Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are skyrocketing. Driven by technological improvements in powertrains and batteries, environmental regulation, and shifting consumer demand for greener vehicles, global sales of EVs rose by 40 percent last year. And the electrification revolution is only getting started. This growth trend will continue as the cost of owning electric vehicles declines and approaches the cost of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles sometime within the next decade.
Safety first — especially when it comes to engineering control systems for autonomous vehicles. These systems must meet the same high-level safety standards long-mandated for aerospace and defense technologies. In addition, the operating systems that run the certified programs must also be safe — from hackers.
Together, ANSYS and Green Hills Software have developed a comprehensive solution for driverless cars that rises to the level of ISO 26262 (ASIL D) certification and is invulnerable to hacker attacks. Continue reading
There seems to be an unstoppable momentum toward the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Almost every day there is a story about the latest advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), drone or supposedly intelligent robot. As this rush to market accelerates, we are also regularly reminded that these technologies remain in their infancy when it comes to full autonomy and the much touted societal benefits it will bring.
For example, the Las Vegas self-driving bus was involved in a crash less than two hours into the first day of its career. It stopped when a human-driven truck in front of it stopped, as it was programmed to do, but was powerless when the truck then backed up into its front fender. Whichever vehicle was at fault, the slogan “Look Ma No Driver” in the front window of the bus reads like a child showing off. As we know, pride comes before a fall. Continue reading
Anil Kumar (Senior Engineer – ANSYS) and I thought it would be interesting to share information about integrating ANSYS super-element with the GENESIS structural optimization extension for ANSYS. With ever-increasing computational power, engineers can solve larger FE models in less time. However, optimization is still a serious concern because it is an iterative process and the FE analysis usually needs to be performed multiple times.
Typically, the parts that engineers choose to optimize are only a subset of large assemblies. For example, when optimizing the chassis, the engines and other components attached to it are not designed at the same time. It is not necessary to model all the details of those components not participating in the optimization.
For every product powered by batteries — cellphones, hybrid and electric vehicles, implantable medical devices, drones, industrial equipment — there is an end user who is concerned about a battery’s longevity. Whether you are trying to find an outlet to check your emails before your cellphone dies, wondering how many miles your drone can fly before it falls from the sky, or hoping to delay the surgical procedure needed to change the battery in your implanted defibrillator, battery longevity affects us all at one time or another.
LEDs are increasingly used in automobile headlights because of their small size and reduced energy consumption. But, though they are much more energy efficient than traditional headlights, most of the energy required is converted to heat rather than light — 70 percent, in fact. This presents a challenge to engineers and designers because, since they are semiconductor-based, the diode junction of LEDs must be kept below 120 C. Maintaining temperature below this limit typically involves cooling airflow from an electric fan combined with heat sink fins.
Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.
Read any automotive-related article and I’m sure it discusses autonomous cars and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) – the benefits, the challenges and what the future may hold. More and more auto makers are moving towards autonomous developing vehicles, but many of the systems that will eventually be integrated into these vehicles to make them fully autonomous are being developed today. In fact, you probably have some of them in the car you are driving now — Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, and Lane Keeping Assistance to name a few. These ADAS applications present a new set of challenges and require a multi-disciplinary development approach. You can read more about these development areas in a blog written by my colleague, Sandeep Sovani.
Optimizing components that must fit into tight spaces can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced designer. Consider the HVAC system of a car, which supplies air to the vehicle’s cabin. Today, air conditioning is deemed standard equipment even in entry-level automobiles, so manufacturers must build it in. Its critical components – manifold ductwork — are located under the hood amid the well-planned jumble of engine, radiator, battery, transmission, and auxiliary structures. Not much room in there … and that’s just one of the complications. Continue reading
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