Italian research center to test Boeing’s network technology for automotive applications

St. Louis, MO—Boeing and an Italian R&D center, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), agreed Oct. 30 to evaluate Boeing's patented IntelliBus Network Systems technology for possible automotive applications.


St. Louis, MO— Boeing and an Italian R&D center, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), agreed Oct. 30 to evaluate Boeing's patented IntelliBus Network Systems technology for possible automotive applications.

Originally developed by Boeing for advanced military aircraft, IntelliBus has the potential to greatly reducing electronic wiring, connectors and control units in automobiles, while simultaneously increasing functionality, reliability and performance.

CRF plans to design, install and evaluate a prototype IntelliBus network on a Fiat automobile by mid-2004. Enhanced IntelliBus-based systems, which enable efficient in-vehicle networking of multi-media and telematic electronic devices, could possibly be installed on some Fiat automobiles by 2008.

'We're very excited to be able to work so closely with CRF, which is known for enhancing the competitiveness of its customers through the transfer of innovative technologies at competitive prices,' says Rob Fosheim, Boeing's IntelliBus Network Systems program manager. 'IntelliBus technology has the potential to become a standard across multiple industries. We're particularly intrigued by the potential of IntelliBus in the automotive industry, where about 30% of the cost of a typical car is tied up in electronics.'

IntelliBus includes a high bandwidth bus architecture that enables in-vehicle networking of automotive electronic devices, including multimedia devices, such AM/FM radios, DVDs and CD changers/players, audio amplifiers, LCD displays, and telematic devices, inclusing navigation systems and cellular phones. The common bus provides significant reductions in wiring, weight, system complexity and cost. In addition, the simplicity of the bus architecture reduces system design and installation time, and simplifies maintenance.

Located in Orbassano, near Turin, in northwest Italy, CRF was founded in 1976 as an engineering center devoted to providing R&D services to the Fiat group of companies. Today, it is an established center-of-excellence for vehicle-related technologies with a high profile in Europe for promoting and performing collaborative research and innovation.

Established and nurtured through Boeing's Chairman's Innovation Initiative (CII), which provides Boeing employees an opportunity to develop new business ideas from company developed technologies and processes, IntelliBus Network Systems has application within the aerospace/defense, industrial automation, marine transportation, and medical industries, as well as the automotive industry.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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