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The Study Group for Ideal Approaches to Model Utilization in the Automobile Industry Releases a Compilation of Discussion Results

Since October 2016, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and manufacturers in the fields of automobiles and parts thereof (hereinafter referred to as the “participating companies”*) have jointly been holding discussions concerning approaches to disseminating a new type of development process through virtual simulations (model based development: MBD) involving processes for advanced development and performance assessment of automobiles. METI hereby announces that METI and these manufacturing industries have compiled the discussion results into a report.

1. Background and objectives

Realization of autonomous driving vehicles and quick response to global environmental control measures require efforts for making the upstream process (design steps) of automobile development thoroughly efficient, a process in which the enhancement of high functionality, e.g., the introduction of electronic control systems and safe driving systems and networking these systems, and more complexity have been advancing. Specifically, the process of development and performance assessment through virtual simulations (MBD) using no actual machines is becoming more and more important for the automobile and parts industries.

Through the harmonization (“suriawase”) of differences in development processes among companies, a traditional strong point of Japanese companies to realize the MBD process in the entire supply chain ahead of other countries, manufacturing industries in Japan will be able to enhance their competitiveness in the global markets. To this end, METI established a study group for ideal approaches to model utilization in the automobile industry to discuss measures for efficiently utilizing the MBD process across Japan and held discussions with participating companies.

*Participating companies (in the order of the Japanese syllabary): Aisin AW Co., Ltd., Denso Corporation, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Jatco Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Panasonic Corporation, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., Mazda Motor Corporation, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (secretariat: Azapa Co. Ltd.)

METI also releases the guidelines and a collection of standard simulation models concerning vehicle performance as discussion results of the study group about which participating companies expressed their commitment to future utilization. These guidelines and models will encourage these industries in Japan to further enhance their development power, take advantage of Japan’s harmonization ability, and will convey this power to the rest of the world.

2. Main points of the compilation

Aiming at inter-industry, e.g., between automobile manufacturers and automobile parts manufactures or between automobile parts manufactures, or industry-academia distribution of the models and the dissemination of the MBD process, METI and the participating companies have released the guidelines to define interfaces between such models.

They also released a collection of standard simulation models concerning vehicle performance, representing the details of the guidelines and serving as a common base.

Aiming to disseminate the MBD process between industries or between industries and academia and to enhance the development power taking advantage of Japan’s harmonization ability, METI will facilitate a mid- to long-term strategy (see Appendices) aiming to further encourage industry-academia collaboration, support suppliers in human resource development, and further improve the models.

METI and the participating companies agreed on the following approaches to realizing the strategy above.

  1. Participating companies consider the guidelines and the standard simulation models concerning vehicle performance compiled by the study group as a consensus perspective and will advance the distribution of the models as well as discuss measures, forecasting the future international collaboration in this effort.
  2. Participating companies in the automobile manufacturing industry will play a proactive role not only in distributing the models inside and outside their companies but also in disseminating the models among SMEs in the automobile parts manufacturing industry. This will encourage such SMEs to make development processes more efficient taking advantage of the simulations as well as promote industry-academia collaboration.
  3.  The government of Japan will aim to make the development efforts more sophisticated by taking advantage of the simulations, and to this end, it will support industries in a multidimensional manner through collaboration with industry and academia sectors, e.g., efforts for human resource development and providing assistance for companies in the automobile parts manufacturing industry.

Aiming to further improve the guidelines and the standard simulation models concerning vehicle performance compiled by the study group, METI will continue to hold discussions with stakeholders and also advance the discussions on policy issues, including human resource development, support measures for suppliers, and efforts for improving the models through industry-academia collaboration.

Release date

March 31, 2017

Division in Charge

Automobile Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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