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Development of an Overall Vehicle Sizing and Packaging Tool for Autonomous Electric Buses in the Early Concept Phase
ISSN: 1946-391X, e-ISSN: 1946-3928
Published March 11, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Sethuraman, G., Schwarz, M., Maxl, S., Ongel, A. et al., "Development of an Overall Vehicle Sizing and Packaging Tool for Autonomous Electric Buses in the Early Concept Phase," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 13(1):23-42, 2020, https://doi.org/10.4271/02-13-01-0002.
The demand for autonomous electric public transport is increasing globally. The operational requirement of these autonomous vehicles differs widely. Hence, there is an increase in the demand for different vehicle sizes and configurations. This has led to a number of methods and improvements in the vehicle package development process. This article presents the development of a holistic parametric packaging tool for autonomous vehicles called Autonomous Electric Vehicle Tool (AEV tool). The tool is designed with MATLAB, and via a Graphical User Interface (GUI), the user can input parameter data, which directly adjusts a parametric Computer-Aided Design (CAD) model developed with CATIA software. The overall vehicle dimensions, as well as the size of single components, can be changed, and different topology configurations can be chosen. Moreover, it is possible to visualize the CAD models compare them with each other according to the vehicle’s specifications, such as the external dimensions and weight. The tool is able to develop vehicle concepts for 4 m to 12 m long autonomous electric buses. The developed tool is validated with respect to two autonomous electric buses and ten electric buses. The weight distribution of the major subsystems for different vehicle concepts is analyzed as well. The validation results confirm the accuracy of the assessed weight of the generated concept buses.