Functionality is one of the strongest arguments for buying a car. Where comfort and safety functions are concerned, vehicle manufacturers have to not just constantly improve a vehicle's functions for their discerning customers, but also ensure that they can be directly experienced. No easy task, when we consider the increasing complexity and high degree of variance expected today. Nevertheless, this is a familiar task for us. In the development of vehicle functions, the all-round testing of the attributes of the complete vehicle is our responsibility. These include active and passive safety, longitudinal and lateral dynamics, operational stability, NVH, aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, as well as thermal management, HVAC and cooling. All with one aim: to improve vehicle functions for you and your customers.
Another element of our part in the function development process is guaranteeing the integration of the restraint system and heating and air conditioning components: from geometrical integration, to system supplier management, and finally to approval recommendation.
"Integral safety" is the coordinated interaction of active and passive safety requirements, and therefore compliance with the relevant safety requirements, including certification. For us, it means even more: our vehicle safety experts are already involved during the concept phase. A great advantage, as most of the modifications made to the vehicle's structure and interior components at this stage influence the deformation characteristics of the car in the event of a crash.
A great deal has happened since the advent of the first air conditioning system at the beginning of the 19th century. Originally just a simple means of providing fresh air, these systems have developed into intelligent automatic climate controls which have a very positive influence on the ambience of a vehicle. Apart from the feel good factor, however, air conditioning also fulfils other functions: for instance, a well-adjusted atmosphere in the car helps to improve the driver's concentration. Modern systems are of enormous importance if the car is to be driven safely - they prevent fogging, defrost icy patches, dehumidify.
From the concept phase through to start of production, we optimise the function, cost and deadlines of the component families, seat belts, airbags, steering wheel and rollover protection system at module level. And, of course, integrate them in the complete vehicle. For seat belt anchorage, relay mechanism or windowbags: we are your experts for the integration of complex components.
Acoustics and comfort play a decisive role in the driving experience in modern vehicles. Only if the car is as noise-free as possible and delivers maximum vibration and driving comfort will it make a lasting impression on the customer. We attach a great deal of importance to a pleasant driving experience, and are therefore working on the acoustic and vibration-related qualities of modern cars. Our aim is to consciously design the vehicle's sounds in line with vehicle character and the overall concept. An aim that meets the requirements of discerning automobile customers.
The point of aerodynamics is to make it possible for a vehicle to travel against the wind with as little air resistance as possible. This is enormously important, as experts see aerodynamic optimisation - along with many other improvements relating to weight and engine efficiency - as an effective way of reducing fuel consumption. Expert knowledge is required here, as it is important to analyse the effects on vehicle handling, but also, for instance, on pedestrian protection. The latter sometimes conflicts with vehicle superstructures, which are becoming flatter and more streamlined.