The vehicle design cycle has become increasingly complex as automotive manufacturers strive to increase their mechatronic vehicle performance to meet strict government regulations and customer expectations. As a result, well-established, stand-alone approaches for simulation are no longer sufficient to support product innovation at affordable costs. Against this backdrop, concept design methodologies play a crucial role in promoting product innovation. They enable engineers to identify weak spots and evaluate countermeasures before detailed computer-aided design models are available. Furthermore, they balance multiple and conflicting performance attributes during the initial phases of the design process. Within the INTERACTIVE (Innovative concept modelling techniques for multi-attribute optimization of active vehicles) project, scientists worked on providing vehicle engineers with a solid design methodology base. This should serve as a platform for developing different (sub-)system representations that can be combined and used in any phase of the vehicle development process. Such methodologies and tools can shorten the industrial development process. Scientists developed innovative concept modelling methodologies and used advanced tools for analysis and simulation of vehicle performance. This integrated concept modelling and simulation process allows users to efficiently model structural elements with innovative lightweight materials or metal foams starting from the critical subsystem level (chassis and suspensions, tire, vehicle body) up to vehicle system-level simulation and optimisation. Project dissemination activities included participation in workshops, conferences and training courses. Results have also been published in peer-reviewed journals. INTERACTIVE is in line with the European Commission objectives for developing safer, greener and more efficient mobility. Project developments and research results should help increase the competitive position of the European vehicle industry on a global scale.
Vehicles, automotive, concept modelling, simulation, vehicle design