Autonomous vehicles promise to capture a growing segment of the automobile market over the coming decade, as technology continues to advance and consumer acceptance of the option grows.
In fact, 80% of consumers report that they anticipate riding in an autonomous car in their lifetimes, with nearly as many as 76% noting that they would also feel comfortable riding in an autonomous airplane, train, or boat.
The hurdles and what simulation technology offers
Companies intending to capitalize on these high-potential opportunities find, however, a number of serious and significant hurdles, such as:
- Autonomous vehicles would have to be driven billions of miles to demonstrate their safety across the myriad scenarios encountered on a journey.
- The modern car’s 100 million lines of software code would need to increase 1,000 times to be fully autonomous. Many of these would be safety-critical, as well.
- The costs of software validation need to be reduced drastically to make autonomous vehicle commercialization viable.
- Over 45%of vehicles sold by 2030 will be highly automated, placing intense pressure on vehicle makers to develop this technology.
Additional critical engineering challenges like defining the autonomy system, developing the appropriate hardware and software, and validating the system make the climb to market dominance all the more daunting.
But perhaps the most demanding consideration of all, when developing an autonomous vehicle, is ensuring the safety of users.
Simulation technology offers an attractive resource to test all aspects of autonomous vehicle development — and it can achieve this key objective cost-effectively, accurately, quickly, and best of all, safely.
One of the world’s leading providers of software solutions, Ansys, meets this challenge by presenting a two-pronged approach based on "Safety by Design" and "Safety by Validation".
What can engineers using Ansys simulation benefit from?
Ansys Autonomy provides a high-fidelity multiphysics simulation solution from the component to the system, including:
- Automatic generation of safety-certified embedded software and functional safety analysis.
- An open environment for optimization, simulation data and process management, workflow customization, access to the cloud, and high-performance capacity.
- Support of third-party integration for deployment across the enterprise.
Under the "Safety by Design" heading, engineers using Ansys simulation benefit from:
- Autonomy System Definition — encompassing safety and security, as well as requirements and architecture.
- Autonomy Hardware Development — to include sensors, electronics, HMIs (Human Machine Interface), and vehicle platform.
- Autonomy Software Development — comprising perception and localization, planning control features, supplemental software, and software integration.
The “Safety by Validation” approach from Ansys brings testing strategy, modeling, SiL (Software-in-the-Loop) simulation, HiL (Hardware-in-the-Loop)/DiL (Driver-in-the-Loop)/ViL (Vehicle-in-the-Loop) simulation, and result analytics under a single program to benefit the work of design engineers.
High-profile companies going for the simulation approach
By centering its simulation approach on the key factor of safety as it applies to the development of autonomous vehicles, Ansys has helped a number of high-profile companies advance their progress toward market acceptance.
"Virtual prototyping and massive simulation are key to ensuring safe autonomous vehicles," said Olivier Colmard, Vice President Engineering — Integrated CAE & PLM at Renault. "Renault teams can design, simulate, and test autonomous driving systems and validate automotive safety with millions of driving scenarios while leveraging the same platform across the development cycle. This agreement will accelerate the worldwide adoption … through the new Ansys solution to reduce physical testing, shorten time-to-market, and ensure safety."
In another example, Ansys simulation assists SkyAngels in developing computational intelligence to autonomous aerial vehicles, aimed at navigating in non-segregated airspace in a predetermined certification path.
This represents software engineering challenges related to adaptability and learning requirements specification and verification, algorithms convergence, deterministic behavior, absence of emergent comportments, and resistance to cyberattacks.
Ansys simulation tools serve as a certified source code generator, avionic systems model, as well as safety and cybersecurity analysis.
How can Ansys medini help engineers?
Ansys medini analyze, which is a software toolset supporting safety analysis for electronically-controlled safety-related functions, has also helped project teams at ZF Group deliver products required by functional safety standards for the worldwide automotive industry, such as ISO 26262.
"Ansys medini analyze has streamlined and accelerated functional safety analysis for hardware, software, and systems — delivering possible efficiencies including an up to 50% reduction in the time devoted to these tasks," said Kamil Svancara, the firm's Cyber Security Manager.
Leading the future of autonomous vehicles
Autonomous vehicles could boost the global economy by $7 trillion, significantly reducing traffic accidents and saving more than 600,000 lives annually. Before that, however, autonomous vehicles must first survive rigorous testing in complex driving environments, traversing billions of miles of multiple road conditions and weather scenarios.
BMW Group is leveraging Ansys' broad engineering simulation solutions and experience to speed up the development of a safety-focused solution for the validation of autonomous driving systems. Simulation greatly reduces the need for physical testing and will help bring safe automated vehicles to the highways in a fraction of the time.
Skoda, a car brand of the Volkswagen Group, validates the robustness of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) functions through a physics-based HiL camera simulation from Ansys.
Simulation tools allow the generation of raw data injected in real-time to the camera, allowing for a wide spectrum of testing in varying conditions. The high-fidelity simulation provides the infrastructure for scalable testing and automated reporting.
In one example, a virtual night drive on a country track demonstrates how high-beam assist functionality is tested and validated.
Again, with safety of paramount concern, the addition of thermal cameras can improve how autonomous vehicles detect objects and pedestrians in adverse weather and lighting conditions, as well as improve performance in everyday daylight scenarios.
In collaboration with Ansys, FLIR, a company specializing in the production of thermal imaging cameras, has conducted preliminary tests to demonstrate how thermal cameras improve automatic emergency braking, especially in low-light and dark conditions. FLIR is taking steps to improve upon this work by fusing visible, thermal, and radar sensors to achieve superior braking performance.
Offering "Safety by Design" and "Safety by Validation", simulation solutions from Ansys can help any company move confidently into the enormous potential represented by the ready-to-explode autonomous vehicle marketplace.
For more details, download the Ansys new eBook, ADAS & Autonomous eBook.