Designing cars these days is an increasingly complex endeavor. Dassault Systèmes, developer of CAD/CAM/CAE and PLM software widely used in the automotive industry, notes that electronics now accounts for about 40 percent of vehicle cost and that portion is expected to climb by nine percent per-year for the next several years. Powertrain control technology must be more precise due to stringent fuel economy and emissions control requirements, and now automakers must also adhere to safety and reliability standards like that are likely to affect development processes. Vehicle development in Asia is expected to account for 40 percent of automotive industry growth over the next five to seven years, so local development must be taken into account.
Dassault identifies four challenges that automakers must overcome:
Sustainability. The development of “green” vehicle technologies adds to vehicle complexity and cost, but failure to meet sustainability requirements can exclude an automaker from key markets.
Advancing IT integration. Connectivity is an important strategy for personalizing vehicles to meet consumer preferences. Dassault predicts that at some time in the future, many vehicles may be permanently online.
Globalization opportunities. Automakers face diverse compliance requirements in various markets. They have expanded the number of development partners they employ, and they have begun to reduce the number of vehicle platforms they support.
Progressive consumer demand. Automakers are searching for effective ways to involve consumers in vehicle design and development.
Earlier this year Dassault launched a “3D Experience” platform that it says can help automakers and suppliers meet those challenges. It describes the platform as a single global engineering/manufacturing portal solution, and the firm has taken pains to make the new software backward-compatible with earlier versions.
For years PLM vendors have touted the benefits of their software for collaboration. Dassault says its new software adds a real-time, 3D Experience; one that connects different domains, processes, and system definitions in a single framework. Have you seen a demo?