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  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 13OFHD0613_04
Published June 13, 2013 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Engineering in the virtual world

Every vehicle manufacturer in the transportation and equipment industries seeks reduction in development time and prototype costs. Boeing and Dassault Systèmes pioneered full vehicle modeling and design with the development of the 777 and 787 aircraft. The success of these programs demonstrates the feasibility of the approach for very complex vehicles and systems. In the long term, I believe the transportation and equipment industries will similarly migrate toward the dominant use of these techniques in vehicle development.

The topic of simulation can generate a wide variety of responses depending on who is speaking and their experience with the virtual development environment. Newcomers to the industry may rely heavily on simulation tools to defend the choices they make, while many veterans may dismiss simulation as foolhardy and dangerous until real hardware can be evaluated. The truth lies somewhere in between, and it depends entirely on the quality of the information captured in the models.