Deciding On a Vehicle Type
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INTRODUCTION 1 DECIDING ON A VEHICLE TYPE 1 PRICE 1 FUEL EFFICIENCY 2 AESTHETIC APPEAL 4 ERGONOMICS OF THE INTERIOR 5 ELECTRONICS SYSTEM 7 PERFORMANCE DESIGN 10 CONCLUSION 12 INTRODUCTION Many factors influence the automotive design process. Some of these include the target price, workload intended for the vehicle, safety in crashes, aesthetic appeal in design, fuel economy or fuel efficiency, ergonomics, and mechanical design. These factors deeply affect the vehicular design procedure. This paper will travel into each of these aspects and deeper to explain why they are so influential. DECIDING ON A VEHICLE TYPE The first step in the development of an automobile is to decide what kind of vehicle it will be. A truck is most useful for construction, moving, farm work, and things of those natures. However, people employ a minivan or sedan in transporting families or taking vacations. There are sports cars, designed only to get its passengers there fast and in style. The engineers cannot even initiate more complex design phases until the car's basic style is decided, thus making it one of the most important steps in the entire process. PRICE Price appears at the same stage in development as choosing the car type. Money is a major factor in the development of any new technology or product. Not only will the price have to be suitable for the consumer, it must also be feasible to put the amount of funding required into the project. Developing a new automobile takes thousands of hours of work and millions of dollars in funding to make a reality. Companies must make sure that they are putting their millions of dollars into a worthy cause, as most concept cars never see the assembly line. Before designing the car's performance and feature list, the engineers must know in what price range the car is to be sold. Budgets have to be set, and they assist in determining the outcome of the car.
In mathematics, the letter r is used to represent confidence in an arithmetical estimation. Through extensive research, engineers have developed formulas to measure comfort. They have experimented and have found r to be as high as .638 when they asked two questions of a subject: Does this provide lower back support? Is this chair comfortable? Researchers believe that lower back support is the key to extreme comfort. Pressure should be evenly distributed and not focused on any particular region. No pressure should be put on the sciatic nerve, or discomfort will surely ensue. This pressure is diverted to other areas by the clever usage of curves in the chair and padding. This diversion also reduces blocked blood flow, leaving the user comfortable. However, simply designing a rigid yet ideal structure for the seat in an automobile is not enough, because people are naturally disproportionate to one another. Active comfort systems are being designed to conform to each person individually, rather than setting a standard in which everyone should fit. 5 ELECTRONICS SYSTEM According to Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), the electronics system accounts for more than 30% of the overall design cost for a new vehicle6. Currently, the mechanical design of automobiles is the core, but it is predicted that the electronic components will become the nucleus, and mechanical innovations will grow fewer and fewer. Some future electronic innovations projected to arrive in the automotive market are more complex power train management systems, Electronic Control Units (ECU) that control dashboard displays, and the ability to communicate wirelessly with other vehicles and road signs. Designers must take extreme care in designing such electrical systems because the more complex a system is the more room for error exists. Power and drive train and management systems currently exist and manufacturers commonly implement them. Traction control and limited slip differentials are excellent examples of such systems. In the future, ignition control systems will be used to create more efficiency in the ignition process.
Bold styling is a necessity, however because of the key word to all industry-progression. The interior must be both electronically tuned and comfortable to be in. Safety is of great concern here, and airbags should be installed. There should be as low as possible of a chance of fire due to electrical failure, and electrical engineers are responsible for assuring this. All new vehicles must be able to perform well and travel along the roads without slowing down the rest of the traffic flow. Certain vehicles are designed to perform, while others are designed to be as simple as possible while still meeting all standards and codes set by the government. The automobile industry is a vastly complex and ever changing one. New technologies are being developed constantly that can change the industry's outlook on the future. It is factual that any industry cannot survive if it does not continually progress and adapt to the changing markets and desires of its patrons. New software is developed to more accurately model and simulate situations that will occur in automobiles. Technologies in this field have become so advanced that the need for real-world prototyping is almost eliminated. Now, the prototypes are merely displays for the public to catch a glimpse of the future of transportation; all the real work is done virtually. From wind tunnels to test tracks, the automotive design process is one that encompasses many varying disciplines and each field must work together to create a final product that is desirable, functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing to its consumers. 1 Eric W. Weisstein. Eric Weisstein's World of Physics. "Drag Coefficient". <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/DragCoefficient.html> 2 A. Harper. UWAL: Kirsten Wind Tunnel. < http://www.aa.washington.edu/uwal/uwal.html> 3 Robert Bamberger. Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards. <http://www.policyalmanac.org/environment/archive/crs_cafe_standards.shtml> 4 American Plastics Counsil/Automotive Learning Center. <http://www.plastics-car.com/s_plasticscar/> 5 Herman Miller. The Art of Pressure Distribution. <http://www.hermanmiller.com/hm/content/product/miscellaneous/pressure_distr_product_essay.pdf> 6 Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. Electronic-System Design In The Automobile Industry. <http://www-cad.eecs.berkeley.edu/Respep/Research/asves/journal2003/ASV_ieee_micro03_2.pdf> 7 Donald A. Norman. Interaction Design for Automobiles. <http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/InteractDsgnAutos.html> 8 Honda Motor Co. <http://www.hondacars.com/models/engineering.asp?ModelName=Insight> /
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