A Better Automotive Paradigm

A hundred years ago, Henry Ford promised customers that their car could be painted any color so long as it was black. Today, color is the least of the auto industry’s challenges. The car of the 21st century must be fuel-efficient and robust, technologically savvy and affordable, and manufactured quickly on the line without defects. It must meet increasingly stricter government regulations. And the vehicle must incorporate fast-evolving electronic, communication and software technology that hardly existed a few years ago. Continue reading

ASWC 2015 Draws Near!

After completing the first circuit of the globe, this year the Automotive Simulation World Congress (ASWC) 2015 returns to Detroit. The conference is now exactly two weeks away — to be held on June 2 and 3 — and I am really excited about it. If you haven’t registered and reserved your seat, please take a moment to register. You don’t want to miss this great event. And if you don’t know what it’s all about, read on for more information. Continue reading

Automotive, the Ultimate Connected ‘Device’

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about connected devices, and those devices are not just smartphones, tablets and phablets. It is anything that can collect data (sensors), connect to the internet and transmit the data wirelessly (antennas), and make smart decisions on acquired data (embedded software / processors). The biggest “mobility device” happens to be one that is near and dear to Americans — the car. Over the last few years the amount of electronics and connectivity within a car has been rapidly growing making it a primary differentiator for an automobile. Continue reading

Clean Diesel is Really a Three-part System

I am sure many of you have heard of clean diesel. And, probably asked yourself what is it and how is it different from regular diesel. Are we refining fuel more — why is it called clean? That is just one part of it. Clean diesel is really a three-part system. One part is cleaner fuel, the second part is improvement in the combustion — more advanced engines— and the third part is new technologies that control emission and exhaust gasses. There are different emission control technologies that can further reduce emission from the diesel engines, but most dominant are diesel particulate filters (DPF), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC). Continue reading

A Brave New World – What It Will Take to Realize the Hyperloop Dream

Hyperloop – Elon Musk’s project, now venture-capital-backed, to shuttle passengers between cities via tubes at the speed of sound — is shaping up to be to the 21st century what the railroad was to the 19th century.

Both are visionary: one connected the coasts and permitted safe travel across the continent and the other could provide super-fast, efficient commuter passage between major cities. Both were rejected initially as the stuff of fiction: too theoretical to work, too expensive to build. Both were aided by the technology of their day, railways by the might of the industrial revolution, Hyperloop by the computer and simulation technology. And both, when the history of the 21st century finally is written, will be seen as revolutionary turning points in modes of transportation. Continue reading

2015 Automotive Simulation World Congress – Call for Presentations

ASWC 2014 presentation auto safetyWhat do Tesla Motors, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Ferrari, Denso, Panasonic, SL Corporation, Cummins, Tenneco, and Honeywell, have in common? Well, not only are they leaders in the automotive renaissance, but they all delivered presentations on leading-edge simulation at the 2014 Automotive Simulation World Congress. Continue reading

Cars and Electronics in Tokyo: 2014 Automotive Simulation World Congress

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

Meeting CAFE standards Through Improved Engine Simulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE standards for light duty cars and trucks. These standards are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy, leading to model year 2025 vehicles that will emit just one-half the greenhouse gasses that model year 2010 vehicles do.

To reach these ambitious goals, the new CAFE standards mandate that automakers raise the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. These are lofty and commendable goals. But for engine designers and automakers, are the new standards even feasible for real-world vehicles? The EPA believes they are, and has established a new program to prove it. Continue reading

Why Do Road Traffic Deaths Remain Unacceptably High?

automotive-leadersRoad accidents are one of the leading causes of unnatural deaths around the world. The World Health Organization’s Global status report on road safety in 2013 indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths remains unacceptably high at 1.24 million per year. This is a staggering number.

As the number of vehicles increase, resulting in a corresponding increase in accidents, auto safety is emerging as one of the most important aspect of automotive product design. Broadly, automotive safety can be classified into passive and active safety. While passive safety covers basic components of the vehicle (example: seat belts, air bags, vehicle structure etc.) in addition to driver behavior; active or predictive safety usually refers to the use of technology to avoid collisions or at least mitigate their effect (example: crash avoidance and driver assistance systems). Continue reading

Automotive Electronics: Engineering the Ultimate Mobile Device

When we think of “mobile devices”, images of smartphones and tablets come to mind. These devices connect us virtually to events around the world, our family, our friends, and the global marketplace, without ever leaving our homes. And with the advancements in automotive electronics, our driving experiences can also be enhanced, where we are as globally connected to our environment as our smart phones. Such connectivity could augment our driving experience and enhance our security, by providing early warning and accident avoidance capabilities. Imagine cars being aware, not just of the surroundings but also aware of their driver. Imagine a future where your interface to the virtual word is limited not to queries on a touch screen, but rather the entire environment of your car, from the windshield to the seat to the car electronics, which are all engineered to provide a globally connected driving experience unique to you. Continue reading