While the concept of a digital twin has been around since the early 2000s, it’s only thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) that its time has come. It was recently named one of Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018. Simply speaking, a digital twin is a virtual model of a process or product, which is paired to the physical world. This approach allows the analysis of data and creates a wide range of new technical and commercial opportunities.
Zuken Helps French Automotive and Special Vehicle Supplier Increase Global Turnover while Maintaining Quality
Several years ago, automotive supplier EFA France realised they were expanding at a rate beyond which their current electrical design setup could manage. With plans to increase their global turnover, while maintaining the high level of quality in their products that had caused their business to prosper in the first place, they needed a new solution.
Traditionally, the automobile business spends a year or two designing a new vehicle, then another year or two building tools to produce it in high volumes. Local Motors has turned that paradigm on its head with its Olli, the self-driving, electric shuttle which is designed for use in neighborhoods, universities, corporate campuses, airports, etc.
The traditional PCB-centric design process is being replaced by a system-centric process. The system can be defined as the final product (e.g., camera) or one of the many components that comprise a product (e.g., 1 of 80 electronic control units in a car). Product complexity is driving this profound shift away from a focus on detailed design toward a systems engineering approach.
As vehicles transition to higher levels of autonomous driving, networking requirements are growing at a rapid rate. The top contender to meet these requirements is the ubiquitous Ethernet protocol which has already established a dominant position in most other industries.