Volkswagen partners with an innovative startup e.GO as part of its Electric Vehicle push
A fellow manufacturer in the a...
European automotive juggernaut Volkswagen (VW) has revealed its decision to partner with German startup e.GO Mobile AG.
A fellow manufacturer in the automotive space, the company has launched innovative electric vehicles, and will now seek to utilise VW’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform and associated digital architecture to build smaller, robust, cost-efficient vehicles to support its European customers.
Opening its MEB to other manufacturers and third parties will therefore work to reduce ongoing costs, where the partnership will showcase MEB’s versatility across the automotive industry.
“Based on the MEB, we will make individual mobility CO2-neutral, safe, comfortable and accessible to as many people as possible. The MEB even makes the cost-efficient production of emotional small-series vehicles like e.GO Mobile’s ID. BUGGY possible. I am delighted that e.GO has become the first partner to use our electric platform as the basis for a jointly-defined vehicle project,” stated Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG.
“We are extremely pleased the Volkswagen Group offered us this cooperation. We can contribute e.GO’s agile product development and our strength in building small-series vehicles based on extruded aluminum spaceframes. And the MEB platform will make us faster, more robust and cost-efficient,” added Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG.
- Tesla is set to unveil its Model Y SUV next week
- Mercedes-Benz launches a breakthrough blockchain-prototype to deliver sustainable supply chains
- MWC19: SEAT partners with IBM to 'revolutionise urban mobility' with artificial intelligence
- Read the latest issue of Manufacturing Global here
VW is investing more than €40bn (US$45bn) within its electrification, digitalisation, mobility and autonomous driving capabilites through 2023, of which €30bn is earmarked for e-mobility alone. Electric vehicles are expected to account for approximately one quarter of the model portfolio by 2025, the company has stated.
Additionally, the company has worked alongside Microsoft to develop the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud and connected vehicle technologies. The company has recently confirmed that the ID will be the first vehicle to house the technology, and will be launched in 2020, initially in Europe.
“Digital technology is rapidly changing every aspect of the auto industry – from the manufacturing process to the car itself,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft has claimed. “Our partnership will enable Volkswagen to deliver new Azure-based connected vehicle services that accelerate the company’s transformation into a software-driven mobility provider and define the future of mobility for people everywhere.” The companies are also working together to develop lighthouse projects for connected vehicles.
“The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud will be the global technological backbone of our digital ecosystem,” noted Christian Senger, Head of Digital Car & Services at Volkswagen. “At the same time, we will be launching a new, high-performance software architecture in our vehicles. This will lay all the foundations required for the full networking of our vehicle fleet and for the development of digital added-value services for our customers. Our goal is the customer experience for customers in their own vehicles and beyond.”
Hexagon Revolutionises Manufacturing Design Process
A global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, Hexagon recently announced that complex CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations can now be completed with the help of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku. Before this breakthrough, CFD simulations were far too expensive and time-consuming to run. Now, however, engineers can use these high-detail simulations to explore new ideas, iterate their designs, and optimise next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing.
Thanks to Hexagon, manufacturers can now analyse what they’re up against before starting their build process—with one-third the energy use of traditional simulations and a fraction of the cost. This is only the latest step in Hexagon’s mission to use design and engineering data to speed up smart manufacturing. As the company wrote: ‘The idea of putting data to work is part of Hexagon’s DNA’.
What Are CFD Simulations?
Simply put, they’re simulations so complex and powerful that engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours simplifying their designs. 90% of an engineer’s time can centre around this task—but not with Fugaku-powered simulations. Now, original designs can be fed into the simulation software, reaching a much closer approximation of reality.
With the ARM-powered Fugaku supercomputer, Hexagon’s Cradle CFD clients can now reduce simulation cost, conserve valuable energy, and integrate high-detail simulations into their daily operations. At a time when the automotive and aerospace industries are racing to bring safe and sustainable transport options to market, in fact, CFD simulations could be the key to success.
How Does CFD Change the Game?
As auto manufacturers transition to electric vehicles, they must understand how design adjustments will affect the vehicle in real-time. Instead of physically iterating their blueprints, they’d rather work it out in theory. With CFD, engineers can now pre-test critical safety, performance, and longevity features—for example, how aerodynamics will interact with energy efficiency, or how thermal management will operate under a range of parameters. Essentially, CFD simulations speed up the design process and cut down on costly mistakes.
Said Roger Assaker, President of Design & Engineering in Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division: ‘Simulation holds the key to innovations in aerospace and eMobility. Advances such as the low-power Fugaku supercomputing architecture are one of the ways we can tap into these insights without costing the Earth, and I am delighted by what our Cradle CFD team and our partners have achieved’.
How Did Testing Unfold?
- Prototyped a typical family car. This is only possible with enhanced computing power. The car model consisted of 70 million elements using 960 cores and was simulated until it reached a steady-state using the RANS equation over 1000 cycles.
- Simulated transonic compressible fluid around an aeroplane. Made up of approximately 230 million elements, the simulation used 4,000 nodes using 192,000 computing cores and relied on 48,000 processes via Message Passing Interface (MPI).
Tomohiro Irie, Hexagon’s Director of R&D for Cradle CFD, commented on the recent progress: ‘I expect that these technical developments will contribute to making the power of Fugaku more accessible for general use, bringing huge freedom and improved insights to engineering teams solving tomorrow’s problems today’.
Overall, Hexagon intends to continue driving product innovation forward, with smart manufacturing that adapts to conditions in real-time, pursues perfect quality, and optimises designs for zero waste. And there’s little doubt about it. With 20,000 employees in 50 countries, coupled with Fugaku’s supercomputing capabilities, Hexagon is uniquely poised to succeed.