Autonomous Cars in the Age of Experience

By Thomas

AKKA Link&GoCustomer buying behavior is fundamentally changing. Living in mega-cities, they often have to cope with traffic congestion and pollution. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2M people throughout the world are killed in car crashes every year. Human error is to blame for at least 60% of traffic fatalities. Vehicles are, in fact, mission critical systems because of the sheer mass they move in a fairly open system.

Now, customers care more and more about aesthetic, economic, driving performance, or unlimited technology. That is why the Transportation and Mobility industry is now exploring how to deliver the optimal “experiences” to their consumers. We are on the brink of a new technological revolution: the “self-driving” vehicles.

Olivier Sappin, Transportation & Mobility VP at Dassault Systèmes, provides a quick overview of this technological breakthrough:

YouTube Preview Image

Validate Customer Experience

Autonomous driving makes it possible to create entirely new driving experiences. The industry is thinking about how autonomous cars would “move” people, and not just in the literal sense. Self-driving cars could encourage work, relaxation or conversation. Passengers will spend their time in a more meaningful way. Autonomous cars will enable you to watch TV, listen to music, text a friend, or even eat dinner… without looking at the road ahead. As today’s drivers want to connect their various mobile, entertainment and GPS devices to optimize their vehicle environment, the new era of Transportation & Mobility starts to encompass social experiences. And these advancements will also improve productivity!

Self-driving cars make it necessary to test new types of vehicle-driver interaction. Now, consumers are fast becoming more comfortable with intelligent transportation systems: automatic parking, collision-avoidance systems and telematics. As a result, consumers of all ages are surely becoming prepared psychologically to cede control of the steering wheel.

So the idea is to challenge traditional automotive design. Automobile interiors will be redesigned so that seats can swivel sideways to face other passengers instead of facing forward, and desk surfaces will be built into the cabin walls.

AKKA Link&Go Interior

New Levels of Complexity To Be Managed

Automakers are increasingly developing cars that drive themselves. Audi, BMW, GM, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo all have announced plans to “unveil” an autonomous car by 2020. But Google is further ahead in this development than traditional industry leaders (Google is to release publicly a prototype in 2016). Autonomous vehicle drive systems are electro-mechanic and driven by software. That is why the industry strives to build cars from a systems model which allows them to validate functions including electrical, software and hardware.

Connectivity within and between vehicle environment is still a huge challenge. Vehicles can collaborate, interpret data from other vehicles around them, from surroundings, with the “Internet of Things” and improved GPS technology. Thanks to sensors allowing them to drive closer together, autonomous cars will accelerate and brake more efficiently than humans, increasing fuel efficiency. These standards continue to be discussed in the Transportation and Mobility industry.

Olivier Sappin, VP Transportation and Mobility, interviews Luc Barthelemy, R&D Program Manager at AKKA Technologies about a new autonomous concept car, Link&Go.

YouTube Preview Image

Collaborate Effectively

None will do it alone. Today’s car OEMs are building new relationships with innovators in many new areas (apps, car sharing, service providers, urban transport). Transportation and Mobility suppliers are building expertise too, not only by collaborating with OEMs in innovative ways, but also by creating new networks of expertise by themselves. AKKA Technologies is a great example.

According to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), self-driving cars will account for up to 75% of cars on the road by 2040. These new vehicles and sophisticated systems management tools will speed up innovation and foster new collaborative networks in order to create new, secure and delightful autonomous driving experiences.

AKKA Link&Go 2.0

There are still many questions unanswered:

  • Why don’t we see more driverless cars in the streets?
  • Who will be faster to get autonomous cars on the road? Car manufacturers, innovative companies, government,…?
  • What is the future of self-driving cars?
  • What do you think about this revolution?

We are looking forward to your comments and suggestions!

Thomas LANDOIS is a member of the Transporation&Mobility industry team.

Art Cars in the Age of Experience

By Neno

Every year, the most famous endurance race in the world occurs two hundred kilometers southwest of Paris. It upholds the traditions of sportsmanship and the quest for performance: Le Mans 24 Hours. At its 90th anniversary last year, OAK Racing paid tribute to the long history of the event that partly runs on public roads being closed during the race. The renowned Le Mans-based team, specializing in sports prototypes, gave the green light for the creation of an “Art Car” competing in the race and at the same time promoting safety on the race track as well as on public roads.

Anne Asensio and Fernando Costa

Art uniting Ambition

Dassault Systèmes supported OAK Racing by putting its technology and knowledge at the service of design, research, education, culture, and artistic creation, becoming an ambitious player in the cultural sector. All innovation should challenge convictions, ask questions about the past and the future, and step aside from well-trodden paths: that’s why DS partners with artists, for whom questioning and innovation is a driving force.

It was therefore a meeting of minds when Jacques Nicolet, owner of the OAK Racing team approached Dassault Systèmes’ Design Studio for a fascinating project, joining forces with an artist passionate about motor sport, endurance, and especially the Le Mans 24 Hours. This trifold collaboration used design as a bridge between art and performance.

The Artist

Fernando Costa created an art masterpiece, combining the spirit of Le Mans 24 hours race and the focus on road safety. He used his favorite material, recuperated road signs, which he assembled and welded in order to transform a race car into an artistic sculpture.

Costa inserted 1,000 rivets into the carbon chassis of the OAK Racing team’s LM P2 car. Prior to becoming the basis of this art car, this chassis ran Le Mans 24 Hours four times and finished in the top three, in 2008 and 2010. So, one could say that since its inception, this artistic object has been inspired by the history of Le Mans 24 Hours.

Fernando Costa OAK racing art car

Image courtesy of DPPI

The Art Car & The 3DEXPERIENCE

Thanks to the Dassault Systèmes Design Studio, a design team incorporating design thinkers, user experience designers, 3D designers, graphic artists and engineers, the work of art was transferred to the livery of the racing LM P2. After having shot precise pictures of all the road signs composing the Art Car, the team created a flat pattern of the body. Keeping the integrity of the artist’s expression while turning it into a completely flat representation was a real challenge that required both artistic and technical expertise. This difficulty was increased by the Art Car’s curves, which added complex effects according to the perspectives and light situations. Finally, the creation of this virtual livery enabled them to produce an adhesive film with the appropriate reproduction of the sculpture to cover the LM P2’s bodywork. Hexis, a manufacturer of self-adhesive vinyl films and digital printing media for large format inkjet printing, accomplished this part of the contribution.

At the Festival Automobile International 2014, both the real Art Car and its virtual mock-up were displayed together for the first time!

A new era for car design has come

Performing design work on the OAK Racing Art Car project, Dassault Systèmes really wanted to become involved in an approach creating a relationship between Art and Technology. While respecting Costa’s original creation and the sculptural aesthetic, they supplied expertise and creativeness by producing the robe of the Art Car in 3D Mapping, which involved putting material and colors of the original work on the complex surfaces of the racing prototype. This work required a keen sense of observation as well as understanding of the volumes aligned, to sure judgment of the graphic composition and mastery of the numeric tools.

Fernando Costa and Dassault Systemes Design Studio team

Image courtesy of DPPI

As Anne Asensio, Vice President Design Experience of Dassault Systèmes, puts it: “It’s the beginning of the understanding that there’s something beyond styling and design and the collaboration between design, engineering and technology. It’s about a large ecosystem of people providing all the systems together, and Dassault Systèmes is right there.

We can enable any of those stakeholders to create industry-wide solutions. We work for the car industry to give them the best tools to get beyond beautiful cars, to cars that are smart and deliver beautiful benefits for citizens, whether they are living in the city or in the middle of nowhere.

That’s what we call the 3DEXPERIENCE. It spreads from the creative world, with the imagination to see what’s happening, to engineering, simulation and all the way to marketing and sales, and answering how to sell and connect the car to the user.”

The perspectives for the new designers’ generation

Anne Asensio added: “Future generations will get their cars directly through the internet, not the showroom, and the way they will use their car will include things like near-field technology to change their experience.

We want new designers to have this kind of mindset. The younger generation doesn’t have to worry too much; they just need to sell their talents as designers, as they have that digital background. Solutions designed by engineers are going away, to be replaced by a more application and user-friendly design. We have a new type of car designer that is not focused on delivering beautiful skin, they are after experiences and are eager to participate with the car industry.”

Whatever generation you belong to: how would you perceive this mindset change? How do you interpret Anne’s vision about focusing on the user experience as your design priority?

Smart is Beautiful, or the Aesthetics of a Connected Vehicle Experience

By Neno

At this year’s Festival de l’Automobile International (FAI), the contenders for the “Creativ’ Experience” award showed impressive new ways to bring harmony, style and passion to the interfaces of the connected, intelligent vehicle.

Scene

Festival de l'Automobile International

In the 29th edition of the renowned FAI many of today´s automotive design leaders had their latest innovations on the catwalk – in front of the magnificent scenery of the Hôtel National des Invalides in the heart of Paris.

As every year, prestigious awards were waiting to honour outstanding design achievements in categories like the most beautiful car, the most beautiful interior or for achievements for the environment.

Scope

2014 Festival de l'Automobile International - all winners on stage

Dassault Systèmes, a many-year partner of this venue, last year introduced a second “Grand Prix” award for companies doing significant research optimizing the user experience of driving an intelligent car, including the user experience of connecting with its surrounding world. Industry professionals call this approach “creative experience”.

Solutions

Anne Asensio and Pierre Marchadier on FAI 2014 stage

It should be no surprise that most contenders presented solutions around the Human-Machine-Interface. While it looks simple to get information to the car and back to the external world, we find that many user concepts today overstrain drivers who – in contrast to a smartphone user – must not be distracted from driving at any time. In that respect, all present OEMs showed impressive achievements that make functional complexity more simple and safe to use. At the same time, the user interfaces become more intuitive, aesthetic and compelling to explore. Here are some examples we saw at the FAI:

BMW i App

BMW has designed an amazing digital navigation environment integrating the smartphone and cockpit interfaces that invite drivers to discover the many new benefits from electric mobility, and at the same time master the range limitation with multi-modal mobility solutions – that’s cool!

Nissan NISMO watch

NISSAN brings “lifeblood into the driving experience”: NISMO, a beautifully designed arm-watch integrates body data like blood pressure with vehicle information to generate entirely new statistics about driving behaviour.

Amongst such a fabulous competition, it was not an easy win for AUDI, who took the award of the “Creativ’ Experience”, yet a well deserved one for sure: Their “eKurzinfo”, which is a dynamic electronic user manual for the new A3 model, creates an unprecedented user experience: Augmented Reality is helping to discover vehicle functions with handheld devices. Users are provided with an instant and intuitive way to get to know their A3, simply using a marvelously designed app for mobile devices. The jury was impressed how AUDI realised such a smart and seamless digital continuity to ignite emotion and comfort in discovering vehicle functions. Audi A3 users for sure will appreciate this experience too.

AUDI eKurzinfo 01AUDI eKurzinfo 02
AUDI eKurzinfo 03
AUDI eKurzinfo 04

Seeking perfection

These are all brilliant achievements in a moment of time. But how can designers keep up with the ever-increasing complexity and speed of innovation? How can they match with continuously changing tastes and styles, with societal and technological influences all over the globe?

Virtualisation is a key enabler to cope with these challenges. Creating innovation by means of an immersive digital model allows designers to imagine a holistic user experience. Dynamic, three-dimensional views very close to reality help them conceive the physical and emotional outcome of their designs. Moreover, they can even invite the future users to validate the experience at very early stages, and they can incorporate the feedback from these “virtual clinic” multitudes faster than in a physical design environment.

Dassault Systemes My Car Experience - Industry Solution Experience

Dassault Systèmes has recently launched “My Car Experience”, a digital platform for designers on which they can imagine vehicles and “virtual universes” for creating mobility innovation. Along with the 3D-environment, process and data management, this collaborative platform provides capability for “social listening and collaboration”.

Seeking perfection by means of virtual universes will certainly be a key enabler for creating the future of mobility, but in my view nothing can replace some key events in the real world – like the FAI is one – when designers, their creations and the judging client meet for a unique and unrepeatable moment in life.

  • What do you think about designing the future of mobility?
  • How do you think virtual universes can help on this endeavour?

I am looking forward to your comments!  :-)

Neno HorvatNeno Horvat is a member of the Transportation&Mobility Industry team.



Page 1 of 3123
3ds.com

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.