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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Trends that strengthen the safety and emission game
Trends that strengthen the safety and emission game
Shift towards environment-friendly mobility solutions
Growth of automobile industry expected to generate huge demand
Consumers are stressing on safety more than ever, and this has caused manufacturers to design cars that utilise high end technologies to increase safety. Rafiq Somani explains one such technology that is helping to match these standards is simulation technology.
The Indian automotive industry is the fourth largest in the world and growing at 9.5 per cent year-on-year with a total of 25 million vehicles being sold by the end of March 2018. As the sale is increasing, so are the problems related to safety and emissions. In 2018, close to 0.15 million people died as against 0.09 million in 2005 in road accidents. Emission levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased by 40 per cent as against 2010. Governments around the world have been regulating the safety and emission of vehicles and the Indian government is no different. It has come out with regulations to mandate makers to manufacture cars with the highest safety standards. Starting 2020, the emission norms will be made more stringent to BS-VI. Citizens’ concerns regarding pollution and increased emphasis on safety is playing a significant role in decision making in buying.
This has mandated all the automotive car manufacturers to design cars that utilise high end technologies to reduce emission and increase safety. Automotive companies are using innovation and revolutionary design methodology to ensure these standards are met and software simulation is playing a critical role in making this happen. Simulation technology is not only helping in designing sophisticated systems but also in innovating disruptive technologies to help improve consumer perception and experience, as well as deliver the objectives of auto companies.
Key technologies enhancing vehicle safety standards
India is slated to have one of the most stringent safety norms by 2023 for cars. Advanced safety features are no longer confined to luxury vehicles. Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) is now mandatory for two wheelers (above 125 CC) from April 2019, while all new cars have been asked to provide pedestrian safety features. The government is now exploring to have dual air bags as a mandate for cars as well. Most of the safety features will be on par with developed countries and some will even surpass it. Recently, one of the largest auto companies in India was able to achieve five star NCAP rating for its car.
The biggest challenge in achieving enhanced safety features is delivering it at an affordable price point. Though many car manufacturers have the technology, pushing this to the compact car and price sensitive sedan segment will be a challenge. While the vehicles are loaded with safety enhancing technologies, the auto makers must also maintain the weight of the vehicle in order to achieve fuel efficiency standards. Auto manufacturers are heavily relying on computer simulation technology providers to help them assess and optimise at the early stages of design. These technologies allow deeper understanding of sub-systems behaviour that impact the overall performance of the vehicle. Development of many promising technologies for safety enhancement could not have been possible without computer simulation.
Below are the key technologies that would improve safety:
Electronic Stability Control (ESC): ESC provides improved car control when negotiating corners and slippery surfaces, and can apply brakes on individual wheels and regulate engine power to help the driver gain control of the vehicle. The system reacts in milliseconds when it determines that the vehicle is not moving in the intended direction. The entire functioning of ESC components and its performance (both at individual and at system level) can be monitored through simulation. The mechatronic system simulation will provide insights on how ESC will perform in the field, helping controller designers to refine and optimise the control strategies on digital models built and run on computers without building physical prototypes. Designers can expect significant design time and cost reduction.
Adaptive cruise control (ACC): This technology uses sensors and radar to lock onto the car ahead, thus maintaining a safe distance by automatically controlling the throttle and thereby the speed and is mostly used by drivers for long highway driving. Electromagnetic simulation of radars enables engineers to package radar on the car fascia in most optimum location to improve the field of view of radar to identify static and dynamic objects nearing the vehicle. The radar signature obtained using simulation helps in designing better perception algorithm for adaptive cruise control system. Doing this physically will require significant time, effort and cost and still not provide a holistic picture of the behaviour of the ACC. High frequency electromagnetic simulation will allow a faster assessment and larger number of scenarios to design reliable and consistently performing components.
Lane departure warning: This technology will signal the driver if he leaves the lane. Automatic realignment with the lane is also done.
Safety exit assist: This feature is aimed at ensuring safety while traveling with children. It temporarily stops them from opening the door if there is a vehicle approaching from behind.
All the technologies mentioned above rely on electromagnetic, optical i.e camera, lidar and ultrasonic sensor technologies and mechatronics for reliable functioning. Digital simulation will allow designers to try out several scenarios during the design stages thus getting your product to the market faster and at reduced cost, and providing the end user with the most reliable and consistent performance. Physics-based simulation software can predict the design performance, packaging requirements and in-drive real-time performance of these sensors very accurately without physical prototypes.
Emission standards disrupting the automotive industry
India’s leap frogging from BS-IV to BS-VI requires significant investments by auto and oil refining companies. For diesel engines, there is significant reduction in the NOx limit (0.25 to 0.06 g/km), in HC + NOx (0.30 to 0.17 g/km) and PM (0.025 to 0.005 g/km). To meet the BS-VI norms, the auto industry is adopting 3-stage strategies:
Pre-combustion: For efficient after-treatment, fuel must have very low sulphur content. The oil marketing companies will have to ensure that this is available across locations.
During combustion: To improve combustion efficiency for diesel engines, higher fuel injection pressures are used. The pressure is minimum 200 MPa and it not only improves combustion but also helps maintain higher power output. Along with the increased fuel pressure, electronically varied injection rate and time is also employed to optimise emissions along with fuel efficiency.
Post-combustion: A range of after-treatment technologies are used for reducing emissions. Technologies such as Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) are employed.
Auto companies around the world have been using software simulation tools to deliver on design changes to meet the emission targets faster and at a reduced cost. Complex models work in real time, thus enabling understanding of physics, chemistry, fuel effects, combustion chamber design and mechanical effects (such as stress, fatigue, vibrations, etc.) over a cycle of IC engine. At times, physical testing will not reveal the complexities in the process used to meet the evolved emission standards.
Electric Vehicle (EV) is the future
While the auto makers do have technologies for meeting BS-VI, this will be available only at an increased cost. Simultaneously, cost for electric vehicles is reducing and owning EVs will become affordable. Plans are afoot to develop charging infrastructure. The future, both from the point of meeting emission targets and maintaining affordable cost, is the electric vehicle. Battery costs have reduced drastically while the range of battery has increased thanks to innovation in material, battery packaging and charging technologies. Popularity of EVs is already seen based on the growth in the number of two wheelers being sold. The government is laying emphasis in speeding up EV adoption by providing a range of incentives. Indian automakers have developed a plan to launch EVs and a few have already delivered. EVs will use significant level of simulation software to design electronic, electro-mechanical and electro-chemical components such as motors, power electronics, fast charging systems, energy storage systems such as batteries and fuel cells.
In the absence of noise generating engine in the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), the focus of noise will be now on electric motors. The noise generation of EM is a complex phenomenon involving interaction of mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic behaviour. Deep understanding of this phenomenon requires multiphysics approach to software simulation. Simulation tools provide easy, accurate and faster means to design efficient and low noise generating EM. At the same time due to absence of noise masking due to IC engines, other noise sources such as wind noise, tyre-road interaction noise, climate control blower noise becomes very prominent and digital verification of such noise sources allows engineers to discover new noise attenuation strategies.
Design of battery pack requires deep understanding of electro-chemistry, electro-thermal interaction, vibration and its impact on the performance of battery packs. To ensure optimisation of space for EV battery, the designers will have to consider these complexities to arrive at the final design. Focusing on any one aspect will result into compromising other parameters which will ultimately affect the performance of the battery. Simulation software tools provide easy, accurate, reliable and consistent methodology to help designers develop a high performing battery pack within limited space.
Regulations around safety and emission are being made stringent around the world. Safety and emission are no longer a choice. These issues are socially so relevant that even the highest court in few cases had been involved in directing policies and guidelines to the government. Competitive pressure to roll out new models faster and cheaper require a completely disruptive approach to product developments. Simulation software technology promises to not only help product design and development objectives of auto companies but also aid them in innovating futuristic technologies. Simulation software technology will not only be delivering on the objectives of auto companies but will also impact the life of consumers, delivering on products that are less polluting.
Rafiq Somani is the Area Vice President – India and South Asia Pacific at ANSYS, Inc. In this role Somani is responsible for driving growth of ANSYS development across key verticals such as automotive, industrial, aerospace and defense, consumer, infrastructure to name a few. Prior to ANSYS India, he was with PTC as the Country Sales Manager since 1996. Before that, Somani served for three years with Tata Consultancy Services and Minicomp Computers for two years. He is very passionate about working towards social causes and was the Chairman of the ‘Aga Khan Education Service-India’, an AKDN NGO agency. Somani attended Bombay University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He also holds a Masters in Marketing Management from Bombay University.
Safety And Emission Game
National Capital Region
Anti Lock Braking
Electronic Stability Control
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Control System
Internal Combustion Engine
Fast Charging Systems
Energy Storage Systems
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