Meanwhile, AMB-HM76B1COM Express also supports unique fanless design

According to the latest report from market research firm HIS-Markit, in 2015 the market value of embedded computer systems had reached USD 2.54 billion, with the forecast for the next five years projecting an annual growth rate of 3.7%. It is expected that the market value of Embedded Systems will reach USD 3.05 billion by year 2020. Moreover, the said report also mentioned that the overall market trend   is that system type tends to be miniaturized in order to align with the vast number of potential demands created by the latest microprocessors.

At the same time, IHS-Markit’s report also included the traditional system motherboard form such as the xTCA in 2015, with a decline in revenue of 13%, while in the next five years showing decline at an annual rate of -11%. In the future, market demand will be very different with the various types of embedded system motherboards. Prior to year 2025, driven by demands from industrial automation and industry 4.0, COM form of the motherboard will be the most popular program, with the market growth rate in the next five years expected up to 8.6%. Noteworthy to mention is that these small size modules are specifically suitable for limited spaces, while still being highly flexible, thereby making these the perfect solution for medium to large projects. There is also a substantial increase for other standard computer motherboards (such as Micro ATX, Mini ITX …) due to the increasing demands for industrial automation. In the next five years, the annual growth rate for these boards is expected as high as 7.7%.

acrosser offers customers a variety of highly flexible design embedded system motherboards, including COM Express motherboard and Mini ITX motherboard.
The Acrosser AMB-HM76B1 COM Express board supports COM Express type 6 and Intel CPU from Celeron to Core i7. Meanwhile, AMB-HM76B1COM Express also supports unique fanless design, which can enhance system stability and meet the customers’ needs of continuous line test. Acrosser Mini ITX motherboard solution includes high to low-level models and all kinds of platforms that provide customers with diverse computing options and fulfill customers’ needs and requirements.

The Acrosser Mini ITX motherboard solutions:

Acrosser Intel SoC platform product line includes AMB-BS3T1 which supports latest 14nm Intel Brasewell Celeron N3150 and AMB-BT45B1 and AMB-BT18T2, which support Intel Bay Trail series Atom E3815 to Celeron J1900 CPU. Besides, Acrosser AMB-IH81T1 supports CPU from Celeron, Pentium to Core i7.

Acrosser AMD CPU platform product line includes AMB-A55ET1 which supports AMD Dual Core T56N APU, low power consumption, high-precision graphics processing, and high-resolution display for up to four independent monitors.

For more information about our embedded systems, please check our website at:

Acrosser, is 100% committed to providing its OEM/ ODM/ JDM and end-user clientele with high-quality innovative embedded computer solutions and networking appliances for shorter time-to-market and in achieving higher competence to win business opportunities in the market place.

For more product information, please receive a product quote RIGHT NOW!
Subscribe to our social media sites and stay connected!
Please visit us @ the following social media:

Acrosser Twitter
Acrosser Facebook
Acrosser Linkedin
Acrosser Google+
Acrosser Youtube


Embedded and PC-Based3.5 Biscuit SBCEmbedded Systems, car computerrackmount, gaming boxIndustrial touch monitorenergy & environment controlExtended Temperaturerugged embedded computer, UTM Appliance, touch screen pc, gaming machine, All-In-One Gaming Platform, Network Server Hardware, vehicle power management, Network security, car pc

Fleet Management for Full Integration – Mobile Asset Management System

Mobile Asset Management System
‧Service truck for Telecom Carrier
‧In-Vehicle Computer works as a control center for multi-function systems on mobile workstation vehicle.

acrosser’s in-vehicle computers serve as control centers for working vehicles. The compatible communication modules (3.5/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID) enable wide connectivity between the in-vehicle computers and other devices. In this example, our client was able to perform GPS fleet tracking, route navigation, task scheduling, vehicle monitoring, and material allocation planning all at once.

Arctic Fibre Project to Link Japan and U.K.

Meter by meter, a slim vein of fiber-optic cable will soon start snaking its way across the bottom of three oceans and bring the world a few milliseconds closer together. The line will start near Tokyo and cut diagonally across the Pacific, hugging the northern shore of North America and slicing down across the Atlantic to stop just shy of London. Once the cable is live, light will transmit data from one end to the other in just 154 milli-seconds—24 ms less than today’s speediest digital connection between Japan and the United Kingdom. That may not seem like much, but the fanless pc investors and companies eager to send information—stock trades, wire transfers—are so intent on earning a fraction-of-a-second advantage over competitors that the US $850 million price tag for the approximately 15,600-kilometer cable may well be worth it.

Arctic Fibre, the Toronto-based company building the cable, is the first to try to connect the globe’s economic centers by laying fiber optics through the long-sought -Northwest Passage—the pinhole of open water that warmer temperatures have brought to the Arctic. -British Telecom, China Unicom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and -TeliaSonera are watching closely, but so are tens of thousands of Canadians and Alaskans who stand to gain a huge boost in Internet access.

Marine surveys will plot the cable’s route this summer, and the line will be custom built to the surveyors’ specifications. The installation is scheduled to start a year from now, and the cable could be in service by the end of 2016.

Along its route, the cable will pass directly through seven Alaskan communities and cross 25 more communities in Canada. Those connections will bring 57,000 Canadians and 26,500 Alaskans online, most of whom have never before had access to broadband.

“The thing about Alaska is, it’s so big,” says Katie Reeves, program coordinator with Connect Alaska, a broadband advocacy group based in Anchorage. “The distance between communities is hundreds of miles, and there might only be a few people there. They deserve Internet, but it’s hard for [local service provider] GCI or other carriers in the state to justify building out to those communities, because they don’t think they’re going to get a return on their investment.”

Though the United States’ Federal Communications Commission recommends access to download speeds of at least 4 megabits per second, the average download speed in rural areas of Alaska rarely tops 3 Mbps. Plus, there are still 21,000 households and 6,000 businesses without any access to broadband at all.

Across the border in northern Canada, the Internet is sent down from Anik F2, a telecommunications satellite owned by industrial pc. On paper, Anik F2 provides access at 5 Mbps, the minimum download speed recommended by Industry Canada, the nation’s economic development agency. But in reality, that connection is often plagued by long delays and poor reliability due to the distance the signal must travel. (In 2011, a technical problem with Anik F2 knocked out service for thousands of people in 39 communities.)

Doug Cunningham, president and CEO of Arctic Fibre, knows this misery all too well: Because upload speeds were too slow, he had to use a courier to send his 227-page environmental report on the cable to the review board in Cambridge Bay, a hamlet in Canada’s most northern province.

“The biggest benefit [of the cable] is really to those residents in communities in Alaska and to the Canadian Arctic who will be released from their industrial pc,” he says. “For many people in the Canadian North, YouTube is a dream.”

Arctic Fibre, the cable’s owner, will not sell broadband directly to homes and businesses; it will provide only the backbone from which carriers will siphon these services. But the company predicts that prices could be slashed by 75 percent for equivalent service or that northern customers might receive six to seven times as much bandwidth for the current price.

The new broadband will easily transmit classes from the University of Alaska or permit researchers at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station to upload large data sets. Telemedicine recently debuted at four health-care systems, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Alaska, and better broadband could keep fanless pc from having to travel hundreds of kilometers to seek services. Access will also be a boon to rural businesses.

All of these benefits stem from a 4–centimeter cable. Barges will lay it along most of the route. But to prevent a 1,800-km detour by sea, there is a 51-km section that must cross the Boothia Peninsula, a roadless scrap of tundra in northern Canada. Cunningham says that laying this stretch will require stuffing four large reels of cable through the door of a Hercules aircraft, flying onto a remote airstrip, packing the cable onto sleds, and pulling it across a frozen lake. The crew must then snowmobile along the cable’s intended route, cutting a trench about 30 cm deep through permafrost to bury the line.

That’s all far more work than any company would do to just to serve fanless pc communities in the far north. And with an end-to-end capacity of 24 terabits per second, it’s far more than Arctic residents need. After having so little access for so long, they will be awash in broadband. “The capacity is incredible. They’ll never use all of that capacity,” says Desiree Pfeffer of Quintillion Networks, the Alaska-based arm of Arctic Fibre.

Even though the main point of Arctic Fibre is to connect two of the world’s busiest hubs, Cunningham is pleased that his fellow Canadians will benefit from the project. “I’ve been building embedded computer and financing them for over 20 years, and I’m 63 years old, so this is probably one of my last projects and certainly the largest one,” he says. “This is something I’ve come back to Canada to do.”

refer to:

The Future Blueprint for Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Bus application

acrosser’s in-vehicle computer is capable of multitasking during the drive, enabling the realization of numerous advanced commercial applications. The advance in public transportation technology greatly benefits both passengers and carriers.

For example, the installed counter collects and sends passenger information to the data center, enabling carriers to determine suitable advertisements for passengers and increase potential revenue. In the safety aspect, the GPS can provide instant vehicle location, and remind drivers to stay cautious in certain traffic congestion areas. Surveillance centers may also monitor drivers and passengers instantly via the IP camera, ensuring a safer transportation environment. In addition, the connected Wi-Fi module receives signals coming from the bus stop to provide an accurate arrival information display to waiting passengers.

Team Up AR-B8172 with Your CNC Machine

acrosser Technology, a world-leading industrial computer manufacturer, introduces its ISA board,AR-B8172, which targets the value-based CNC machining and automation industry. As industrial automation techniques advance, the original manufacturing facilities are being phased out and be replaced with the new ones. But for factory owners with constrained budgets, finding a reliable ISA board supplier for their vintage CNC machines is a challenge. Acrosser’s fanless AR-B8172 ISA board offers accurate respond to your computer numeric control machine, and can overcome the heat dissipation difficulties encountered in factories. Customers can also purchase chassis, integrating theISA board to the machine all at once.

ISA boards are commonly used in industrial automation. They connect the CPU, motion controller cards, and other I/O interfaces. CNC machining and electrical discharge machining are perfect examples of ISA board applications.

Stability and cost-efficiency are two benefits of ISA boards. But Acrosser’s AR-B8172 offers even more features for your CNC machine, including:
1. Fanless design
2. Support for PC/104 interfaces
3. Support for multi-input devices
4. Durability, stability, and ease of integration
5. SRAM for data storage

And last but not least, Acrosser’s field application engineering team provides advanced services using their in-depth technical service and knowledge. It is Acrosser’s quality products and attentive service that makes your manufacturing goods unstoppable and profitable!

Flying Inventory Assistants Are a Good Use for Drones

It’s starting to seem like “throw a drone at it” is the solution that everyone wants to somehow solve every single problem everywhere, ever. And in most cases, it’s not going to work anytime soon, for reasons that we continue to belabor. This is not to say that drones aren’t valuable tools that can solve many network hardware problems: the key is to find a problem that needs a drone, as opposed to having a drone and then desperately looking for some problem for it to solve. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, in Dortmund, Germany, may have found one of these problems: taking inventory in a warehouse. To do this efficiently, you need a mobile antenna that can navigate in three dimensions, and autonomous flying robots certainly fit the bill. Inventory is awful. I say this from experience, having made the mistake of accepting a department store inventory job for a few weeks in high school. Taking inventory in a store or warehouse involves wandering around and recording the location of every single item, using an RFID antenna or optical scanner. Did I mention that doing this by hand is awful? Because it’s awful.

One option to make inventory less painful is to deploy an infrastructure of networking appliance with built-in RFID readers, such that the shelf can tell what’s being stored on it. (Another, even better option is doing what Kiva Systems, now owned by Amazon, does: its inventory system keeps track of both the networking appliance and contents of every bin in the warehouse, so when you need to retrieve or restock something, you just send robots do get those bins for you.) This can work very well, but it’s expensive and hard to scale. Fraunhofer’s idea is to forget about the fancy shelves and instead replace what is usually a small army of inventorying humans with a small fleet of autonomous, inventorying drones that use RFID antennas or cameras to identify the location of items.

Drones are a good idea for inventory management for several reasons. First, they’ll be operating in a semi-structured (or entirely structured) environment. If they’re in a retail store, the environment is probably considered semi-structured, since humans can be kept out of the area while the robots do their work and the environment is generally static and well-defined. A warehouse might be a structured environment, since it can be completely restricted and mapped in advance with very little risk of change.

Also, an network hardware inventory drone can have an immediate and significant benefit on the inventory task in a way that would be hard to do otherwise. The reason a drone is so potentially useful is that warehouses maximize space utilization by stacking inventory as high as possible. A human would need a ladder just to read any identifying information, but for a drone, the height above the ground doesn’t matter all that much, especially if it’s equipped with a long-range RFID reader.

Fraunhofer’s InventAIRy Project (nice, right?) is developing “autonomous flying robots that are capable of independently navigating and conducting inventory.” The drones won’t be relying on an external navigations systems: it’ll all be onboard, using ultrasound sensors, 3D cameras, and laser scanners to perform continuous  simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). By mid-2015, Fraunhofer’s prototype system should be operating with partial autonomy, navigation around shelving and avoiding other obstacles. The next step will be to add RFID antennas, database integration, and (most challenging) an effective path-planning algorithm that allows the robot to reliably and efficiently catalog the objects in an arbitrary space.

We’re more optimistic about the networking appliance useful potential of InventAIRy than we are about most of the drone-related ideas that we come across, but as with anything related to robots, there’s a huge step between good idea and good execution. We’ll keep you updated.

refer to:

Build Your UTM with Acrosser’s Network Appliance


acrosser Technology, a world-leading network communication designer and manufacturer, has released a video introducing its latest network appliance product line. The x86-based Network Platform enables Network security appliance providers to develop its UTM devices in a unified structure.

In the video, Acrosser elaborates the 6 basic functions that an UTM device embodies: anti-virus, anti-spam, fire wall, intrusion detection, VPN and web filtering. These applications provide immediate protection for business owners from external Web attacks, keeping your network safe and clear. Connected with integrated networking software, Acrosser’s network appliance can perform advanced network management functions such as remote visibility control and bandwidth management.

Currently ACROSSER offers micro box and 1U rackmount for system integrators.  To learn more about our networking products, please visit our website for detailed information.

Create a “Wheel of Excuses” With BASIC and the New Raspberry Pi single board computer

Many years ago in the offices here at IEEE Spectrum, we had a “Wheel of Excuses” pinned to the outside wall of a embedded computer cubicle. So I turned to the US $35 Raspberry Pi single board computer, which had the final release of its first generation in July—the Model B+. Among other changes, the Model B+ has two more USB ports than the Model B along with an expanded general-purpose input/output (GPIO) connector, and it relies more heavily on HDMI for video output.

photo of Model B+ RaspberryPi
The Model B+ Raspberry Pi has an upgraded version of the I/O hardware in the Model B. RasPiO breakout board Using a RasPiO breakout board, I connected a button to the 40-pin GPIO header. screenshot of presented excuse Button presses generate excuses, which appear on a monitor attached via an HDMI cable. Old-school BBC Micro users will note my use of text mode 7, which supports Teletext commands for things like displaying double-height characters.

The Pi was first released in 2012 as a “spiritual successor” to the BBC Microcomputer System, which was created by Acorn single board computer in 1981 for Britain’s national Computer Literacy Project. The naming scheme for Pi models echoes that of the BBC Micro series, and like the original BBC Micro, the Pi has rapidly spread beyond the classroom.

The links to the BBC Micro are more than just circumstantial. The Pi is built around an ARM chip (a Broadcom BCM2835), and while ARM currently dominates the world of smartphones and tablets, the architecture was originally developed to provide a high-performance embedded computer coprocessor for BBC Micros, and it later powered the Archimedes line of PCs. The embedded sbc Archimedes came with RISC OS, a graphical user interface–based operating system that has since been ported to the Pi.

I first used Acorn’s dialect of BASIC way back in the day on a BBC Micro. One of the nice things about it was that it let you mix BASIC commands with assembly code for the BBC Micro’s 6502 processor. I was pleased to discover that RISC OS has retained a great deal of compatibility with the systems it grew out of, right back to that original dialect.

RISC OS’s version of embedded sbc BASIC—version VI—is, of course, greatly expanded compared with its 8-bit ancestor: As I said when I first tried it out, “it’s like meeting someone you palled around with in high school, and now they own a business and have two kids.” But it still includes an in-line assembler for combining machine code subroutines—now ARM code, of course—with BASIC. The single board computer integration allows for streamlined passing of variables back and forth between a BASIC program and machine code—for example, a set of BASIC integer variables, A% through H%, are automatically copied into the first eight embedded computer registers of the ARM chip when a subroutine is called.

This integration let me quickly write the spinning wheel animation and display code in BASIC, reaching back across the years to cobble together commands to draw colored segments of a circle and store the text of excuses using “data” and “read” commands. (When I started programming, BASIC embedded computer code would have been too slow for the wheel’s animation, but 30 years of Moore’s Law has solved that problem.) I needed to dip into assembly only in order to read the state of a button connected to the GPIO hardware. The button triggers the animation and has the program select and display an excuse.

I wired the button to the Pi’s GPIO port using a $10 RasPiO Breakout Pro, which provides basic protection against miswiring. (Unlike the more robust Arduino, which can handle enough current to drive a servo, the Pi’s GPIO can be damaged if connected to circuits that expose it to more than a few milliamperes or exceed 3.3 volts.) The Breakout Pro is designed for the GPIO on earlier Pi models, but the B+’s expanded port keeps the same pin configuration for the first 26 pins, so I was able to use the Breakout Pro and simply ignore the B+’s extra pins.

Reading the GPIO hardware was a good chance to get acquainted with the guts of a system using a reduced-instruction-set-computing architecture (so many registers!)—the last time I programmed on the metal was for the 6502. The Pi’s GPIO pins are mapped into the system’s memory as a series of 3-bit segments stored within 32-bit status words, so my machine code subroutine has to do some bit bashing to set a GPIO pin as an input. Then my subroutine reads the relevant GPIO status word and passes it back to BASIC. (For my code, I combined some snippets from Bruce Smith’s book Raspberry Pi Assembly Language RISC OS Beginners and a Raspberry Pi online forum.) My BASIC program then simply uses a loop that calls the subroutine and looks for any changes in the status word, indicating a button press.

With the embedded sbc software written, all that was left to do was build a case (from a few dollars’ worth of basswood) and hook the video output up to an old monitor. And voila! A new era of digitally driven excuses.

This article originally appeared in print as “Back to BASIC.”

refer to:

Vulnerable “Smart” Devices Make an Internet of Insecure Things among network appliance

According to recent research, 70 percent of Americans plan to own network appliance in the next five years, at least one smart appliance like an internet-connected refrigerator or thermostat. That’s a skyrocketing adoption rate considering the number of smart appliance owners in the United States today is just four percent.

Yet backdoors and other insecure channels have been found in many such network appliance devices, opening them to possible hacks, botnets, and other cyber mischief. Although the widely touted hack of smart refrigerators earlier this year has since been debunked, there’s still no shortage of vulnerabilities in the emerging, so-called Internet of Things.

Enter, then, one of the world’s top research centers devoted to IT security, boasting 700 students in this growing field, the Horst Gortz Institute for IT Security at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. A research group at HGI, led by Christof Paar—professor and networking aplliance chair for embedded security at the Institute—has been discovering and helping manufacturers patch security holes in Internet-of-Things devices like appliances, cars, and the wireless routers they connect with.

Paar, who is also adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, says there are good engineering, technological, and even cultural reasons why security of the Internet of Things is a very hard problem.

For starters, it’s hard enough to get people to update their laptops and smartphones with the latest security patches. Imagine, then, a world where everything from your garage door opener, your coffeemaker, your eyeglasses, and even your running shoes have possible network appliance vulnerabilities. And the onus is entirely on you to download and install firmware updates—if there are any.

Furthermore, most Internet-connected “things” are net-savvier iterations of designs that have long pre-Internet legacies—legacies in which digital security had previously never been a major concern. But, Paar says, security is not just another new feature to be added onto an networking aplliance device. Internet security requires designers and engineers embrace a different culture altogether.

“There’s essentially no tolerance for error in security engineering.”
“There’s essentially no tolerance for error in security engineering,” Paar says. “If you write software, and the software is not quite optimum, you might be ten percent slower. You’re ten percent worse, but you still have pretty decent results. If you make one little mistake in security engineering, and the attacker gets in, the whole system collapses immediately. That’s kind of unique to security and crypto-security in general.”

Paar’s research team, which published some of its latest findings in Internet-of-Things security this summer, spends a lot of time on physical and electrical engineering-based attacks on networking aplliance, also called side-channel attacks.

For instance, in 2013 Paar and six colleagues discovered rackmount in an Internet-connected digital lock made by Simons Voss. It involved a predictable, non-random number the lock’s algorithm used when challenging a user for the passcode. And the flaws in the security algorithm were discoverable, they found, via the wireless link between the lock and its remote control.

The way they handled the network box discovery was how they handle all security rackmount exploit discoveries at the Institute, Paar says. They first revealed the weakness to the manufacturers and offered to help patch the error before they publicized the exploit.

“They fixed the network box system, and the new generation of their rackmount is better,” he says. “They had homegrown crypto, which failed. And they had side-channel [security], which failed. So we had two or three vulnerabilities which we could exploit. And we could repair all of them.”

Of the scores of papers and research reports the Embedded Security group publishes, Paar says one of the most often overlooked factors behind hacking is not technological vulnerabilities but economic ones.

“There’s a reason that a lot of this hacking happens in countries that are economically not that well off,” Paar says. “I think most people would way prefer having a good job in Silicon Valley or in a well-paying European company—rather than doing illegal stuff and trying to sell their services.”

But as long as there are hackers, whatever their circumstances and countries of origin, Paar says smart engineering and present-day technology can stop most of them in their network box tracks.

“Our premise is that it’s not that easy to do embedded security right, and that essentially has been confirmed,” he says. “There are very few systems we looked at that we couldn’t break. The shocking thing is the technology is there to get the security right. If you use state of the art technology, you can build systems that are very secure for practical rackmount applications.”

refer to:

Ian Wright is Turning Fedex and Garbage Trucks Into High Performance EVs

In Silicon Valley, the mark of a successful entrepreneur is not how good his first idea is; it’s how well he pivots when that first idea doesn’t work out.  San Jose Mercury News columnist Michelle Quinn recently wrote, “successful pivots are the stuff of tech industry lore, a critical gamble that resulted in great wealth.”

Which brings us to Ian Wright, founder of Wrightspeed. Wrightspeed, which now makes powertrains for trucks, just got a big order from FedEx; the company is comfortably funded, thriving, and hiring. But it nearly crashed and burned before making a pivot that I didn’t see coming — and neither did Wright.

I met Wright back in 2006. A vehicle pc engineer who had spent some time on the amateur auto racing circuit, Wright had been working on a plan for an optical switching company when neighbor Martin Eberhard told him about his new startup, Tesla Motors. Wright shelved his business plan and signed on as employee number one, eager for a chance to merge his two passions, electronics and cars. He worked on optimizing the Tesla One for energy efficiency, but became fascinated with the potential of the technology for high-performance cars — much higher than Tesla would be able to sell to a mass market. So he quit Tesla and set out to build the highest performance electric vehicle possible, without worrying about whether it would have much of a market.

He started Wrightspeed in 2005 and came up with the X1, a street-legal sports car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. That’s still faster than the fastest Tesla. In 2006, he took me for a in-vehicle computer in his prototype, accelerating to 75 km per hour and pinning me to the passenger seat in the 45 meters or so between his parking space and the closed iron gate at the entrance to the parking lot. Out on the street, we raced from stop sign to stop sign and zoomed around a highway cloverleaf, pulling, Wright told me, about 1.4 G — though it felt like more. He had succeeded in building a high performance vehicle pc.

Photo: Wrightspeed
Ian Wright

Venture capitalists, it turned out, were not as uninterested in the size of the market as Wright was, and he couldn’t get the $8 million or so he thought he needed to turn in-vehicle computer into a real business. He made the rounds of VCs throughout 2007 and got rejected again and again. Then one VC, Nancy Kamei at Intel Capital, made a suggestion that got him thinking: Making a complete car takes a huge amount of capital, she told him, and all your innovation is in the powertrain, not the rest of the vehicle pc. Why not just make powertrains?

Powertrains, Wright mused. It’s not likely that car manufacturers could be convinced to use a powertrain from some startup, and car owners rarely replace a powertrain, even if the replacement would save money in fuel and maintenance. But truck owners do. Trucks, he thought, can last 20 or 30 years, and go through several in-vehicle system replacements. He started investigating the truck business, and found out one more encouraging thing — trucks sold to fleets are practically custom designed, with certain engines or other parts designated. If he could get fleet owners interested in his powertrain, he might be able to sell it into trucks coming off the line in addition to marketing it as a replacement item.

And that was the pivot. Wright turned away from his idea of building a sexy super-sportscar to the not-so-glamorous business of trucks. That approach attracted nearly $17 million in investment. Wrightspeed now has 18 employees, mostly engineers, in an office in San Jose and is looking to hire more in-vehicle system. FedEx is the company’s lead customer. It’s building electric powertrains with range-extending generators that can run on diesel, gasoline, CNG, or other fuels, The company designed its own motors, gearboxes, inverters, cooling system, and LCD instrument panels, tying it all together with custom software. The only significant parts provided by outside suppliers are the electric generators and batteries. The systems reportedly sell for less than $100,000; exact numbers aren’t available.

Wrightspeed shipped its first order of two powertrain systems to FedEx late last year, and just got an order for another 25 this month; that might not sound like a lot, but it’s a huge vote of confidence from the owner of a major fleet of vehicles. Wrightspeed is also getting attention from people who operate garbage trucks. Garbage and recycling collection company the Ratto Group approached Wrightspeed about creating a powertrain suited to garbage trucks; Wrightspeed did so and Ratto has ordered 17 systems.

“The average garbage truck in the U.S. spends $55,000 a year on vehicle pc, and up to $30,000 a year on maintenance, mostly brake replacements.” Wrightspeed’s electric motors will cut those fuel costs by more than half, and its regenerative braking technology will cut maintenance costs, also by more than half.

While the Ratto Group contacted the company by email, others are literally showing up on the doorstep. “We’ve had people from Russia knock on our door and say that want to buy stuff,” he says.

It looks like Wrightspeed will be able to make a solid in-vehicle system business out of selling range-extended electric powertrains. But the company has another asset that might turn out to be a much bigger deal — a patent for “vehicle dynamics control in electric drive vehicles” received earlier this year, number 8718897. This vehicle pc technology stemmed from a problem that needed to be solved to make Wright’s initial sports car prototype safe to drive. If you weren’t an experienced race car driver, it was really hard to control — so hard that a friend of Wright’s wrapped it around a tree during a test drive.

In order to keep his other in-vehicle system away from trees, Wright decided that the car would have to automatically control traction, torque, and a wide range of other vehicle dynamics. To make the car “safe to drive if you’re not Michael Schumacher,” he started by giving each wheel its own motor. That’s been done before, and people are looking at using the ability to control motors independently as part of antiskid and anti-lock braking systems. But Wright went a few steps further. He set up each motor to be continuously controlled individually by the vehicle control computer, operating at independent speeds. He added individual gearing systems at each wheel.  And then he developed software that continually adjusts these individual speeds to keep the car hugging the road. He says his continually adjusting approach gives better traction control, anti-lock braking, and yaw stability control than current technology, which kicks in to adjust individual brakes or redirect in-vehicle system to a particular wheel only when it detects a problem.

This patent will likely bring in cash through licenses to a variety of electric vehicle manufacturers. Eventually, he thinks, someone else will use the technology to create the fastest, highest performance, electric car of its generation. And maybe he’ll buy one with his profits from garbage trucks.

refer to: