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November 2, 2020

Simulating the Future of Transportation and Mobility

Today, after many decades of incredible innovation, technological innovation is expected to rise exponentially higher than ever before. This is no prediction. Today, ARK Investment Management calls out five platforms involving more than a dozen technologies that are causing the global economy to experience the largest technological transformation

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in history: blockchain, genome sequencing, robotics, energy storage and artificial intelligence.

Estimated impact of innovation platforms on economic activity

Blockchain technology, genome sequencing, robotics, energy storage and artificial intelligence are multi-trillion-dollar platforms that are launchpads for more innovation, according to ARK Investment Management.

echnology does not advance in a vacuum. Change is driven by global urbanization trends, population growth, environmental concerns, government regulations, the threat of pandemics, a paradigm shift in working from home, the move to a zero-contact service industry and increased demand for more sustainability.

Megatrends Converge on Electric Vehicles and Autonomous Vehicles

Consumers want a safer, personalized, connected, affordable, convenient, environmentally friendly and socially responsible mobility experience. Service providers need more efficiencies of scale as they comply with environmental and regulatory standards while reinventing their business models to compete with more agile startups. These factors are driving the business cases for electric and autonomous vehicles, autonomous air taxis, micro mobility, shared mobility, high-speed magnetic levitation trains and autonomous delivery with drones. They also drive the demand for many enablement technologies, such as 5G connectivity, cybersecurity, edge computing, cloud computing, hydrogen fuel cells, solar power, energy storage/distribution and advanced manufacturing with 3D printing and robotics.

“Technology has advanced more in the last 30 years than in the previous 2000. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue.”

– Physicist Niels Bohr said this more than 50 years ago

These megatrends are putting tremendous pressure on the automotive industry to reinvent quickly and deliver differentiating mobility and transportation experiences, or risk being left behind. The industry is well aware that the differentiation will not come in the form of traditional vehicle hardware, but in the user experience. Much of that user experience is created with software and hardware that is relatively new to the automotive industry. To deliver the optimum user experience, the industry needs to innovate with advanced product design, simulation technologies and manufacturing capabilities.

This technological innovation is leading to an evolution of modern transportation systems that is one of the most critical business and societal challenges we are facing. The time for the mobility and transportation experience of the future driven by exponential innovation is here.

Digital Design and Simulation Drive Exponential Innovation

Technology platforms word bubble

Five multi-trillion dollar platforms, according to ARK Investment Management.

Digital technologies are critical aspects of exponential innovation. Transitioning from a linear thinking process to an exponential thinking process is key. For example, imagine taking 30 linear steps. You would get about 30 meters. Now, imagine taking 30 exponential steps (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.). Do you know how far you would go? In the last step alone, you would go around the world 26 times!

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil said it very well: “Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.”

The Digital Twin at the Heart of Innovation

Today it is common for engineering teams creating a digital twin of a product or system to design, simulate and verify its behavior and performance in the real world in order to find weaknesses, failure points and limitations before manufacturing.  This increases the quality, safety and durability of the physical product. If we follow the analogy of taking 30 linear steps between each design cycle of the digital twin, we will only innovate in a linear manner and take much more time to optimize the product.  We also run the danger of not testing and optimizing all the possible scenarios and boundary conditions.

In the case of developing electric and autonomous vehicles, nearly 8 billion miles of road testing and safety engineering are required to ensure delivery of safe, reliable, durable, high-quality products at scale and at lower cost. So, linear innovation technologies and processes cannot deliver the future of transportation and mobility. Compounding improvements between each design and optimization cycle of the digital twin is critical. Leveraging the right digital transformation technologies and implementing the optimal processes on the digital twin of a product or system to achieve exponential innovation is critical to developing electric and autonomous vehicles.

With Ansys simulation technologies, designers have the power to explore multiple design possibilities by simulating all the physics of the digital twin at the same time and performing parametric optimization. Using a unified simulation environment that is CAD-agnostic on an open architecture, designers execute rapid feedback loops on fewer iterations to converge on the optimal design faster and deliver exponential innovation. As a result, with Ansys solutions, the automotive industry can achieve 1,000X faster testing while simultaneously engineering for safety to exponentially innovate and decrease time to market. Ansys simulation technologies give engineers the power to simulate billions of miles of virtual driving on a digital twin, which is critical for automotive original equipment manufacturers to test, verify and certify autonomous car designs.

Delivering the Future of Mobility with Ansys Simulations

Simply put, the future of transportation and mobility cannot be delivered without simulation because engineers must be able to exponentially innovate. Companies such as Porsche, Cummins, Velodyne, GM, Red Bull Technology, CSO, Eaton, Meta System, Kodiak Robotics and Metawave are leveraging Ansys simulation solutions to innovate.

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