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Vehicle design and manufacturing

On the 22nd of January 2018, the European Commission published a study on vehicle design and manufacturing.

 

Over the last fifty years, design and manufacturing of transport vehicles has followed an evolutionary path. Transport vehicles were continuously optimised, mostly in an empirical way, integrating new technologies as well as responding to global mega-trends. Environmental issues were always taken into consideration, but by and large were not the driving force. Yet, design and manufacturing improvements in aircrafts and cars, powered by internal combustion engines, have slashed the fuel burn and emissions per passenger km by more than 80%. While, there is still room for further improvements and higher fuel-burn gains towards counter balancing the annual passenger and freight growth, many of the technologies onboard transport vehicles have reached their maximum potential.

Today, the evolutionary path of car design and manufacturing is already disrupted by the high degree of electrification, digitalization and automation. Maritime and air-transport demonstrated electric and hybrid technologies at small scale, preparing the ground for real transport vehicles in the years to come. Competitiveness of the European industry and emerging flexible and decentralised manufacturing processes will further accelerate those changes. However, cyclicality of the industry development, high fixed cost structure coupled with moderate growth and low profit margins for operators hold back such changes. R&D funding is necessary to accelerate existing and upcoming technology roadmaps. STRIA vehicle design and manufacturing roadmap proposes three key cross-modal research and innovation paths that will enable the achievement of the Energy Union targets, while boosting the European industrial competitiveness.

 

Source: European Commission

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