Altair ProductDesign is partnering with Edison2 to assist in the design of the new Very Light Car 4.0 (VLC 4.0), the next generation version of the lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicle entered in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in 2010. The original Edison2 vehicle, operating with a one-cylinder internal combustion engine, won the $5 million prize for the Mainstream Class. The VLC 4.0 is an all-new vehicle that will achieve improved fuel economy results by retaining the same attributes of ultra-light weight and extremely low aerodynamic drag in a four-passenger vehicle, the company says.
During the program, Altair ProductDesign will conduct a three-phase engineering study targeting suspension sensitivity, vehicle impact strategy and structural optimization. To facilitate the vehicle's development, Altair will provide computer-aided engineering optimization and crash-safety engineers, multi-body dynamics engineers, subject-matter experts and senior technical specialists. They will assist the Edison2 team in executing each of the study's three phases and accelerating the development of the prototype for the VLC 4.0.
"Our engineers will focus on using optimization in the beginning of the design process to anticipate structural loading requirements with a minimum mass structure," said Mike Heskitt, COO of Altair ProductDesign. "We will be identifying the critical load paths in the design space, brainstorming concept design solutions and using detailed optimization to refine those solutions for a minimum mass footprint."
Other aspects of Altair's work with the Edison2 team will analyze ride and handling, steering sensitivity and noise-vibration-harshness (NVH).
"Altair's HyperWorks simulation suite will be used to validate Edison2's novel suspension concept for the type of performance expected on a passenger car," said Heskitt. "Multiple attributes will be optimized for the tradeoffs typically encountered in suspension design."
For more information, visit Altair.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.