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GM is making the Hummer EV in record time. Here's how
CNN Business
By Peter Valdes-Dapena
November 21, 2020

As a general rule, the process of designing and making a mainstream car has typically taken about five years. With only a year to go before production is expected to start, GM is only now starting to build fully working prototypes of the electric truck.

But GM executives don't seem too concerned. This is not a matter of last-minute scrambling, GM executives say, but part of an overall shortened time frame for the entire vehicle development process. In the case of GM's new 1,000-horsepower Hummer EV, engineers say they have cut the time down to just two years.

As a result, the company claims to be saving about $1.5 billion annually in company-wide product development costs compared to just a few years ago. That amount is part of a targeted $4.5 billion in overall cost savings GM had previously announced.

The techniques and technologies GM is using to cut development and production costs aren't unique to the company. But it shows how new technologies, such as virtual product testing and hardware-in-the-loop tests, which mixes computers and machines, are speeding up what had long been a slow and expensive process.

But computing power will also play a huge part in the Hummer's quick turnaround. And it's something that impacts all modern vehicle development -- electric or not. Not all vehicle design programs will be as short as the Hummer's, but they can be shorter, according to GM engineers.

Engineers and designers can now design parts virtually before they actually have to produce them. That way they can see how reshaping the piece or making it from different materials would effect performance and weight without having to actually make it first.
*Full Article at Link
 

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Engineers and designers can now design parts virtually before they actually have to produce them. That way they can see how reshaping the piece or making it from different materials would effect performance and weight without having to actually make it first.
This is exactly how the aerospace industry has been designing spacecraft for decades. And the auto industry is finally catching on.
 

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Interesting; having much of our lives being thrown into the "virtual world" I hope "virtual product testing" has better results than some of the other "virtual" experiences I've been a part of over the past 9 months.

Having said that, on the surface I know what our product team is currently having to overcome; decreasing timelines in the current environment seems suspect.
 

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This is exactly how the aerospace industry has been designing spacecraft for decades. And the auto industry is finally catching on.
Any insights as to why it took so long? Was the needed computing power to expensive? Meaning it was worth it for a $50 million airplane but was to much added cost for a $30k car?
 

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I think it comes down to legacy forms of engineering. Since ICE cars have been basically the same for nearly 100+ years.

We are now seeing a MAJOR paradigm shift across the board.

I think that even Tesla still has a foot in the Old World ways if engineering.
 

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This is exactly how the aerospace industry has been designing spacecraft for decades. And the auto industry is finally catching on.

Any insights as to why it took so long? Was the needed computing power to expensive? Meaning it was worth it for a $50 million airplane but was to much added cost for a $30k car?
I can't speak for the aerospace industry, but much of the auto-industry "Research & Design" is done outside the walls of GM.

GM wants to pay $4.00 for a part that "costs" the supplier $4.20, the suppliers struggle to cut $0.21 so they can make a penny per part.

As computing power increases and software become more accessible/affordable it does get implemented, but auto manufacturers (assemblers) like GM, don't want to pay for it, up-front or in the piece price, until they absolutely have too.

So, they are doing a majority of validation virtually, I hope to see those mules out and about soon
I'm seeing them all over town, "virtually" of course! :cool:
 

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It's didn't commonly take 5 years to develop a new vehicle. I've seen clay variants photographed in April of Year A, and production cars rolling off the line 16 months later at GM in the past.
Yea; I realize there's a LOT more components and pieces now, just saying.
 

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Its misleading to claim that its taking less time, since the development work has already been done to develop major vehicle sub systems such as propulsion, batteries, software architecture, thermal management systems etc.
Essentially they are speaking of vehicle systems integration as the 'development cycle'
 

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I can't speak for the aerospace industry, but much of the auto-industry "Research & Design" is done outside the walls of GM.

GM wants to pay $4.00 for a part that "costs" the supplier $4.20, the suppliers struggle to cut $0.21 so they can make a penny per part.

As computing power increases and software become more accessible/affordable it does get implemented, but auto manufacturers (assemblers) like GM, don't want to pay for it, up-front or in the piece price, until they absolutely have too.



I'm seeing them all over town, "virtually" of course! :cool:
Great virtual vision there Ed
 

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It's didn't commonly take 5 years to develop a new vehicle. I've seen clay variants photographed in April of Year A, and production cars rolling off the line 16 months later at GM in the past.
Yea; I realize there's a LOT more components and pieces now, just saying.
Its misleading to claim that its taking less time, since the development work has already been done to develop major vehicle sub systems such as propulsion, batteries, software architecture, thermal management systems etc.
Essentially they are speaking of vehicle systems integration as the 'development cycle'
If a "universal" EV-Skateboard Platform is used, you are essentially only designing the top of the car, we shall see how it pans out.
 

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If a "universal" EV-Skateboard Platform is used, you are essentially only designing the top of the car, we shall see how it pans out.
With Ultium, there is no 'universal skateboard Volkswagens MQB' like ... there is Universal pouches, how they come together in the 'chassis' is how the vehicle integration team wants them to and how they want to integrate thermal management of their pack.
Its a perfect environment for inhouse brands competition if mother would allow it.

The freedom to lengthen, shorten, double pack or even triple pack cells is enabled by wireless cell management, therefore, there is no restrictions to pack size based on pack architecture restrictions.

I tell you, Ultium is crazy.. advanced, and people are not getting it.. yet....
 

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Thanks, my vision is virtually 20/20 or is it 2020!? :think:
I got 20/20 vision "yet I'm walkin' 'round blind"
 

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They just finally learned to cut out all the bureaucratic B.S. That shaved 3 years off the dev lifecycle.
 

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It's not the physical design that is going to take the longest to go from concept to full production - GM knows how to make control arms for trucks.

It's going to be the lines of code their software engineers are going to have to program into the vast computers that will operate the truck. If you saw Doug DeMuro's review of it, GM is leaping into the future with this. Not, like, 2 or 3 generations, but I don't know, 10-20? Yes, this is going to be a whole new thing.

If you haven't seen his video on it, you need to check it out:
 

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It's not the physical design that is going to take the longest to go from concept to full production - GM knows how to make control arms for trucks.

It's going to be the lines of code their software engineers are going to have to program into the vast computers that will operate the truck. If you saw Doug DeMuro's review of it, GM is leaping into the future with this. Not, like, 2 or 3 generations, but I don't know, 10-20? Yes, this is going to be a whole new thing.

If you haven't seen his video on it, you need to check it out:
Got my first software update on my car a week or so ago! Kind of scary when you think about it - I just got an update on my iPhone and iWatch, now the activity app isn't properly synching up my workouts into my total calorie counts for the day. What's going to happen when GM (or any other make) screws up the software update? Hey boss, can't make it into work today, after a software update my car can't make left turns.
 
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