High performance physical modeling and simulation increases efficiency and productivity in vehicle design
Vehicle manufacturers are constantly faced with the challenge of balancing fuel efficiency and safety against the demands for greater performance and lower development costs. Driven by these needs, a wide range of computer-aided modeling tools has emerged, covering all aspects of the dynamic behavior of vehicles. However, these tools tend to be very application-specific and use computationally intensive numerical methods, such as finite difference and finite elements. While these are useful for the "off-line" stages in the design process, where time-to-result is not too critical, there is an increasing demand for faster simulations to the point where high-fidelity models need to be run in real-time for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. The demand for better understanding of the dynamics, and the ability to produce high-fidelity physical models of vehicle systems that can be used in HIL systems to test prototype controllers, has reached a critical point for many companies. This article explores how the use of model-based design and virtual prototyping allows automotive manufacturers to reduce design and prototyping costs significantly while fulfilling the demands of governments and markets.