Capless fuel refilling. A self-sealing opening behind the fuel door receives the pump nozzle

Features on the Chrysler 300M IT-Edition include:
* Onboard systems to monitor speed, throttle position, brake pressure, steering angle, etc.
* Multiple optical cameras to track the driver's eye and head movements
* Hands-free cell phone
* "Audio spotlight" with individual speakers to reduce distraction
* Multiple driver activity sensors, on steering wheel, shift knob, armrests, pedals, etc, to determine position of the driver's hands, arms and feet
* Sensors in cupholder and seats to detect objects and people
* Microphone to determine driver distraction from passenger conversation
* GPS to determine vehicle motion, road quality and traffic situation
* Ultrasonic sensors on bumpers to determine proximity to other vehicles
* Seat sensors to indicate whether seats are occupied and ambient noise level meter to measure the level of passenger conversation
* Carbon monoxide sensor


"We are looking for good ideas and interesting new technologies wherever we might find them," Moore said.

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