Automotive 4.0: What are the challenges?

Andrew Sparrow
7 min readMar 8, 2020


4IR Vehicles & Collaborative Design with 3DEXPERIENCE

Automotive 4.0 brings huge design challenges, demanding collaboration at unprecedented levels.

The writing is on the wall for the Internal Combustion Engine vehicles. For yet another year, sales are down! Despite a dip in US EV sales last year, we’re seeing a turnaround this year, combined with Europe’s surge as now the largest market in the world.

It looks like the EV market share is finally set to break through the 10% ceiling and thus start to “kill-off” the EV cycnics

Today, we’re looking at the sustainability of the EV thinking, while at the same time balancing long-term the consumer’s demand for smarter and more personalized cars and their design and manufacture, through the use of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

Is this the right way to go?

Many see the take-up of EVs as a great development in removing greenhouse gases from the environment. Not all of the criticisms that I’ve heard may be fair as the carbon debt associated with EVs or battery manufacture may be high, but, it is countered unequivocally if we use green power!

That’s a good start, however it doesn’t cover it all as it won’t reduce road congestion, along with the need for more roads and for more parking space.

However recent research suggested that as part of a wider program of technical fixes and demand reduction in all transport sectors (including aviation), EVs could help reduce transport emissions by around 25% by 2050. This percentage would rise to 50% if lifestyle changes are also made.

Automotive 4.0

Enter the advanced Automotive 4.0 sector, with first up:

The Subscription Vehicle

While not immediately apparent how this helps the environmental challenges, given the propensity of people to want to use a car, regardless of whether we own or subscribe, there are other interesting factors in play:

Shared cars tend to be smaller and newer than those typically seen on the roads today. Newer vehicles are more fuel efficient, reflecting technological upgrades, plus car services allowing people to select the car appropriate for their journey: a two-seater for a quick jaunt to the beach, but an SUV for a family weekend trip.

A twist on the typical car-sharing service has been catching on in Chicago, capitalizing on the fact that vehicles sit idle about 95% of the day, on average. Gataround, a peer-to-peer car sharing service that calls itself an AirBnB on wheels. So what? Well it means, we buy less vehicle and take up less environmentally damaging ‘on grade’ parking space!

The Autonomous Vehicle

Self-driving vehicles will free up time spent in traffic or searching for parking spaces. They’ll boost productivity, increase fuel efficiency and eliminate many traffic snarls. Think of all the other things you can do in the car if you’re not focused on driving. Self-driving technology will unlock new sources of productivity and generate new avenues for economic growth, particularly for the 20–30 million Americans who are kept off the roads due to physical disability.

Self-driving vehicles will grant new independence to these individuals, giving them the ability to enter the workforce and contribute to their local economies and societies and the freedom to travel to work, medical appointments, community events and family gatherings.

Self-driving vehicles will change the nature of our cities. We will likely need fewer parking spaces, and may be less likely to purchase cars. Today, most cars sit unused 95% of the time.

So, for me, let’s have a subscription based Autonomous Electric Vehicle, using sustainable energy and I’ll be happy!

Automotive 4.0: Design challenges

However, When autonomous driving goes mainstream, our entire infrastructure will change, from smart roads that will include smart charging.

With EVs well underway, let’s take a look at some of the design challenges with AVs. Of course, AVs come with their most critical of challenges being Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning — we’re all hearing about those things, however some of the other unique design challenges that hinder the commercial viability that we need to consider include:

All weather sensors

All weather sensor design of the Lidars, Radars, Cameras and Multi-sensory fusion boxes, all of which need to maintain cost-efficiencies. Bringing down their size to maintain their cost, comes with tremendous thermal challenges. It’s here thermal behavioral simulation allows hardware engineers to achieve the desired size and location.

In addition the multi-sensory fusion boxes are one of the greatest challenges in respect of their thirsty power demands on the always under pressure EV batteries to reduce in size. It’s expected the AVs will reduce battery distance by at least 10%

Integration & Powertrains

Lastly, AVs demand Drive-by-Wire technology that essentially mean full electrification of what was previously handled by cables and hydraulics, including the brakes, steering & fuel. Integration and e-powertrains providing the infrastructure for the new AV way of operating, while again putting pressure on battery life and in this case potentially passenger comfort.

Think of us passengers, no longer driving but instead demanding more infotainments — yes, more needed out of that battery!

3DEXPERIENCE collaborative design

Everyone need to rethink as everything will need to be connected, therefore can’t be designed any longer in isolation

Collaboration is everything!

There remain some fundamentals, some core competencies in realizing Electric Autonomous Vehicles:

Data — there’s going to be huge amount coming your way and from every corner of the vehicle and from the smart roads and infrastructure.

Ecosystem collaboration — with ever evolving technology, you’ll need to be ready to bring in your suppliers transparently to create a fast and dynamic collaborative design environment

Financially ready — the shift in reliance toward emerging technoliges such as battery power and in fact with with the majority of the cost sitting within the electrics, it’s something you’ll need to be ready for

It’s all in the CX — we’re in an era of customer’s expecting so much more from their vehicles, not dissimilar that that of their other devices. In other words, regular upgrades, personalization and a total ownership experience. Software is the primary solution.

A ready, willing and able workforce — a new customer, demanding a new product demands new ways of working and skills.

Pulling it all together through a collaborative real-time platform, with the best of breed 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

By bringing more agility into established processes, automotive manufacturers and suppliers can manage fast evolving technologies to answer quicker to new customers expectations on connectivity and services. With the assurance that industry standards for safety and embedded systems are fulfilled, you can re-focus your team on strategic new vehicle innovations. Automotive manufacturers and suppliers need more agility in their established processes to manage fast evolving technology and to answer quicker to new customers expectations on connectivity and services.

Automotive 4.0: Exciting times ahead

It’s not the first time i’ve said it and it won’t be the last, but I’ll be fighting my way to 1st line for the AV, but we have a way to go. My plan over the coming weeks and months will be the charging around California to explore the ongoing advancements of Automotive 4.0

I can’t wait

Best wishes, Andrew

I drive Product Innovation & Optimization projects for companies using cutting-edge tech & software solutions to keep them at the forefront of the customer-centric 4IR

I blog, vlog & podcast passionately about our need to innovate & thrive, about managing the product lifecycle (PLM) & ever improving smarter manufacturing (MES/MOM/Digital Manufacturing). I love working with the solution vendors, the large consultancies & system integrators & helping them promote themselves & best practice, while at the same time helping deliver great projects through my networks

I love & thrive in working with some of the world’s largest companies such as Airbus, Capgemini, Dassault Systemes, Ericsson, JLR, TOTAL, Siemens, Sony, Subsea7 & Unilever, to name a few

I’m a big people-person & have spent my life meeting as many people & cultures as I can. At my last count, I am lucky enough to have visited & done business in over 55 countries

supporting you in your collaborative journey with the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

#PLM #Cloud #Cloudplm #3dexperience #enovia #catia #solidworks #DELMIA #MES #MOM



Andrew Sparrow

Engineering & Implementation Resources/Solutions in Product Lifecycle & Smart Manufacturing - Shows, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts for the Future World