Software giant Dassault Systèmes provides technologies and solutions for the entire product life cycle, right from engineering, designing, manufacturing to aftersales. The company has been strong on the acquisition front, through which it offers one of the largest range of solutions to customers in the development of products and components across industries. The company’s transportation & mobility business covers the entire automotive industry, which is a significant contributor to its revenue, especially in India.
In an interaction on the sidelines of Auto Expo 2018, Xavier Silhouette, Vice-President – Sales, Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes (Above) and Shree Harsha, Business Consulting Director, Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes India Pvt Ltd (Below) spoke about the company’s specialised offerings for growing electromobility, its relation to autonomous driving as well as multi-scale modelling solutions.
ELECTRO MOBILITY ACCELERATOR
Electrification of vehicles is the topmost agenda for most companies today, whether it is a traditional existing OEM or newcomers to the market, said Silhouette. What the company has done with the electromobility accelerator is to put together a unique set of technologies that enable customers to address challenges from the molecular level, up to the complete vehicle, he explained.
Dassault Systèmes’ acquisition of Accelrys, which specialises in molecular modelling and simulation, is the first step towards enabling EV developers to accelerate innovations and market their products at competitive cost and optimal quality. The solutions from Accelrys mostly address bioscience, but there is also a keen interest from players in the chemical domain to simulate the behaviour of batteries at the molecular level. This also includes the formation of dendrites on the cathode of the battery, and monitoring how the li-ion is going to behave. Secondly, through its Simulia portfolio, Dassault Systèmes offers various simulation solutions to address the atomic and fluid behaviour, which allows one to begin realistic simulation of the battery, Silhouette said. Batteries are extremely complex, with the major challenge being addressing the cooling aspects and maintaining it at optimal temperature for which there is a requirement of a set of tools that Simulia offers.
The company recently acquired CST, which provides expertise in electromagnetic simulation. When an electric car is of high intensity, it poses high-intensity magnetic effects that need to be simulated. All these technologies illustrate the fact that Dassault Systèmes is putting enough into its platform to address the future of electrification from a small precise view, right up to a more global behaviour. Silhouette noted that while most of these solutions are directed towards EV development, a lot of these innovations can also be applied to hybrid and internal combustion engine vehicles.
EV AS AN AUTONOMOUS CAR
Silhouette is of the view that it is better to have an EV as an autonomous car rather than a vehicle with IC engine, mainly from the view of maintenance and refuelling reasons. Urban environments/ cities will play a big role in the transformation of EVs into autonomous vehicles. Cities will push for electromobility by offering recharging and parking infrastructure as well as providing V2V connectivity for EVs. Since a vehicle remains idle most of the time during the day, autonomous vehicles would change the future business model of the transportation sector. Therefore, a car will autonomously pick up a person when required, and once the ride is completed it will park itself in a designated space, which could offer charging. This is the main reason why EVs will be a more viable option for autonomous driving vehicles, he reasoned.
In line with such developments, Dassault Systèmes’ system-based approach describes the car software architecture that not only helps develop EVs, but also combines development of autonomous vehicles. This also brings to the fore the electrification challenges, which is the battery, and issues concerning range, cost, weight and thermal management. The company is working on addressing these challenges, said Harsha. He added that Dassault Systèmes offers solutions through multi-dimensional and multi-scale mathematical modelling of potential physical scientific scenarios of these new research domains and provide answers.
The power of the Dassault Systèmes’ physics bench platform enables the collection of applications from various sources on one single database as well as integration of third-party software. All these data can then be put into perspective in order to manage the compromise and optimise the design, explained Silhouette. This eventually leads to what the company calls ‘performance-driven design,’ he said.
Harsha said Dassault Systèmes is helping customers design the end-user experience, rather than just the physical form, fit and function usage. This is where the element of all the core research of the company is taking place, he concluded. Offering the Indian perspective, Harsha said customers are looking at exploring new electrification domains, with battery technologies beyond lithium-ion chemistry being one of the areas. The domestic industry is also looking to increase the charging infrastructure in order to keep up with the expected growth of EVs in the market as well as to employ more environmentally-friendly charging methods.
TEXT: Naveen Arul