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Vehicle Concept Modelling

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Computerised 'doodling' expedites final car designs

Exploiting the power of computing has drastically shortened automotive vehicle development times. A new generation trained in the emerging field of concept modelling promises a turbo-boost to market readiness.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

European original equipment manufacturers for the automotive industry are facing increasing pressure to bring new products to market on an ever-shorter time scale. Use of accurate models and simulations prior to developing detailed computer-aided design files can optimise performance attributes and increase quality while decreasing time to market. Vehicle concept modelling is thus emerging as an important automotive design tool.Scientists initiated the EU-funded project 'Vehicle concept modelling' (VECOM) to train young researchers in the area of functional performance modelling prior to development of a computer-aided design model. At a time when numerous performance attributes must be balanced according to sometimes conflicting specifications and time is of the essence, novel methods developed within the scope of VECOM should have major impact.Twenty-two early-stage researchers participated in an intensive training programme at host institutions. The majority of them worked toward a Doctorate in Philosophy, which they obtained or were close to obtaining by the end of the project. Seven established researchers were also recruited. In addition to exchanges with various institutions, fellows attended numerous workshops and conferences at which they were encouraged to present their work. A total of 30 training events were held. Outcomes resulted in over 100 publications.The large pool of young researchers trained in vehicle concept modelling through numerous exchanges with research and industry are now ready to enter the field and contribute to expedited automotive vehicle design. The ability to test various concepts to balance the trade-offs of multiple desired functions before entering the detailed computer design phase will have major impact on the competitive position of EU automobile manufacturers. Major benefits are likely to reach the consumer as well.

Keywords

Vehicle concept modelling, computer-aided design, training, early-stage researcher, automotive, manufacturing

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