As vehicle complexity increases, the need for more physical testing can be negated by the use of careful and efficient modelling and simulation.
Managing Director of Claytex, Mike Dempsey, was interviewed for the January 2020 issue of the ‘electric & hybrid vehicle technology international’ magazine discussing the time and cost saving option of reduced physical testing, challenges of developing electric vehicles, simulating complete autonomous vehicles and more.
One of the objectives for automotive OEMs over the past decade has been to try to reduce the number of prototypes and the amount of physical testing required. Yet as system complexity has increased, so the number of different types of tests that need to be carried out has risen substantially.
Through careful use of simulation, however, it is now possible to use virtual testing to replace many physical tests.
Using models that are based on physics is particularly important, Dempsey says, because they mean “we are using predictive models rather than models that are characterised from data that’s been already measured, so we can do a lot more simulation up front, early in the design cycle, to work out if the system is going to do what is expected and required.”
As the complexity of modern vehicles continues to increase, he suggests that “physical testing alone is not enough because there are so many variables that can’t be controlled in the real world, which makes it hard to repeatedly do the same test.” The opposite is true with simulation, which “gives users complete control over everything, making it possible to repeat the same test time and again while exploring how changes made to the system will improve the response,” Dempsey says.
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