For most of human history, our mode of mobility was feet — our own feet, or those of some domesticated animal. Whenever we wanted to go somewhere, we walked or used horses. These quadrupeds remained the dominant mode of inter-city and intra-city transport for over two thousand years. Then in the mid-nineteenth century, the mode of inter-city transport changed over from horses to railways. Another half a century later the horse also disappeared from cities and towns as intra-city transport was taken over by automobiles. In the mid-twentieth century airplanes became the dominant mode of inter-city travel in North America, with railways continuing in addition to airplanes in Europe and Asia.
And that’s where we are today — stuck with trains, planes and automobiles for nearly a century. But not for long. Continue reading →
A revolution is underway in the transportation industry. The rise of autonomous vehicles will transform the industry and society itself as much as the nineteenth century shift from horse-carriages to automobiles did.
However, developing autonomous vehicle technology is a formidable challenge. It requires ambitious new developments in sensing technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence, that are not only unprecedented in the automotive industry, but in all other industries as well. Continue reading →
Today’s automotive systems are more complex, smarter and more autonomous than ever before, featuring functionality that no one could have imagined 10 years ago. Advanced sensors and electronics control everything from a vehicle’s speed and position to its entertainment and communications technologies. Radar, cameras and other sophisticated electronics are increasingly being incorporated into consumer vehicles.
In fact, today, more than 60 percent of a car’s cost comes from its advanced electronics and software systems. Since many of the functions guided by electronic systems are mission-critical, it’s essential that all automotive systems work together with complete reliability. The tens of millions of lines of software code that control these systems must be flawless. Continue reading →
Innovation is not just a buzzword in the automotive industry — it is a critical competency needed to transform vehicles into smart machines that incorporate numerous systems such as infotainment (phone, multimedia), guidance (GPS), adaptive cruise control, automatic parallel parking, and others.
Innovation is also indispensable in meeting new government standards that regulate fuel efficiency/emissions and drive the need for new technologies such as hybrid/electric vehicles. While accelerating these advancements, OEMs and suppliers must also control increasing product complexities and the resulting multiplication of failure modes to keep vehicles robust, reliable and safe. Continue reading →
We’ve discussed the need to simulate a full system quite a bit in this blog over the years. The need is clear: as products become smarter and more complex, component or sub-system simulation alone isn’t sufficient. As automobiles become computers on wheels, as your mobile phone has more compute power than the desktops of only a few years ago, there are new ways for products to fail. In other words, systems safety and reliability analysis is more critical than ever. Continue reading →
Many automotive engine designers are familiar with the 1-D powertrain simulation capabilities of Gamma Technologies’ GT-SUITE. This is a common workhorse for system exploration and optimization of overall engine performance and efficiency. In GT-SUITE a network of component models is used to test the impacts of changes to the turbocharger, manifold configuration, exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) loop, engine cylinder or aftertreatment devices on the overall powertrain performance and controllability. Engine cylinder-to-cylinder and cycle-to-cycle effects can also be studied to assess engine performance metrics.
Mutual ANSYS and Gamma Technologies customers can now evaluate fuel effects within GT-Power simulations, using ANSYS Chemkin-Pro. The interoperability of these two products gives engineers the ability to test the impact of different fuel compositions on engine performance. Continue reading →
The internet has now come to the automobile, bringing connectivity for infotainment, telematics and vehicle data analytics. The connected car is rapidly becoming a key node in the emerging Internet of Things. While connected car technology is a delight for car buyers, it poses unprecedented new engineering challenges for car manufacturers of reliability, safety and security. Continue reading →
Every year, automotive industry visionaries and innovators from across the automotive industry assemble at the Automotive Simulation World Congress to share the latest advances, perspectives and best practices in the use of automotive simulation. I am excited to note that this year, the Automotive Simulation World Congress will be held again in Europe, meeting in Munich on June 7-8, after spanning other corners of the globe in previous years. Continue reading →
Now, armed with the ability to perform true multidisciplinary optimization, automotive aero-thermal engineers can be 10 times more productive!
Numerous aerodynamic and thermal aspects need to be considered while designing cars, trucks and all other ground vehicles. Aerodynamic drag forces need to be studied as they affect the vehicle’s fuel efficiency; underhood component cooling needs to be managed carefully to avoid damage from the engine’s heat; aeroacoustic effects have to be calculated to reduce undesirable noise; and cabin climate control needs to be optimized for passenger comfort. CFD simulation of each of these aspects requires different models and methods. Continue reading →
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 →