The automotive, transportation and mobility industry is being turned on its head. As we move towards the ultimate goal of electric, connected, autonomous mobility, vehicles are becoming more reliable and, like software, easier to upgrade.

The changes on the horizon are nothing short of revolutionary. Instead of heading towards obsolescence from the moment they leave the dealership, the vehicles of the future will improve with age. What’s more, because electric cars are easier to make than their combustion engine predecessors, the door has been opened to new innovators with access to the latest world-class design, engineering, simulation and manufacturing tools.

Traditional automotive enterprises are not just fighting to remain competitive – the fight is for their very survival. Nimble younger innovators from TESLA and AKKA technologies to Kreisel Electric, to name just three, have joined the game and the rules are changing astonishingly fast. The traditional big players in the industry no longer even have the advantage of volume production – because selling by volume will no longer be a strategic advantage. It follows that without re-examining and then transforming their business strategies, systems and processes, success looks all but impossible.

A Platform For success

Whether big or small, agility, flexibility and proactivity will be critical success factors for the companies that thrive over the next decade and beyond. The development of the next generation of vehicles will require advanced creative design, shared intelligence, a broad system engineering approach and multi-domain, integrated collaboration.

The smallest thing can have the biggest impact. For example, where’s the best place to put the antenna on a car if you want 5G connectivity? The answer is not just “where you’ll get the best signal”, but also how it might affect the rest of the vehicle: the aerodynamics, aesthetics, production cost, servicing and upgrading. Also, how the antenna itself will be affected by weather conditions, vibration and a host of other factors.

Reinventing what we know – and do

What’s more, vehicle electrification, as David Holman, Vice President of Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA R&D points out, requires “a complete redesign of the vehicle. All the components must be rethought. You need to think about the impact of vehicle dynamics: inefficiency, in cooling the battery package and in the drivetrain. You cannot think about isolated components the way you think in traditional vehicles. And things like managing temperature become critical. You know batteries are only effective within a very narrow operative range, so thermal management becomes a key topic.”

Discover more about how companies need to reinvent what they know and what they do as well as how to go about tackling these challenges by reading the full article.
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