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CAE Simulations for Passive Safety focused on the Porsche Cayenne - the Transition to New Technologies

Simulation technologies are methods which have been traditionally applied in automotive engineering for a long time. Over the decades, enormous progress has been achieved in both, the simulation methods and the CAE-programs used. Thanks to the high efficiency levels of the current computer generation and the use of economically priced commercially available hardware such methods are being applied on a widespread basis today. Visionary concepts of the past are turning into reality. When considering the process of automotive engineering and the futuristic potential inherent in those methods, it becomes obvious that virtual automotive development still is in its infancy. This applies to the whole range of options from the coupled parallel/sequential simulation of manufacturing processes to the cross-functional simulation, including efficient management systems designed to handle the entire CAE process [1]. At the same time, the CAE model transfer between the various expert departments on the one hand and between the OEMs and the system suppliers on the other has to be optimized while developing suitable documentation- and DataMining systems [2]. What must also be mentioned is the need for continuous updating of the traditional methods in terms of numerical data and technical content. Currently, in the early phases of automotive engineering, the development activities are mostly handled in a sequential manner [3,4]. That is where the newly conceived CAD/CAE methods come in quite handy: They allow component geometries to be prepared on the basis of topologies and parameters and subsequent modifications to be implemented quite rapidly [5]. For the synergy effects of these innovative design tools to be made full use of it is necessary, however, to combine the parametric concept geometry model with mathematical optimization methods. This approach allows the inherent design potential to be fully opened up and thus the defined targets to be reached in the most optimum way [6]. Even though such numerical design strategies have already been used in certain areas, their wide-spread and consistent introduction into conceptual design is yet to come. It is with these innovative CAD/CAE strategies that the present paper is dealing.