November 11, 2005 A strategic alliance between manufacturers of microchips and automobiles seems unlikely yet Intel and French Sports Car builder Venturi announced a pooling of their talents and resources yesterday, which has seen WiMAX wireless data communication technology incorporated into the Fetish, the world’s first all-electric sports car. We’ve previously reported on the Fetish here, here, here and here, but the addition of WIMAX adds considerably to the futuristic vision of Venturi - by incorporating an Alvarion pre-WiMAX wireless connection box into the car, the car will be in constant contact with its owner who can charge, discharge, or check the status from wherever they may be. WIMAX will also enable the factory to remotely monitor vehicle operation, fine-tune the car and even update on-board software. The data communication capability of the Fetish is just the first step on the road towards optimised energy management though. Thanks to WiMAX technology, the future Venturi vehicle - a solar powered electric vehicle - will usher in a new era of electric power-sharing networks in an urban environment. Using WiMAX technology, the fleet of vehicles will be remote-managed and each vehicle will be able to communicate with the others. Through its ability to store power and use wireless communications, the future electric car will be able to communicate with other vehicles, either to sell energy or to buy it. It could even act as a reservoir of energy for the State.
Venturi Automobiles is a small sports car maker working out of Monaco. In presenting this new, futuristic vehicle, it stakes a claim as the undisputed showcase for innovation in the Principality.
The Venturi Fétish is the first production electric sports car in automobile history. Performance is not really in supercar class just yet, but it’s no slouch either, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds, a top speed of 170 kph and a range of 400 kilometres. Power comes from lithium-ion electric batteries weighing a total of 350 kg (100 modules of 72 cells each), managed by two Intel XScale processors, one at the front of the car and the other at the back.
“The technological challenge in an electrical vehicle is not its engine, but its batteries. For more than 100 years people have been producing very good electric motors, but until now, we didn’t know how to manage so much electrical power (58 KW/h) in a vehicle this light. Fétish proves that Intel technology can offer us real-time management of these 7200 lithium-ion batteries, which demand extremely precise monitoring,” said Gildo Pallanca-Pastor, CEO of Venturi Automobiles.
Technology-edged car, Fétish has changed the perception on electrical motorization: it takes into account current ecological challenges while combining a positive vision of tomorrow’s car made of driving sensations. “Given the context in which the power source is the focal point of all economic concerns, it was vital for us to equip the Fétish with every technology that could help optimize electrical power management and power sharing”, adds Gildo Pallanca-Pastor.
This is why Venturi and Intel Corporation decided to combine their technological forces to give the Fétish a completely new data communication capability by incorporating an Alvarion pre-WiMAX wireless connection box into the car, for easier communication of data (engine temperature, etc) to its owner, who can interact with the car’s driving parameters, wherever he may be, but also find out the battery charge levels and either charge or discharge the batteries remotely, when most convenient.
The stressful days of not knowing whether or not your vehicle is charged are over. Venturi also sees WiMAX as a mean of remotely monitoring vehicle operation, fine-tuning it and even updating on-board applications, in complete safety.
“The arrival of WiMAX, particularly in Monaco, has enabled us to embrace the idea that it was possible to exchange a large amount of data over long distances.” adds Gildo Pallanca-Pastor. WiMAX technology was also chosen for its range and its safety. Intel brought to bear its expertise with WiMAX technology by creating and then testing the wireless connection built using Intel components renowned for their density, power and very low heat emissions.
“I’m thrilled about the car and delighted to see how upcoming WiMAX technology & Fleet management solution can enable a totally new experience for the driver. While today’s version of WiMAX can be used only when the car is in a fixed position, the wireless industry is eagerly waiting for 16e standard ratification to open up for developments on mobile WiMAX” said Christian Morales, Vice President, Intel EMEA.
The goal: energy-sharing
The Fétish is just the first step on the road towards optimized energy management. Thanks to WiMAX technology, the future Venturi vehicle - a solar powered electric vehicle - will usher in a new era of electric power-sharing networks in an urban environment. Using WiMAX technology, the fleet of vehicles will be remote-managed. Better yet, each vehicle will be able to communicate with the others. “Through its ability to store power and use wireless communications, the future electric car will be able to communicate with other vehicles, either to sell energy or to buy it. It could even act as a reservoir of energy for the State,” predicts Gildo Pallanca-Pastor. “For the first time in automobile history we are using the Internet to protect the environment and optimize energy resources and safety.”