This is the third year that ANSYS hosted the Automotive Simulation World Congress (ASWC), an international conference focused on engineering simulation in the ground transportation industry. The ASWC is an annual conference that rotates between the three major regions of the world. In previous blogs, I wrote about the 2012 and 2013 ASWC’s held in Detroit and Frankfurt respectively. This year the conference was held in Tokyo on October 9 and 10. Continue reading
It sounds like something out of Star Trek or Buck Rogers, but the notion of a super-fast (think speed of sound or faster) ground-based transportation system isn’t science fiction.
About a month ago, Elon Musk, the visionary behind ANSYS customers SpaceX and Tesla, formally proposed the Hyperloop, which would transport people via aluminum pods enclosed inside of steel tubes. These pods would travel up to 750 miles per hour, shrinking travel time between cities. (A trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco would be only 30 minutes!)
But as it often happens when a true innovator steps forward with a new idea, the critics descended. They claimed the Hyperloop was nothing more than mere fantasy, that it wouldn’t be practical. Even Musk himself admitted that prototypes were needed before he could turn the Hyperloop into reality.
I’ve been personally interested in the idea of this potential mode of transportation for some time now. In my opinion, the technologies needed for implementing tube transportation are extremely simple, compared to some of the highly sophisticated machines such as commercial airliners or spacecraft that humans routinely construct today.
So, using ANSYS technology, we put Musk’s Hyperloop designs to the test. The upshot? The Hyperloop will indeed work – with some tweaks. Continue reading
The other day I read, “Fuel cell-powered vehicles are just a few years away.” We have been hearing this for the past 20 years. Fuel cell buzz has come and gone and then come again and disappeared again. It’s been quite a roller coaster. Lately the buzz is becoming louder again. Is it serious this time? Are fuel cells on a major comeback?
In the past two years, I have noticed that fuel cell research and development and investments are resurging. I attribute it to the following reasons — in no particular order: Continue reading
On October 29 through 30, 2013, ANSYS once again hosts the Automotive Simulation World Congress (ASWC).
As I announced at the 2012 ASWC held in Detroit in October 2012, the event is an annual international conference that rotates across the three major regions of the world — the Americas, Europe and Asia. Slated to move from the Americas to Europe this year, the ASWC will be held in Frankfurt, Germany at the Steigenberger Airport Hotel, with an evening event at Klassikstadt.
This international event focuses on advances in simulation technology applied to the ground transportation industry, which includes car, light truck, heavy truck, bus, off-highway, agricultural, motorsport, railway and two-wheeler segments. Continue reading
As we continue our 54.5 by 2025 blog series, we turn our attention to designing the body of the car for maximum fuel efficiency.
The body of the car provides two major opportunities for improving fuel efficiency:
- Reducing overall weight
- Improving aerodynamics to reduce drag
Much design work and ingenuity is required to reduce a car’s overall weight, and many interesting advances have been made in the field, such as the use of composites materials. Considering that car manufacturers have been working on streamlining and designing aerodynamics since the time of the Model T, we now need fresh ways to approach the issue.
The question is: What will be the most effective innovation, or combination of innovations, for the future?
Reduce weight by designing composites effectively
Replacing steel with light, strong and durable composites materials is one possible way of reducing weight in new automobiles. But the process has its challenges. Continue reading
While the auto engineering industry is undergoing a large breadth of innovation (autonomous vehicles, dashboard apps to help the driver use less fuel and drive more safely), the ambitious goal of 54.5 mpg by 2025 will require car manufacturers to focus on the fundamentals of existing technologies, such as engines, transmissions and aerodynamics.
Surely, 54.5 mpg is entirely achievable, but it is a daunting goal that will require auto makers to drastically ramp up their engineering efforts. And while 2025 seems far away, it will be difficult to finish all the necessary engineering by that time if engineers progress at today’s rate. Accelerating engineering is the burning need of the day — and of the next decade — and it can only be accomplished by taking full advantage of advanced engineering tools such as simulation. Continue reading
You may recall that back in October the Automotive Simulation World Congress took place in Detroit. Automakers and suppliers gathered there to discuss how the global supply chain increasingly relies on single-physics and multiphysics simulation solutions, for both component and systems-level analysis. Application discussions ranged from aerodynamics, underhood thermal management, IC engine, transmission, brakes, and chassis components to the entire electric powertrain including battery, traction motor and power electronics.
The discussion continues in our ongoing webinar series named “Recent Advances in Automotive Simulation,” during which speakers share the latest advances in automotive-specific solutions that allow companies to thoroughly explore design alternatives under
varied, real-life load conditions early in the design cycle.
Please join us by registering for one or all of the webinars. Continue reading
The 2012 Automotive Simulation World Congress (ASWC) has driven off into the ever-so-vibrant sunset of Detroit, Michigan, leaving attendees more educated about current industry trends. Almost 300 automotive executives, managers and engineers from over 100 companies participated in this congress dedicated to applications for road, rail and off-highway vehicles.
The two-day event, held at the towering Detroit Renaissance Center, kicked off the general session with a keynote talk from Wayne Eckerle, vice president of research and technology at Cummins. Eckerle discussed Cummins’ Analysis Led Design initiative and how it is changing the company’s corporate culture by utilizing simulation for its product development.
One attendee noted that Eckerle “provided a lot of insight on the benefits of simulation from a business perspective that is valuable for my company’s current needs and goals.”
The global automotive industry faces pressure to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while developing vehicles that are smarter and safer. Consequently, it broadly employs engineering simulation to meet these challenges. So it is with great pleasure that I introduce this year’s final issue of ANSYS Advantage with its focus on trends in the auto industry.
Recently, several gas stations in the state of California – major brands and independents alike – made national headlines when the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline topped the $5 mark. USA Today reported that one independent station even topped the $6 mark!
Admittedly, this unprecedented price spike could be traced back to a series of closures and unexpected shutdowns at California-based petroleum refineries. Although prices are expected to ease as some of these refineries come back online – and switch over to producing the cheaper winter-blend mixture before the end of October – the incident serves as yet another painful reminder of how volatile gas prices have been over the last decade.
But while the cost of petroleum trends upward, the cost of lithium ion (LiO) battery assemblies is actually going down. And while this is slowly but surely making the batteries – and the electric vehicles/hybrid electric vehicles (EVs/HEVs) that they power – more competitive, much work still remains to be done before they can truly be considered a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine (ICE). Continue reading