DETROIT - A consortium of five European automakers, a Swedish software maker and computer chip maker Motorola want to streamline wiring in automobiles.
The group proposes a one-wire system to run the many small motors, sensors and electronics in a vehicle chassis.
The consortium says its new Local Interconnect Network standard for electronics eliminates the multiple-wire harnesses, printed circuit boards and analog switches that abound in door, steering wheel and instrument panel modules.
The network's single wire allows digitally encoded software signals to address 'mechatronic' devices - such as a power window motor with built-in electronics -rather than using several wires to run different functions of the motor. The network also would use just one type of connector for every component.
Automakers in the group include DaimlerChrysler, Audi, BMW, Volvo and Volkswagen. The network will be used on a Mercedes-Benz instrument panel in calendar year 2001 and later in a steering wheel assembly. Audi intends to use the network in a roof module to power a sunroof and rain sensors beginning in 2002.