The car industry is developing fast, competition is becoming more fierce by the day, and new products are released at a faster rate. This presents more and more requirements in terms of car design. These growing car design requirements challenge the car industry's existing ICT infrastructure, CAE, and other computing assisted applications, promoting the fast digital transformation of the industry.

Evolving Design of Dream Cars

Automotive designers as well as drivers fantasize about experiencing tomorrow’s “Dream Car” today. By accelerating the speed of innovation, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools shorten these daydreams by rapidly changing design approaches for the automotive industry. Designers have moved their blueprints of their ideal cars from paper to the computer screen with simulation models instead of physical ones. To envision moving these dream automobiles towards reality, digital transformations significantly reduce both design cycles and costs.

Statistics show that CAE has shortened the average development cycle of a new model by up to 50 percent, decreased the proportion of the expenses on the new model development to the total development costs from 80 percent to 90 percent to a mere 8 percent to 12 percent, and further reduced manufacturing and testing costs of the prototypes by up to 50 percent.

Challenges of Design Acceleration to ICT Infrastructure

Today’s CAD tools help to render the designer’s exterior appearance of a car, while CAE capabilities improve the auto’s performance by creating safer, more comfortable vehicles. However, the increase in simulation application modeling developed for CAE tremendously impacts both computing and storage platforms. For example, large car manufacturers may conduct tens of thousands of collision tests each year, which are mostly simulated by software, with only a few hundred tests performed on physical prototypes. Simulation alone generates dozens of or even hundreds of large exabytes (EB, or 1 billion gigabytes) of data each year. Even if only the key data is selected through data filtering, the results still produce large quantities of data measured in hundreds of terabytes.

Enable Digital Transformation of German Automotive Industry

With its strong design as well as Research and Development (R&D) teams, automotive industry in Germany has been renowned in the field of automotive design and is one of the first carmakers to implement CAD and CAE for vehicle design and simulation.

In order to use the latest technologies to visualize customers’ diverse demands in terms of vehicle appearance and performance; launch their dream cars faster than its competitors; and alleviate ICT infrastructure limitations with scalability for growing CAE simulation computations, automotive companies in Germany are now accelerating their digital transformation.

Huawei has served the world top three automotive companies of Fortune 500 in Germany by offering a customized HPC solution based on high-density computing platforms. The HPC solution provides an efficient, stable, and open ICT infrastructure platform for automotive R&D to improve productivity and shorten the design cycle. Moreover, the platform enables car makers to save energy and physical space, simplifying the operation and maintenance, substantially lowering overall costs.

This solution offers a wide range of professional, including consultation and planning, construction and deployment, migration and integration, custom development, and disaster recovery.

Open and Sustainable Automotive Ecosystem

At Munich OpenLab, Huawei is also collaborating Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the automotive ecosystem to create an open platform that combines CAE and HPC, and to jointly develop automotive R&D simulation cloud solutions. The platform provides professional optimization and recommendations by customizing parameters and application models.

In the near future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be integrated into the design of the dream car, leading to automated means of intelligent creation. Simulation and testing of automobiles will move into the realm of Virtual Reality (VR), making the process even more realistic. All efforts will bring futuristic cars into actuality sooner in ways yet to be imagined.

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