And where she can’t do it alone, she leaves the partners with dirty work, “taking over” managerial duties. It's easier! Examples are in front of you.
The battle for engine control lasted more than one year and ended in a complete victory for the electronics. Upgrade environmental power and ignition systems. A fact from the history of the domestic automobile industry: in order to sell “Samaras” abroad, they began to weigh complicated “Solexes” with additional pipes and wires, connected to sensors and processors - the plexus of mechanics and electronics maintained a stoichiometric ratio of air to fuel (14.7: 1) necessary for the effective operation of the neutralization system. "Electronic" carburetors tried on cars of many brands - this was not the easiest, not very reliable, but relatively quick and inexpensive way to comply with the first environmental standards.
The "electronic" carburetor of such an intricate design did not live long. Mono, and soon distributed injection, was replaced by a fuel rail with nozzles, several additional sensors and a controller that controls the fuel supply and ignition. The advantages are obvious - the system is more reliable, electronically controlled nozzles dispense fuel more clearly. In addition, to adapt the injection to another engine, it is enough to make changes to the program, and not conjure with jets and diffusers. It sounds simple, but in fact, the creation of the first algorithms for the operation of the “injectors” required a lot of time and considerable budgets.
Engine control systems were saturated with electronics gradually. Here is an example of one of the leading companies in this field - Bosch. Back in the 70s of the last century, K-Jetronic distributed mechanical fuel through cylinders - mechanical injection without any computers. But ecology advised the engine to follow a stricter diet, and the details began to grow into electronics (KE-Dzhetronic). The next evolutionary stage was the Motronic system, where the control unit commanded not only power but also ignition, again for the sake of ecology and economy.
On modern cars, electronics is conquering new territories. The cable drive of the throttle valve is gradually abandoned - the signal from the gas pedal goes through the wires, and the processor gives a command to the electric motor of the damper, which covers the access of air to the cylinders. Thus, the control unit receives additional power - for example, at the signal of the traction control system, the computer will force the engine to pacify. And you would have tried thirty years ago to cope with a couple of hundreds of “horses” that are not held back by the electronic bridle!
FRONT AND REAR
Thanks to electronics, not only engines become smarter, but also their eternal companions - transmission units. For true all-terrain vehicles, such as the Land Rover Defender or UAZ, on smooth roads, the moment goes only to the rear wheels, and the front wheels are connected tightly if necessary. On the road, such a scheme works flawlessly, but on the highway without the center differential you will not go. The reverse side - “SUVs” with transmissions, where the second axis was connected via viscous coupling. With a short slip, it works properly, but does not withstand long tortures.
Electronics solved these problems by taking the best from two mechanical circuits. An “electronic” clutch appeared between the axles, which, at the command of a control unit that receives commands from multiple sensors, can almost rigidly connect the two axes or transmit only the necessary part of the torque.
Electronics on most four-wheel drive cars supplanted cross-axle differentials. Previously, designers experimentally selected the required blocking coefficient to achieve optimal controllability, but now they simply change the values in the program. And the moments on the wheels equalize the braking mechanisms, "grabbing" one or the other wheel. Simple, reliable, efficient!
Owners of the first cars with automatic transmissions put up with numerous shortcomings for the sake of comfort - the unit exceeded the "mechanics" in size, worked more slowly, and pulled extra fuel out of the tank. The picture changed when the hydromechanical boxes were overgrown with wires. They became more compact, however, they didn’t get to the dimensions of the “manual” ones, but the gears under the command of the electronics switched faster and the fuel appetite was reduced.
Modern programmable boxes have one more advantage. Having understood the character of the driver, the “automatic” starts to indulge him - hold gears longer or, conversely, switch at low revs. In addition, the computer taught the “machine” to work in manual mode - you can jump up the stairs by manipulating the selector on the center console or the buttons on the steering wheel.
Electronics not only improves the old, but also gives rise to the new. Automated boxes are as compact and economical as the “mechanics”, and in terms of comfort and capabilities they are close to the classic “automatic machines”. They are similar to manual shifting aggregates, only electronics using hydraulic, pneumatic cylinders or solenoids themselves squeeze the clutch and snaps the gears. By the way, in some cases, you can completely abandon synchronizers and not turn off the clutch - the speed of the shafts is equalized by the engine computer; this is done on trucks, with their relatively small range of operating revolutions. Do you think the mechanics have bright prospects?
It is possible that in the near future they will completely abandon traditional transmissions, and hybrid ones will take their place. Similar schemes have already been developed, for example, at the Toyota Prius - the engine, electric motor and generator are combined by a planetary gear (their work is coordinated by a computer), from which the moment goes to the wheels through the gearbox and differential. Hybrid plants take up more space than, for example, a gasoline or diesel engine with a CVT. But these are just the first steps …
IN THE ENVIRONMENT
When driving, not everyone wonders (and rightly so!) Who exactly helps to twist it. The most popular and so far widespread device is the hydraulic booster. To make it “convenient” at any speed, they again resort to electronic help. One option is Servotronic for Audi. The amount of working fluid is limited by the solenoid valve: when moving in low speed it is closed, the steering wheel spins with one finger. The farther the speedometer needle deviates from zero, the harder the helm becomes (ZR, 2004, No. 2).
Electronics offers another option - a conventional power steering pump replaces an electric pump. It is turned on only at the command of the control unit, without wasting engine power, saving fuel (up to 0.5 l / 100 km) and reducing harmful emissions.
Like it or not, and the near future for full-fledged electric amplifiers. The first samples appeared on small machines and worked quite indistinctly. Now they are worthy competitors to hydraulics - they help to turn the steering wheel to owners of not only small cars, but also mini-vans and off-road vehicles. In addition to the above advantages, you can add one more thing - an electric motor built into the steering column or rail does not require maintenance.