Researchers at Volvo & Chalmers Collaborate to Design the Best Car Antenna

There has been a surge of interest in connected cars over the last few years, specially with the introduction of autonomous vehicles, which have put high demands on stable, robust communication. These stable communication links require reliable antennas. At the moment, if you are at home watching a film and the TV picture suddenly freezes, it's probably not a disaster. But, if you are driving towards a junction, in which a cloud-based automated driving application optimally guides you and other vehicles through the junction at full speed - well, in that situation communication must always work otherwise situation will become disastrous.

Volvo has developed a technology for Road Friction Information. The idea is that cars ahead share information about road conditions to nearby vehicles through the cloud, for example about icy or slippery conditions, which will enable the surrounding cars to take precautions in time. In such circumstances, a stable link can mean the difference between life and death. The same applies to E-call, the service for automatic electronic emergency calls from cars to emergency call centres that will become standard in all new cars in Europe by 2018.

What happens if a car flips over and the antenna on the roof breaks?

Within CHASE (Chalmers Antenna Systems Excellence Center) - Researchers at Volvo and Chalmers university - examined various concepts for how to best position antennas on cars. The aim has also been to develop the antennas  that are least impacted even during an accident or if a car flips over.

Building better antennas is more cost effective than using more expensive/better receivers and cabling. After all, the antenna is the most crucial element that affects the performance of the communications system. Within ChaseOn, Volvo aims at developing an antenna concept that supports new 5G technology. It requires higher frequencies, which in turn demands more of the antenna's performance and position.

Volvo also plans to develop antennas that are compatible with cars made of materials such as carbon fibre and plastic, which lack a ground plane.

ChaseOn is a continuation of the very successful CHASE centre. CHASE vision is to be a world leading provider of new and improved antenna system technologies for a competitive industry and a sustainable society. ChaseOn gathers stakeholders to build fundamental knowledge and solid competence of antenna systems to meet future challenges in wireless applications.