Design and engineering world are changing fast these days. 20 years ago, the objective of CAD and other engineering software vendors was to replace “drafting board”. Then analysis, simulations and digital mockup came to place. It allowed to model and optimize some of the product development and manufacturing stages such as physical testing, clash analyzes and others.
However, technology is not standing still. I can see more technologies applied actually in the world of real physical products. We can track manufactured items with RFID devices, airplanes, cars and other transportation tools are equipped with many devices that can track and control behavior of products during their real physical life. I wanted to bring some interesting examples. Earlier I posted about Google self-driving cars. A month ago, Nevada DMV issued first registration to test Google self-driving cars on public streets. The following pictures shows what “driverless car” can see.
One more example. Earlier this week, I learned about research Ford project focusing on connection between car and driver. Navigate to the following link – Ford’s Effort to Design a Car That Knows When You’re Stressed. In a nutshell, Ford is trying to capture biometry from car driver and apply it to car behavior. One of the most fascinating is “don’t disturb” feature. Here is my favorite passage:
Ford is researching ways to make the car more aware of how the driver is feeling and when they might need some sort of assistance. In the case of the ill-timed phone call, a driver-aware car could switch a connected phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode for a minute or so, until things even out and it’s safer to answer a call (hands free, of course).
Another example is actually coming from the opposite side – modeling and simulation. I was reading Kenneth Wong Virtual Desktop blog – Driven by Software: Dassault Systemes Launches Smart, Safe & Connected Car. Kenneth is talking about last announcement of DS related to development of embedded software systems for cars. Dassault is not planning to develop cars. According to the article, DS software is making early vehicle validation.
Dassault Systemes’ solution is a collection of “applications implemented in a modular approach and focused on early virtual vehicle validation.” In the company’s own words, it’s a “new transportation & mobility solution experience for embedded systems.”
The following video of Dimola- Dynamic model behavior and simulation demonstrate some of the ideas.
These are only two examples, but there are many more evidence about applying modeling algorithms and software allowing to control the behavior of cars and other manufactured products – BMW autonomous driving system, “intelligent co-pilot” for drivers developed by MIT PhD student and other examples.
What is my conclusion? The connection between virtual and physical experience is one of the fields that will drive lots of innovations in a near future. To be able to model physical behavior at the stage of design connected with the ability to control physical device can be an interesting field to explore. Just my thoughts…