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Automotive and Aerospace: How similar are these two industries?

The 15th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) will be taking place from the 26th to the 30th of March (open to the public from 29th to 30th) in Langkawi and the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) has been given an opportunity to exhibit technologies and services related to the aerospace industry.

MARii, through MDOTS (Mobility Digital Optimisation Transformation Services) are exhibiting various technologies and services such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and data analytics services that can be optimised by various industries to further enhance their capabilities.

In relation to this event, we will be taking a closer look on the similarities between the automotive industry and the aerospace industry.

The usage of sensors

Both industries leverage upon the function of sensors fitted on various areas of the car/aircraft for data gathering, analytics, warnings.

The automotive field uses these data to provide drivers with valuable information such as tyre pressure, amount of fuel being consumed in real-time and up to the most basic information such as notifying the driver whether the car’s headlights are turned on or off. Certain sensors can also override certain functions of the car such as the brakes, most commonly seen in vehicles with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems.

Similarly, the sensors on aircrafts provides the pilot vital information such as the aircraft’s speed and height during flight, fuel levels and weather conditions. The availability of sensors also enables the auto-pilot feature to function without the need of a pilot.

Emphasis on connectivity (Internet of Things – IoT)

Picture source: internetofbusiness.com

Both these industries are also known for their emphasis on constant connectivity. This constant connection is enabled through Internet of Things (IoT). For more on IoT, click here.

The aerospace industry, particularly in aircrafts, it is vital for a constant line of communication between the aircraft and the air traffic controller (ATC).

An ATC is responsible for the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in the global air traffic control system. A loss in communication would lead to unwanted consequences which shows how important it is to be constantly connected.

The automotive industry implements connectivity in a similar manner. Also commonly termed as “connected mobility”, this element has the ability to increase security, safety and convenience levels.

Application of Big Data Analytics (BDA)

Picture source: www.informationbuilders.com

Not only is acquiring data important but data analysis is pivotal to finding key solutions to problems. Facts and figures need to be translated to “call-to-action” messages for problem solvers so that solutions to problem can be found and a great example here will take us back to the first point of this article – sensors.

Sensors has the ability to gather gigabits of data per second and will then analyse it to provide meaningful information to users. In the application of AEB, if the sensors detect an oncoming obstacle while travelling at high speed, depending on the situation, the sensors will either alert the driver or override certain functions of the vehicle to avoid a collision.

In fact, an aircraft’s “autobrake” system – a type of automatic wheel-based hydraulic brake system utilises data in a similar manner to the AEB but instead of detecting collision, this feature automates the longitudinal deceleration system of the aircraft in order to keep the pilot free to perform other tasks during take-off and landing procedures.

Other than that, BDA is heavily used in decision-making situations especially in the areas of marketing, consumer patterns (purchasing patterns, demands, etc.) and product planning.

For more on BDA, click here.

The three elements mentioned above – sensors, IoT and BDA are subcomponents that make up Industry 4.0. With this, we can see that the future for these industries are leading towards the same direction – the realisation of Industry 4.0. This opens up opportunities for cross-industry learning not only to enhance the adoption of Industry 4.0 related technologies and services but also to future-proof these industries.

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