Development of Lightweight, Modular Hybrid-Material Cockpit Structures for Passenger Vehicles 2005-01-1220
The cockpit module is one of the most challenging vehicle systems due both to the complexity of its design and its role in maintaining passenger safety in the event of a crash. This system is also heavily component oriented and influenced by the design culture of a given OEM. Hence, most cockpits feature mature designs and traditional components.
An innovative new design methodology now permits the development of multifunctional components and integrated cockpit systems that meet all global safety requirements, communize components across multiple platforms and models, while also reducing weight, systems costs, part count, and warranty issues. Through the use of strategic design, multifunctional products that make use of multi-materials technology are already revolutionizing the cockpit module on vehicle systems around the world.
The paper describes the methodology applied to develop several new generations of cockpit structures. The initial focus will be on the first concept now commercial on 6 different platforms and 12 high-volume vehicles sold worldwide. The second focus will be on a next-generation concept with even greater integration. The effects of this product development and technology breakthrough are highlighted as well.