2015's Top Ten Tech Cars: Rolls-Royce Wraith

Satellite to Earth: Downshift a bit

2 min read
2015's Top Ten Tech Cars: Rolls-Royce Wraith
Photo: Rolls-Royce

Video: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

For 111 years, the Rolls-Royce experience has been all about wafting, often in chauffeur-driven comfort. Now the stunning Wraith coupe adds a computerized wingman, using GPS data to automatically select the perfect gear for the road ahead. The Wraith’s Satellite-Aided Transmission (SAT) is a production-car first for the BMW-owned Rolls-Royce.

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How to Turn the Lights Back on After a Blackout

Restarting the grid after a total failure is trickier than it may appear

4 min read
​A grid operator works in a control room.
Jacob Hannah/The New York Times/Redux

Restoring power quickly after a major blackout can mean the difference between life and death, but cold starting an entire electrical grid is a complex and delicate process. A hybrid computer model from Sandia National Laboratories that combines optimization, physical simulations and cognitive models of grid operators promises to come up with a fast and reliable plan to get the lights back on.

While power outages are always disruptive, they typically only impact smaller portions of the overall grid. A complete loss of power over the entire network is much more serious, and requires operators to effectively jump start the grid with so-called “black start” generators. This involves a complicated balancing act to avoid mismatches between energy generation and consumption, as different sections of the grid are gradually brought back online. Get it wrong and the grid can collapse again.

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Bosch Powers the Automotive Sector Toward an Electrified Future

The German company has optimized three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process

8 min read
Digital art showing a 3D transparent car with the electric engine connected to batteries.

The global transition toward electric cars is getting a boost from industry suppliers like Robert Bosch, which provides electrical components and systems to car manufacturers. The Bosch team optimizes three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process, which enables them to identify potentially destructive "hot spots" early in the development cycle.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

Just as tourists in Paris are drawn to the Louvre, visitors to Stuttgart, Germany, also flock to museums displaying the great works of the city. Stuttgart may not boast of Degas or Monet, but its prominent names are perhaps even more famous than Paris’ painters: Mercedes–Benz and Porsche. Each of these iconic automakers maintains a museum in the southwestern German city they call home. Their gleaming galleries feature many historic and influential cars, almost all of them powered by petroleum-fueled internal combustion (IC) engines. Looking ahead, Stuttgart will likely continue to be the heart of the German auto industry, but how long will the IC engine remain the heart of the automobile?

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