Consumer Discretionary

Functional Integration In The Vehicle Development Process

<p style="text-align: justify;">Functional integration became a recognized term in the early 1990s. Most OEMs in Europe looked upon this sector of the engineering and development process as a service provider for the CoCs (Centres of Competence).&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />Functional integration was created out of necessity as vehicles became more complex and regulations regarding certification and homologation more stringent. The complexity and tightness of packaging, for instance, made thermodynamics and heat protection much more demanding.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Corresponding with this demand, the engineers and managers in the whole vehicle test became more qualified; because they served all CoCs and interacted strongly with other integration areas, they became broader in their understanding of the Vehicle Development Process and product content.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />The current challenge is the integration of whole vehicle software. This process overlays the entire vehicle development process from inception of concept, through the delivery stage into production, through the entire legally stipulated lifetime of the vehicle and must ensure highly connected functionality both within the vehicle as also vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to environment with the ultimate aim to achieve Level V automation (fully self-driving with no driver intervention) at the same time encompassing both upwards and downwards compatibility.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Whole Vehicle Test </strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">In the 1970s and 1980s, was a service provider for COCs and prototype build; became by the 1990s a driving force in the vehicle project teams. Because organizationally (certainly at BMW) whole vehicle test was outside the project team with a direct reporting line to top management, leverage and influence of the sign-off function were increased.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This was backed up by the early proof of customer-relevant defects and problems which could be remedied before&sbquo; direct ordering enabling a smooth SOP (Start of Production) and a rapid ramp-up.&nbsp;<br />Today whole vehicle test is a highly organized and well-structured organization capable of working with early virtual models, mules, prototypes, pre-series, and production-level vehicles using a suite of test procedures and standards, ensuring comparability and repeatability when correlating results both upstream and downstream.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Sign Off Function </strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">It grew out of the whole vehicle test. It was in this function that engineers with both experience and talent were initially recruited. Over several years this small and dedicated group of engineers worked to develop an &sbquo;attributes catalog to best describe the vehicle attributes from the customer's perspective.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">With this main tool, a harmonization of sign-off documentation became possible. Allowing top management to assess the situation in the vehicle project at the relevant project milestone. The capability to run JD-Powers assessments and produce virtual automotive journal tests before the motoring press actually produces these is a valuable tool for assessing market acceptance before SOP.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Peter Hopfinger</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Peter Hopfinger</span></h3><h3 style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Which simulation software is used in Level V automation in the automotive industry?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There is no single simulation software that can be applied to the simulation of automated driving. In every case, it will be a suite of software backed by artificial intelligence.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. Which of the following are major technical challenges of the new fully autonomous driving market?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The challenges to introduce fully autonomous vehicles in multiple markets are huge. Full autonomy will be seen in customer use in limited use cases, e.g., highway driving during daytime and defined weather/ traffic conditions or on fixed routes, as with urban buses driving in reserved traffic lanes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the techniques or technologies required for self-driving vehicles?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The current challenges are based in the areas of sensor fusion, i.e., software and AI combine to evaluate and correlate the inputs of a wide range of sensors in real-time to give control inputs to the vehicle. These systems require multi-level fallback (safety systems) to counter sensor/ actor failure or malfunction.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. Why is autonomous vehicle technology important?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">When fully matured and introduced, autonomous vehicle technology will provide invaluable benefits in traffic safety and economy at many levels. The reduction of cost by collision avoidance alone will save billions, not to mention the injury and suffering of potential accident victims.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Peter Hopfinger

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