Transformation of the automotive industry
The modern vehicle has undergone a major transformation in our time in terms of implementing innovations. While innovations were previously driven by improvements to mechanical and electric systems, current innovations in security and comfort are made possible by electronic and software systems. These require a great deal of interdisciplinary engineering expertise during the design and development stages. The number of software-defined mechatronic systems in vehicles will increase sharply in the coming years and, in addition to improvements in energy efficiency, comfort and infotainment, will above all enable a significant increase in driving safety through new types of active systems.
Transformation of development tools
The changed requirements for vehicles and the resulting changes in development work and issues call for new development tools. Here, the lack of tools which enable human-centered safeguarding of complex systems in an early development phase is particularly apparent. Current development tools are only capable of making limited predictions about how development decisions are later experienced by the user. The Smart Hybrid Prototyping approach developed at Fraunhofer IPK and the IWF at TU Berlin closes this gap by cleverly coupling simulation, virtual reality (VR) techniques, and computer haptics. The functional drive simulator is a step towards researching and further developing this technology.
The Digital Cube Test Center can be used for a variety of application scenarios within product and process development, particularly Smart Hybrid Prototyping (using the functional drive simulator), Smart Hybrid Process Planning (functional assembly), as well as applications within the context of virtual reality using the visualization cube.