The automotive, transportation and mobility industry is being turned on its head. As we move towards the ultimate goal of electric, connected, autonomous mobility, vehicles are becoming more reliable and, like software, easier to upgrade.

Traditional automotive enterprises are not just fighting to remain competitive – the fight is for their very survival. Nimble younger innovators from TESLA and AKKA technologies to Kreisel Electric, to name just three, have joined the game and the rules are changing astonishingly fast.

Whether big or small, agility, flexibility and proactivity will be critical success factors for the companies that thrive over the next decade and beyond. The development of the next generation of vehicles will require advanced creative design, shared intelligence, a broad systems engineering approach and multi-domain, integrated collaboration.

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Take electric vehicles, the smallest thing can have the biggest impact. For example, where’s the best place to put the antenna on a car if you want 5G connectivity? The answer is not just “where you’ll get the best signal”, but also how it might affect the rest of the vehicle: the aerodynamics, aesthetics, production cost, servicing and upgrading. Also, how the antenna itself will be affected by weather conditions, vibration and a host of other factors.

Antenna engineers need to compare antennas with similar functionality to find the optimal variant and need to decide where to place them. In order to achieve this, virtual prototyping and virtual tests are key to success. Simulation software helps to find the optimal solution for everyone concerned.

Matthias Tröscher > Profile > Dassault Systèmes®
Matthias Tröscher
Senior Business Development Executive, Dassault Systèmes, SIMULIA

Explore this insightful infographic, then download knowledge brief on the importance of simulation for Electric, Connected, Autonomous Vehicles.

a complete redesign of the vehicle. All the components must be rethought. You need to think about the impact of vehicle dynamics: in efficiency, in cooling the battery package and in the drivetrain. You cannot think about isolated components the way you think in traditional vehicles. And things like managing temperature become critical. You know batteries are only efficient within a very narrow operative range, so thermal management becomes a key topic.

David Holman > Profile > Dassault Systèmes®
David Holman
Vice President, Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA R&D

All this, Holman argues, poses a totally new problem: reinvention. The challenge the traditional OEMs face is to reinvent themselves. Of course, new start-ups beginning from a blank page will find it easier to tackle the design of electric drivetrains from scratch without the legacy hangover, thus putting them in a position of advantage. But, for a traditional OEM, driving such a major transformation is a “challenging task”.

The Race for Case: Aberdeen's Six Steps For Accelerating Vehicle Development

The Race for Case: Aberdeen's Six Steps For Accelerating Vehicle Development

Taking the holistic approach

Although autonomous vehicle development poses different challenges, they demand a similarly holistic approach if speedy resolutions to design challenges are to be achieved. For example, how do you measure – and resolve – the effect of different types of particles in different road and weather conditions on the ADAS sensors that make autonomy possible? The answer is simulation.

Brad Duncan, Fluid Dynamics Director at Dassault Systèmes says that: “Car companies not only need predictive simulation capability for particles and film, but also the ability to understand how to improve the design.”

He continues: “That's where simulation is so essential. We make it possible for innovative designs to be discovered much more quickly, because you can track from the source of the particle, through the air, onto the surface, and sometimes off the surface again, and back onto it somewhere else.”

“Time is money,” he concludes. “So, if you can accelerate the design process, and verify that the design changes will meet all your performance targets, you can be faster to market, and reduce the overall cost of vehicle development.”

Kreisel Electric, a technology leader in the field of electric power solutions

Is a perfect illustration of a company adopting new platforms and technologies to stay agile.

Kreisel Electric faced a challenge: Could the legendary 1971 EVEX Porsche 910 combustion-powered car be transformed into an electrified supercar? Kreisel Electric needed to design and build a battery pack, cooling system, gearbox and powertrain that would fit in the car’s available space.

To achieve this, the company needed a solution that was robust yet flexible enough to enable the different disciplines involved to collaborate while keeping costs and schedules in check.

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