Automotive manufacturers have been aggressively implementing lightweight materials for fuel efficiency and occupant safety. The advent of various lightweight materials has made the process of deriving efficient lightweight designs for complex structures under multiple load conditions far more attainable than ever before. Several lightweight materials (ultra-strength lightweight steel, aluminum, magnesium and composite) and manufacturing processes for automotive body structures will be reviewed. Several joining technologies for similar and dissimilar materials will be discussed. One of the Ford Performance vehicle GT (2003) used lightweight materials and several new manufacturing techniques were investigated to manufacture the Ford GT. Vehicle manufacturers are transforming their current semi-autonomous vehicles into fully autonomous vehicles. First autonomous vehicle was demonstrated in 1980s, since then, there has been lot of progress in this arena. Some automakers are doing autonomous vehicle by themselves and some are going by collaborative approach. In this paper, we will review the past, current and feature state autonomous vehicles and technologies. Even though autonomous vehicle technology is viable, however, there is more to be done in terms of regulations, infrastructure, liability insurance, etc... Currently, many automakers and consumers are concerned about the reliability and safety of autonomous vehicles on local and highways due to lack of regulations. The seminar will also review the enabling technologies that support the autonomous vehicle technologies. Some of the challenges that are automakers for autonomous vehicles will also be discussed.
Rama Koganti is an Adjunct Professor at University of North Texas and his research interests are Machine Learning, Big Data, Data Analytics, and Predictive Modeling. Rama also worked in Automotive Manufacturing (Ford Motor Company), DoD (US Army) and in healthcare (Baylor Scott and White, JPS Health Network, Cook Children’s Healthcare System, and UT Southwestern). Currently, he is working at Southwestern Health Resources SWHR as a Program Director of Data Analytics. Rama’s work in Automotive include lightweight materials, automotive body construction, occupant safety and automotive manufacturing processes. During his tenure at Ford, he worked in vehicle safety department and he was involved in design and crash testing of vehicle components and body structures. He holds 5 patents in Automotive Engineering. He published over 90 papers in Automotive Engineering, Process Optimization, Product Design and Manufacturing, Technology Development and Deployment and Data Analytics. He has been serving various leadership roles at International Mechanical Engineers World Congress (IMECE) for the past 5 years. He is also serving at Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) as a track chair for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Applications to Vehicle Systems. He received two Henry Ford Technology Awards (Most prestigious award at Ford) from Research and Innovation Center (RIC)/Ford Motor Company. He also received Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering.