There are new solutions for the soul and body of the car
These days, even making cars has been involved in the Metaverse ?
Lo and behold, a little foreigner wearing a VR headset and holding a device started a “mystery operation”:
A Chinese young lady and brother are also doing similar operations.
can not read?
Change the “perspective of the world”, the opening method is like this.
Wear a VR headset and enter a virtual garage:
Take a car chassis, adjust the appropriate size, and make a “fit” with the body:
And changing the material , color , etc. of the body is a matter of “flicking your fingers”.
That’s right, that’s how cars are built in the Metaverse.
The designer’s work in a virtual garage
But if you think it’s over, it’s probably nothing new.
But this “car building” is the kind that can really be built.
In other words, do the design work in the Metaverse , and then it can be produced in the real world.
A digital twin factory linked to the Metaverse
Not only that, but unlike the traditional car manufacturing in the past, the cars produced in the Metaverse this time are no longer dominated by a car company, but adopt a “decentralized” approach.
That is to say, whether you are a car designer, a car lover, or even just a consumer, you can now participate in the design and manufacture of cars.
It turned out to be an event called DeAuto Hackathon (Decentralized Auto Hackathon), organized around the world.
And behind it, there is a Chinese smart car development and manufacturing company – PIX Moving .
And there is one thing to say, “Metaverse + decentralization” is related to car building, which is the first time in the world and the first time in the history of car development.
But there are also many new concepts coming together, which inevitably makes people a big question mark: Can it be reliable?
Let’s continue to dig down together.
How to build a car in the Metaverse?
The DeAuto Hackathon is actually not the first time it has been held.
According to public information, in 2018, PIX Moving convened more than 30 talented engineers from all over the world to complete tasks such as vehicle-by-wire Hack and open-source autonomous driving architecture in just 7 days.
In the following years, PIX Moving has also held various Hackathon activities around “smart car development” one after another.
According to official data, the related community has gathered more than 300 designers and engineers from more than 20 countries around the world.
Although the “fancy” is changing, the overall purpose of the event has never changed, that is, lowering the threshold for automotive innovation .
This year, taking into account factors such as the epidemic, PIX Moving used the Metaverse for the first time in the world to hold a car hackathon.
Also within 7 days, contestants from all over the world can form their own teams freely, which can be from the fields of design, algorithm, engineering, artists, hackers, or even cross-field backgrounds.
And as long as it is a contestant, PIX Moving will provide a VR device for free (it’s a bit “arrogant”).
And based on VR car design tools such as Gravity Sketch, it collaborates with designers and algorithm experts from all over the world in the Metaverse.
So the next question is: what car to build ?
It is understood that the model to be built in this event is the A00 class , which is also known as a miniature passenger car.
As for why you choose this model, it is mainly because it is more in line with the trend of modern automobile consumption, that is, low carbon, environmental protection, and less resource occupation.
Not only that, A00-class models have been verified in the Chinese market. For example, Wuling’s Mini EV has won the favor of a large number of young people.
However, what is different from the practice of traditional car companies is that PIX Moving’s positioning of this product is: personal mecha. A consumer electronics product, not a car.
Not only that, in order to protect the absolute creative rights of the contestants, PIX Moving will also confirm the NFT rights of each entry this time .
And the personal mecha produced is still “engraved with the designer’s name” . If it is sold in the future, there will be two thousandths of the sales share , which is not capped.
So how can a design work meet the demand for mass production?
PIX Moving will vote on the works used , and if it can reach the predetermined number of 100 vehicles , it will be eligible for mass production .
And even the actual car delivery schedule has been arranged, and it will be delivered in 2023.
100 vehicles is far from mass production for the traditional auto industry.
If only 100 cars are modeled, the production line is built, and the cost is finally allocated to each car, it will definitely greatly exceed the acceptable range of A00-class cars.
It is almost certain that no car company will take such an order.
Of course, PIX Moving cannot “generate electricity with love” either.
Everyone in the Metaverse is “hard-to-build”, but in order to turn the design plan into a real mass-produced product, it is necessary to have a system and technology that is different from the production and development of traditional models.
To match this product concept, PIX Moving has also developed a series of technologies and production processes that are different from traditional manufacturing.
Building a car = building a chassis?
There are three key points that PIX Moving can realize small batch customization:
Smart Skateboard Chassis
AAM (Automotive Algorithm Design)
RTM (Real Time Molding System)
The virtual concepts of Metaverse and decentralization, the reason why they can play well in this event is to return to the real product of PIX Moving – the intelligent skateboard chassis , which can quickly build various models based on the skateboard chassis.
In addition to the skateboard chassis, PIX Moving has created a set of design and manufacturing technologies driven by AI algorithms, namely AAM and RTM.
AAM (Automotive Algorithm Modeling) is a vehicle design-manufacturing process based on algorithmic models. AAM not only takes into account the user’s individual needs for cars, but also can meet the needs of mass production, which is the biggest feature.
RTM (Realtime Manufacturing) real-time forming is a mold-free forming technology that can form sheet metal without special molds and fixtures, reducing huge mold development and design costs.
Therefore, PIX Moving can realize small batch customization at low cost, and its own positioning is also a C-end-oriented car manufacturing company.
But at present, PIX does not provide a fully functional vehicle directly to consumers, but builds a chassis with a complete physical structure and various software and hardware “card slots”.
PIX Moving designs the basic parameters and structure of the entire chassis, reserves various software and hardware interfaces for later editing, and then sells the chassis to depots or other B-end users. What kind of car the user wants, You can freely define your own.
For example, body control, automatic driving algorithm, functional components of the load, etc., all have corresponding APIs on the skateboard chassis of PIX Moving.
Does it feel familiar?
That’s right, the wire-controlled chassis that traditional car companies have launched in the past two years seem to have these functions.
But if the concept of “wire control chassis” is equal to PIX Moving’s intelligent skateboard chassis, it cannot explain its business progress:
More than 20 countries around the world, including Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, and the United States, which are traditional auto industry powerhouses, have customers of PIX Moving.
So the problem is, if these customers just want a wire-controlled chassis, they can develop it by their own strength.What unique advantages can PIX’s products provide?
This depends on the product form and technical system .
When traditional manufacturers develop a model or an architecture, they still follow the process of “definition first, then research and development”, and the final product usually serves some specific demand indicators.
The PIX Moving is a different approach, using a robot architecture .
The biggest difference between the two is flexibility. The skateboard chassis of the robot architecture adopts an independent foot unit, and each wheel can be independently controlled to meet the needs of various usage scenarios.
Such an architecture, in addition to being more flexible in use, can also be developed much faster.
Such as the realization of maneuverability. When designing the steering of a traditional car chassis, the Ackerman angle (the inner and outer wheel speeds are different) needs to be considered. Therefore, to design a complex inter-wheel differential mechanism, the design, testing and calibration of the entire project is a long and complicated process.
However, on the distributed drive architecture, the algorithm can quickly solve this problem, and the adjustment of the model only needs to modify the parameters of the algorithm.
In addition, in terms of development tools, PIX Moving has also developed a low-threshold tool chain, including algorithm development and simulation, so that customer engineers can quickly get started.
The product form and demand of PIX have been placed here, how can it be turned into a real thing? Does it still have to be on the pipeline?
Of course not, if this is the case, it will return to the origin of the traditional car factory.
In contrast, PIX Moving opted for a more flexible approach – using 3D printing to produce parts of the chassis.
And in some mechanical parts that need to be punched, RTM is relied on.
These two technologies are flexible enough by themselves, but how to use them is the key.
Both methods can actually be put into traditional production lines, but in this way, it is difficult to reflect their own advantages.
Behind the new technology is the logic of a new manufacturing system: reducing the manufacturing process .
The core efficiency improvement in manufacturing comes from the reduction of processes.
For example, 3D printing can turn a large number of parts into one part.
The result is a series of butterfly effects:
Reduce assembly procedures, reduce supply chain processes, reduce inventory, and reduce material logistics costs.
This is a fundamental innovation in the manufacturing system.
Compared with the traditional automobile industry to develop a chassis or model, the cost of PIX Moving is much lower , the development difficulty is much easier , and the mass production cycle is much shorter .
The orders from European and American industrial powerhouses, and the new car-making method of “100 vehicles can be mass-produced” in the Metaverse are essentially the new concepts and technical framework from PIX Moving.
A new trend in the way cars are built?
Skateboard chassis , this is the hottest word in the automotive world right now.
PIX Moving is not the first either.
Earlier, Rivian, known as the “Tesla Killer”, had a market value of over 100 billion US dollars a few days after its listing.
There are also Canoo, REE, and Arrival, all start-ups with skateboard chassis as their labels.
In China, in addition to PIX Moving, there is also Yopao Technology, which was established not long ago.
These new players, whether exporting chassis to customers or building their own brand based on the chassis, all show that a new banner has been erected in the car-making track: the new force of skateboard chassis .
These new forces are currently showing two trends.
First, there are already signs of landing.
After being invested by Amazon, Rivian began to customize new energy trucks based on skateboard chassis for Amazon, and plans to produce as many as 100,000 EDV trucks by 2025.
Canoo has also been rumored to be acquired by Apple. Although there is no following in the end, the industry believes that Apple is likely to adopt the former’s skateboard chassis solution.
Domestic PIX Moving has also won nearly 200 customers worldwide, many of which are major industry giants such as “communication, Tier 1, and autonomous driving software companies”.
This shows that chassis manufacturers are not too fragrant for some players who are new to the market but have no experience in car building.
For example, Apple, which makes mobile phones, and Amazon, which makes e-commerce.
Second, the architectural system of the new chassis forces is impacting the entire automotive industry.
In addition to the manufacturing level mentioned above, the new technology completely broke the assembly line production method pioneered and used by Ford for a century, and gradually formed a cost-efficiency advantage that traditional industrial giants could not refuse.
There is also the “bargaining power” that has opened up the product form.
Because of the standardized chassis and flexible production methods, personalized customization can be realized.
The car you buy is no longer a good solution chosen by the manufacturer for you, and you no longer have to accept the “flaws” in the design.
What you want, you might as well decide for yourself.
The emergence of the “Metaverse” has allowed this more personalized design and user-oriented production method to gradually evolve from the concept of PPT to a revolution in the manufacturing industry.
If you follow the story of the smartphone, to predict the different stages of the car building track.
Chassis players, it seems, will have a place.
Because it can lower the threshold for car manufacturing, allowing manufacturers of various sizes or new forces to hand over the manufacturing work to chassis companies, and car manufacturers can work on product definition with peace of mind.
Even in the next stage, the right to define the product may be handed over to the user.
On the one hand, there are already suppliers such as Huawei and Baidu for intelligent driving solutions.
On the other hand, even the design and manufacture are also supplied by skateboard chassis players such as PIX Moving and Rivian…
The soul and body of traditional car companies have new solutions.
So, the revolution of the smart car track may be overestimated in the short term, and may be underestimated in the long run.
This article is from the WeChat public account “qubit” (ID: QbitAI), author: Focus on Frontier Technology
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