Using a cyber-physical approach in the automotive industry

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    Technologies that change the future of model-based development in the auto industry

    LATE last year, technology purveyor Toshiba introduced the concept called Model-based development (MBD), a method of testing complicated interactions among software as a simulated system using virtual recreations of mechanics.

    Today, it is becoming increasingly popular within the manufacturing sector, especially the automotive industry. Toshiba is now applying its cyber-physical systems to MBD to help organizations build transformative and sustainable solutions for cost and productivity efficiencies.

    A cyber-physical era of model-based development

    While MBD is effective in testing the efficiency of individual components, it struggles to keep pace with the interconnectivity of today’s cars following the arrival of numerous different types of electronic components and systems within the CASE (i.e. the development of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric vehicles) fields – all of which need to be able to work together.

    Toshiba’s CPS make it possible to freely connect products, components, devices, equipment, people, business processes, and more in digital space. Through this they create “digital twins” of real-world manufacturing processes in digital space, using them to perform consistent detailed simulation, product design, prototyping, and manufacturing. This effort is also aimed at creating overwhelmingly advanced manufacturing, such as manufacturing products tailored to individual customer requirements, modeling data for entire factories, and evaluating process designs, placement, and the like entirely within computers.

    Toshiba’s Distributed Co-Simulation Platform, with its cyber-physical approach, has the potential to revolutionize what can be achieved, and subsequently simplify these challenges facing automotive companies today. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are defined as those which collect real-world data and analyse it within cyber or digital environments – using technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) – before then applying the learnings back within the physical world to create added value.

    By deploying a CPS approach to MBD, Toshiba’s platform has essentially evolved this technique to a new level of large-scale simulations which connect multiple models – owned by different automakers and parts suppliers – within a single digital testing environment.

    The solution allows automakers to build a fully virtual prototype of the car, enabling them to perform the necessary verifications of today’s complex automotive control systems much earlier in the process – and in turn, significantly improve quality and productivity. Connections between different suppliers can be automated to reduce man-hours, while simulations can be executed via the cloud to reduce latency and considerably accelerate the wider verification process.

    A joint approach to techniques such as model-based development may be a first step, but as the physical and digital worlds continue to converge, we will undoubtedly see the emergence of more cyber-physical systems transform the way in which we work and live across multiple domains.

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