The dream of many automotive developers, a vehicle can develop fully in the computer, is not yet reality, but the manufacturers are always closer to this goal. Young example is the Fiat Bravo, which the manufacturer "exclusively" developed with digital methods in 18 months. But hopefully not tested – because in areas such as the chassis tuning are still in demand for experience, feelings and handmade.
Fine gun still pays
So there is still rough differences today if suspension / malt or steering in the real world are tuned; A well-functioning simulation of the seating member does not exist until today. Not much different is it with vibrations: how engine or chassis stimulate the body, let’s already calculate quite well, the realitat in driver ears but still properly surprises ready.
Nevertheless, the more a vehicle can be simulated at reality, the faster and favorable it is to develop and the more constructive or conceptual errors can already be discovered before the first "physical prototype" is being built.
Prototype with double meaning
From the point of view of the vehicle developer, the term prototype today has a double meaning – the real, who is on the test trails and the "virtual", which is becoming more valuable for the designers. Mercedes speaks of "Digital Prototypes" (DPT).
In this simple shortly, knowledge that the developers have collected in many years. The rapid development of computer technology to help you, because simulation simply needs a lot of computing time. The crash calculation was made at Mercedes-Benz in 1989 with 26.000 elements that represented a vehicle, the C-Class is already subdivided into around 1.9 million elements. This makes a much pracisere analysis of deformations in a crash possible. In 1500 processors, in the case of security development, about 5500 times the limousine was virtual "against the wall".
The increased performance of the computers today can use today for many development areas, which had not been simulated as soon as possible. In addition to safety, these are areas such as aerodynamic analyzes, climatic dimulations, studies on strength or engine development.
Completely virtual car
In DPT, according to Mercedes-Benz, the company has first tied up all simulation methods and generated in this way "a completely virtual car". Of course, this simulation can not replace real prototypes and experimental cars completely, but the first driving models have a significantly higher degree of maturity from the start, the way to serial maturity is thus significantly short.
In the digital prototypes, all the data of the new model, from the mAB concept to the Stobdampfer characteristic, are together and will be transferred to calculation models. The result of this preparation is the driving virtual prototype. Vimentiful model and engine variants can be represented in this model. Because if the basic data of the vehicle stands first of all, variants are possible by entering new data with relatively little effort possible.