The ProtoDrive consortium, comprising Romax Technology, cmcl innovations and the University of Sheffield, has been awarded funding by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), as part of the competition Technology Inspired Innovation in the technology area Big Data Exploration, aimed at applying advanced solutions to drive technology innovation across Britain’s automotive industry. The research and development project, which finishes in 2015, aims to implement a rapid concept design and analysis tool for application to the conventional, hybrid and electric vehicle market, with all parties providing support across the entire vehicle powertrain, including transmission, electric systems, and internal combustion engine design. Currently, existing design solutions employed by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are largely focused on optimising the performance of the vehicle driveline based on pre-existing design solutions.
The ProtoDrive project aims to assess hybrid and electric vehicle simulation processes and gives the user the capability to investigate and analyse multiple and often radically different design solutions at the initial concept stage. Therefore, users can achieve a bigger exploration of design space and significantly expand opportunity for innovation. In addition, users are able to investigate a wide variety of real-world driving styles, rather than just refer to the simple, legislative drive cycles.