Car Boots, Trunks or Tailgates? Depending on what flavor of English you’re used to, you probably can figure out that we are talking about the rear end of a vehicle. The words may differ, but the technology making the humble boot, trunk or tailgate smarter, safer and more convenient is the same.
Trunk control (let us stick with that one), requires only a few basic functions: We need to open, close and lock the trunk. When we need to access this storage space our hands are often full of something, whether groceries, tools, sports equipment or children. Sometimes we may want to open the trunk while inside the car, in the driver’s seat. In the past, all these functions were performed manually and were all based upon mechanical systems. This is changing, and like many vehicle subsystems, the trunk has electronic assistance using electric motors controlled by networked microcontrollers, following the digitalization and electrification trends that are transforming the car.
ST has a wide-range of automotive products that provide complete trunk control solutions with a range of functions. Let’s start with locking systems. Electronic Locking systems require either electric or hydraulic actuators to engage and disengage the latch. Cinch motor drivers and latch mechanisms enable soft-opening and closing of doors and also add failsafe security mechanisms. ST’s VIPower H-Bridge drivers are ideal for controlling the actuators and locking mechanisms, as they are available in many power ranges and have the networked capability, manageable by a dedicated microcontroller. The networked microcontroller adds many sensor and interfacing possibilities to the trunk mechanism, enabling touch sensors or light sensors to control locking with internal, external or wireless connectivity, depending upon the target model of the vehicle.
Our H-Bridges can also provide controlled power to the spindle lift motors, used to open and close the trunk door or tailgate. By combining a powerful automotive grade microcontroller with a fully integrated VNH family motor driver, we provide flexible, reliable and feature-rich options, such as accurate speed and positioning control of the trunk, ideal for defining the maximum lift height of a tailgate in the case of low ceilings in confined garage spaces.
In addition, VIPower high-side drivers can replace relays for the LEDs for interior illumination and exterior signage on the car for trunk- or door-opening or locking status indication.
As the diagram shows, ST has all the products required for state-of-the-art trunk control systems, and we have combined them into a ready-to-use evaluation kit that consolidates all of the above functions with ST’s automotive quality and low-power design expertise. To find out more about this solution click here