Fuel efficiency has assumed growing importance and decreasing the weight of vehicles is one way to make them more fuel efficient. As part of its quest to make vehicles that use less fuel and are more powerful, General Motors has taken to AI. Increase in weight can affect all aspects including efficiency and performance.
GM has partnered with leading computer aided design software specialist, Autodesk to work on using the new software technology called generative design to make vehicle components lighter.
Using this technology, an engineer can feed a basic design framework into the program, along with details like the planned method of manufacturing a particular component, the parameters regarding weight and strength and the material that would be used for its construction. All these details are then transmitted to an artificial intelligence-based cloud computer, which would generate hundreds of variations of the original design.
The engineer then chooses the design that is the best fit for the project and use additive manufacturing to make conceptual prototypes. GM has used additive manufacturing techniques like 3D printing’s predecessor, electron-beam additive manufacturing for rapid prototyping for over 30 years.
According to General Motors, parts designed using this technology can help reduce weight by as much as 40 per cent while strength can increase by 20 percent more. One example that was cited was that of a skeletal seat mounting bracket which was designed by employing this technique.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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