Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Volkswagen tests quantum computing in battery research

  • Volkswagen experts want to simulate the chemical structure of batteries on quantum computers
  • They have already successfully modeled key molecules such as lithium-hydrogen and carbon chains on quantum computers
  • The objective is the “tailor-made battery”, a configurable chemical blueprint ready for production
  • Volkswagen is presenting quantum computing at CEBIT (June 12-15)
For the first time, Volkswagen experts have succeeded in simulating industrially relevant molecules using a quantum computer. This is especially important for the development of high-performance electric vehicle batteries. The experts have successfully simulated molecules such as lithium-hydrogen and carbon chains. Now they are working on more complex chemical compounds. In the long term, they want to simulate the chemical structure of a complete electric vehicle battery on a quantum computer. Their objective is to develop a “tailor-made battery”, a configurable chemical blueprint that is ready for production. Volkswagen is presenting its research work connected with quantum computing at the CEBIT technology show (Hanover, June 12-15).
Martin Hofmann, CIO of the Volkswagen Group, says: "We are focusing on the modernization of IT systems throughout the Group. The objective is to intensify the digitalization of work processes – to make them simpler, more secure and more efficient and to support new business models. This is why we are combining our core task with the introduction of specific key technologies for Volkswagen. These include the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, as well as quantum computing."
The objective is a “tailor-made battery”, a configurable blueprint
Using newly developed algorithms, the Volkswagen experts have laid the foundation for simulating and optimizing the chemical structure of high-performance electric vehicle batteries on a quantum computer. In the long term, such a quantum algorithm could simulate the chemical composition of a battery on the basis of different criteria such as weight reduction, maximum power density or cell assembly and provide a design which could be used directly for production. This would significantly accelerate the battery development process, which has been time-consuming and resource-intensive to date.
Florian Neukart, Principle Scientist at Volkswagen’s CODE Lab in San Francisco, says: “We are working hard to develop the potential of quantum computers for Volkswagen. The simulation of electrochemical materials is an important project in this context. In this field, we are performing genuine pioneering work. We are convinced that commercially available quantum computers will open up previously unimaginable opportunities. We intend to acquire the specialist knowledge we need for this purpose now.”
On this project for the simulation of electrochemical materials, IT is co-operating closely with Volkswagen Group Research. The Volkswagen experts have already successfully simulated key molecules such as lithium-hydrogen and carbon chains, on a quantum computer. They are now working on more complex chemical compounds. In the experts’ opinion, they are only at the beginning of their development work.
Volkswagen and quantum computing
Highly specialized IT experts from Volkswagen, including data scientists, computer linguists and software engineers, are working together at the IT labs in San Francisco and Munich to develop the potential of quantum computers for applications which will be beneficial for the company. The main focus is on the programming of algorithms on quantum computers. These are subject to different laws than in the case of conventional computers.
In the field of quantum computing, the Volkswagen Group is cooperating with the technology partners Google and D-Wave, who provide the Volkswagen experts with access to their systems.
Article source: www.volkswagen-media-services.com

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


With the new student concept car, a cabriolet version of the ŠKODA KAROQ, the Czech car manufacturer is presenting an open-top SUV. The convertible study has been designed and built by 23 trainees from the ŠKODA Vocational School in Mladá Boleslav. The project has become a tradition for ŠKODA AUTO: the convertible SUV is already the fifth student concept car.
Students from the ŠKODA AUTO Vocational School in Mladá have demonstrated their design skills this year too. The trainees’ concept car, an open-top ŠKODA KAROQ, is based on the production version of the successful compact SUV. At 4,382 mm, the length of the KAROQ cabriolet remains unchanged, as does the width (at 1,811 mm) and the wheelbase (at 2,638 mm). However, the convertible KAROQ is significantly lower thanks to the use of shock absorbers from the ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS.
The engineering design phase of the open-top ŠKODA KAROQ started in October 2017. The 23 trainees from the ŠKODA Vocational School involved in the concept car could count on the support from their teachers and the Technical Development as well as Design and Production departments from the very beginning. After the engineering and design plans had been finalised in January 2018, the construction phase began.
The labour-intensive conversion of the project initially required the students to make extensive changes to the production body of the ŠKODA KAROQ. Once the roof had been removed, the doors had to be adjusted and the tailgate had to be re-designed from scratch. In addition, the trainees re-engineered the entire rear section including the exhaust system. In addition, the A- and B-pillars were altered. The ŠKODA KAROQ cabriolet features modified front and rear bumpers.
To emphasise the open-top ŠKODA KAROQ’s extraordinary character, the trainees either developed all-new ideas or modified some of the existing features, such as the ŠKODA logos, which are discreetly luminous in the dark. Special indicator lights as well as backlit door handles are other examples of the car’s distinctive features. In the dark, ŠKODA logos are projected onto the tarmac from the front and rear bumpers.
The convertible ŠKODA KAROQ student concept car is equipped with a four-cylinder 1.5 TSI engine. This efficient yet powerful unit allows the production ŠKODA KAROQ to reach a top speed of 204 km/h, and to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds.
One of the last steps in the project was finding a suitable name for the vehicle. To facilitate this, the students invited ŠKODA customers and fans to submit suggestions via different social media channels. In the end, SUNROQ was chosen from among several hundred proposed names – the students found that it suited their cabriolet perfectly given its openness to the sun, which makes it an ideal vehicle for a summer holiday. The author of the winning submission was invited to the SUNROQ’s official presentation. He will meet with the students and their teachers and will be even able to go on a drive in the functional concept car, which has a Velvet Red paint finish.

The convertible ŠKODA KAROQ is the latest model in the student car line-up, with which the Czech car manufacturer underlines the high level of quality of its vocational training. The ŠKODA Vocational School in Mladá Boleslav was founded in 1927 and offers three- and four-year training courses in technical subjects leading to either a certificate of proficiency or a school leaving certificate for university access. Currently, more than 900 full-time students are enrolled in the school’s courses.
ŠKODA AUTO is again offering talented young students the chance to feel like car designers. The students, aged 17 and 18, are currently being trained at the ŠKODA AUTO Vocational School and have come together to build the fifth study. Under the guidance of their teachers and with the support of the Technology, Design and Production departments at the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, they are building a convertible study based on the ŠKODA KAROQ. The project highlights both the significance of the latest SUV model range for the brand’s model portfolio, as well as its successes and achievements. In addition, it emphasises the fresh and youthful design of the ŠKODA KAROQ. As part of the practical project, the students learn to train their technical and organisational skills in a team. The finished study, which is yet to be given a name, will be introduced to the public in June.
The student engineers come from seven different professions – among them painters, car mechatronics engineers and toolmakers. “We are really looking forward to the project because we get the chance to build a car using our own ideas,” explained team member Ondřej Bacík.
Students have designed and built a vehicle every single year since 2014: the first study was a two-seater version of the ŠKODA CITIGO; a pick-up based on the ŠKODA FABIA followed in 2015; in 2016 it was a coupé based on the ŠKODA RAPID SPACEBACK; and in 2017 the ŠKODA CITIGO was the inspiration for an electric buggy.
This training project once again underlines the high quality of ŠKODA AUTO’s education programme. At the vocational school, which was founded in 1927, talented young students undergo training in technical subjects for 3-4 years. At present, more than 900 students are completing a total of 13 full-time education programmes (five lasting for 4 years and eight lasting 3 years) and two expansion programmes.In addition, around 60 ŠKODA employees are expanding their qualifications as part of other further training programmes.
The vocational School for Mechanical Engineering is part of the ŠKODA Academy, which was founded in April 2013 to provide comprehensive training for students and employees. Its education and qualification programme is specifically geared towards the needs of the company. Since 2013, the car manufacturer has – with support from the KOVO union – spent approximately 260 million korunas on expanding its offering of education programmes and modernising the equipment at the ŠKODA Academy.
Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Into thin air - Volkswagen motorsport breaking new technological ground with the aerodynamics of the I.D. R Pikes Peak

At first glance, it is clear to see that the I.D. R Pikes Peak has been developed for extreme conditions. The aerodynamic aspect of Volkswagen’s first fully-electric racing car is also uncompromisingly designed to tackle the most famous hill climb in the world. “The start line is located at an altitude of almost 2,900 metres, with the finish at 4,300 metres above sea level. The low air pressure up there means that the aerodynamic conditions are different to those at a racetrack on flat land,” explains François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport and the man responsible for developing the I.D. R Pikes Peak as project manager. The relatively open regulations gave the engineers far more leeway, with which to design the chassis and rear wing of the I.D. R Pikes Peak, than in other racing disciplines.
During the winding 19.99-kilometre drive to the summit of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs (USA), a top speed of around 240 km/h is reached – this is relatively low for a prototype like the I.D. R Pikes Peak, as it could theoretically do far more than this. “For this reason, we concentrated mainly on achieving optimal cornering speeds. The entire chassis is designed to generate as much downforce as possible, without causing too much aerodynamic drag,” says Demaison, summing up the task facing his team.
The most visually striking result of this strategy is the seemingly oversized rear wing on the I.D. R Pikes Peak. “The altitude on Pikes Peak means that the air we are driving through is on average 35 per cent thinner. As a result, we lose 35 per cent of our downforce compared to a racetrack at sea level. The huge rear wing allows us to compensate for some of this lost downforce,” explains Willy Rampf, technical consultant to the project and a man with years of Formula 1 experience. “The imaginative aerodynamic development means that we will still achieve maximum downforce greater than the weight of the car during the hill climb.”
Precision work in the Porsche wind tunnel
Volkswagen Motorsport used a scale mode (1:2) to test a host of different variants of the Pikes Peak racer in the wind tunnel. The final touches were then put to a full-size chassis in the Porsche development centre in Weissach. “It was greatly beneficial to be able to use resources from within the group,” confirms Demaison.
New components were often produced in quick time on a 3D printer. “We printed about 2,000 parts. In doing so, we saved a lot of time,” says Dr. Hervé Dechipre, who, as a CFD engineer at Volkswagen Motorsport, is responsible for the aerodynamics on the I.D. R Pikes Peak.
Little need to cool electric engines benefits aerodynamics
The electric engine on the I.D. R Pikes Peak does need to be cooled efficiently. However, the need for fresh air is far less than in the case of a combustion engine. Furthermore, it is not necessary to guide any intake air to the two electric engines, which together generate 500 kW (680 PS). This made it possible to reduce the size of the necessary inlet ports in the chassis, which are always a big drawback from an aerodynamic point of view. In contrast, the thin air at altitude has a negative effect on the efficiency of the cooling.
Simulation software provided by technology partner ANSYS is used to calculate the ideal compromise. “We could not manage this solely with the data from the wind tunnel, where it is not possible to recreate the thin air, for example,” says Demaison. “The simulation was a great help in determining the dimensions required for the cooling system.”
In the meantime, the findings from the development phase have been optimised in great detail in comprehensive tests. The first test run on the original route in the USA is planned for the end of May. Driver Romain Dumas and the Volkswagen Motorsport team then begin the final phase of their preparations for the “Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2018” on 24 June. The goal is to break the record in the class for electric prototypes, which currently stands at 8:57.118 minutes.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Monday, 21 May 2018

Puristic driving dynamics: the new Audi R8 V10 RWS

The Audi Sport GmbH is extending its R8 model series to include a new derivative with rear-wheel drive. The Audi R8 V10 RWS (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.6 – 12.4, combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 286 – 283**) comes in a limited series of 999 units with both Coupé and Spyder variants. It will be rear-driven (Rear Wheel Series) and be built exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe R8 factory.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Audi fleshes out its corporate strategy and plans to sell 800,000 electrified cars in 2025

Audi aims to sell approximately 800,000 fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the year 2025. At this Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting of AUDI AG, the Board of Management presents the updated “Audi.Vorsprung.2025.” strategy. To enable about every third customer to decide in favor of an e-model by the middle of the next decade, there is to be an electrified variant in each model series by then – most of them are to be fully electric, with a smaller proportion as plug-in hybrids.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Audi e-tron prototype at Wörthersee Meet

The popular GTI Meet at Lake Wörthersee will be held from May 9 to 12. In on the action: the Audi e-tron prototype. As a towing vehicle for the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo, the sporty electric SUV proves its excellent suitability for everyday use.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018


Following on from the ŠKODA KODIAQ and the ŠKODA KAROQ, the new SUV is to become the third member of the ŠKODA SUV family. The KAMIQ is rigorously continuing the powerful ŠKODA SUV design language and impresses with modern technology and an expressive design. 
Immediately after the world premiere, ŠKODA will present the KAMIQ to the public at the ‘Auto China 2018’, which will take place from 25 April to 4 May in Beijing. The urban SUV will be launched onto the market only a couple of months after the motor show.
The new ŠKODA KAMIQ combines compact dimensions and a surprisingly spacious interior. The body is 4,390 mm long, 1,781 mm wide and 1,593 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,610 mm. The car is equipped with an all-new 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces a power output of 81 kW and torque of up to 150 Nm. The engine’s power is transmitted via an automatic gearbox.
The KAMIQ’s design comes with all the features of ŠKODA’s powerful SUV design language. The typical radiator grille with its vertical double slats is an unmistakeable expression of ŠKODA’s DNA. Lines in the crystalline headlights flow into the lines of the grille, lending the KAMIQ a bold appearance. The precise, sharply cut tornado line gives a three-dimensional look and, together with the 17-inch double five-spoke alloy wheels, creates a sporty side view. The crystalline tail lights are positioned horizontally. This and the outward position of the reflectors make the SUV appear wider.
The robust design also continues in the interior. Thanks to the raised infotainment display in the centre of the dashboard, the driver can operate many vehicle functions with great ease and comfort. A chrome trim running across the entire width of the dashboard stylishly connects its components. One effective detail is the innovative, angled installation of the speakers. Due to their ergonomic design, the driver and front passenger seat offer excellent comfort and lateral support. The seat covers come in a plaid pattern with 3D effect, which further enhances the modern feel of the interior.
The KAMIQ is aimed at young, urban customers who wish to maintain their digital lifestyle even whilst on the go in their car and who desire modern connectivity solutions. Therefore, the new SUV is equipped with an intelligent connectivity system that has been newly developed by ŠKODA. The technological highlight of the system is the voice control from iFLYTEK, one of Asia’s leading providers of voice recognition based on artificial intelligence. The software understands regional Chinese dialects and can even learn individual and local language styles automatically. Smartphones can be connected via Apple CarPlay, Baidu Carlife and MirrorLink™ interfaces; compatible apps are operated on the eight-inch screen with a resolution of 1,280 x 720. In addition, the connectivity system also provides many practical services such as a guide for restrictions based on number plates, real-time traffic information, weather information and POI notifications.
On 25 April, ŠKODA will present the KAMIQ to the public for the first time at the ‘Auto China 2018’. Media representatives and visitors are very welcome to experience the new urban SUV live and up close at the SAIC ŠKODA booth in Hall W4 of the Chinese International Exhibition Centre.
Article source: www.skoda-auto.com