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April 2, 2013

Big Data & Virtual Prototyping Changing Auto Design Culture

Isaac Lopez

Discussing the creation of the luxury crossover SUV, the Range Rover Evoque, design and engineering teams at Jaguar Land Rover say that big data and virtual prototyping are changing the culture and way they think about their work.

Using virtual simulations that generate massive amounts of data each day, the team employs a high performance ecosystem of HPC clusters, scale-out NAS, File server engineering workstations, and networking to tie it all together.

“We’re generating 10s of TB of data,” says Andy Searle, Computer Aided Engineering & HPC IT Manager. “We’re running a parallel file system of hundreds and hundreds of TB of data that is not only in place today, but gives us the scale out capabilities for the future – both from an IO perspective, but also from a pure storage perspective.”

Using high performance computers to manage the huge amounts of data, the design teams are able to create virtual simulations of the vehicles that help them increase perception and reduce wasteful physical prototyping. The group says that they are able to use the data to cherry pick elements and mature the vehicle design through many iterations well before they get to physical prototyping.

A chief element of their success is pushing the data tools across their various teams, says Mike Bell, Chief Information Technology Officer.

“The key to data is unlocking it,” he explains. “It’s about putting tools in the hands of both the power users and the general business and around opening this up so we can have an actual platform that enables us to make use of all this unlocked potential.”

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