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Market update: One million 3-D printed parts; Hyundai takes to the air

BMW Group recently fitted its one-millionth 3-D printed component, a window guide rail for the BMW i8 Roadster.

By Cindy Macdonald

Toronto – November 19, 2018 – In this week’s market update, 3-D printed parts on the rise, Hyundai invests in aerial mobility and autonomous vehicles are a risky business.

BMW reaches 1 million 3-D printed parts
At the BMW Group, the use of 3D-printed components is increasing. Over the last decade, the company produced one million parts by this innovative method, and this year output from the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center is expected to reach more than 200,000 components—a 42 percent increase over last year’s total.
Dr. Jens Ertel, director of the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center, says the use of components made by additive manufacturing in production of vehicles is increasing particularly quickly at the moment. “We are following the development and application of advanced these manufacturing methods very closely indeed, partly through longstanding cooperations with leading manufacturers in the field. At the same time, we are engaging in targeted technology scouting and evaluating innovative production systems.”
Recently the BMW Group fitted its one-millionth 3D-printed component in series production: a window guide rail for the BMW i8 Roadster. Thanks to the work of specialists at the Additive Manufacturing Center, the rail took just five days to develop and was integrated into series production in Leipzig shortly after. The component is manufactured by HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology, a high-speed method enhanced by the BMW Group in conjunction with HP. It can produce up to 100 window guide rails in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the personalisation of vehicles and components by customers themselves is also becoming more and more important. With the MINI Yours Customised product initiative, customers can design selected components themselves, such as indicator inlays and dashboard trim strips. They create their designs at the online shop (www.yours-customised.mini), and the parts are then 3D-printed to specification.
For the BMW Group, additive manufacturing will be a key future production method. Since last year, the fixtures for fibre optic guides in the Rolls-Royce Dawn have also been 3D-printed, and the luxury brand today incorporates a total of ten 3D-printed components into its products.

What happens when cars become responsible for collisions?
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recently released a position paper, Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility. The three recommendations in the paper were developed by auto insurance experts. Briefly, they are:
1. Establish a single insurance policy that covers driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions;
2. Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement; and
3. Update the federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cyber security standards.
Read more about the position paper and its recommendations in Collision Repair’s earlier article here.
The advent of self-driving vehicles will have implications for liability and risk related to vehicle collisions. IBC anticipates that the rollout of automated vehicles will affect all auto insurance policies and supporting legislation in four ways.

Fewer collisions, higher repair costs. “There will be fewer collisions, but the technology in automated vehicles will make repair and replacement more expensive: In a U.S. study, KPMG predicts that over the next 10 years, automated technologies will reduce the frequency of collisions by 35 percent to 40 percent. However, because the technology for automated vehicles is expensive, KPMG predicts that repair costs will increase by 25 percent to 30 percent.” (KPMG. Marketplace of Change: Automobile Insurance in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles. October 2015)

Vehicle use will have new risks. The European Parliamentary Research Service identified these risks as software and network failure, programming choices, hacking and cybercrime, and failure to install or update software.

Vehicles will record significant amounts of data. “Vehicles will be equipped with complex sensors that can monitor and record vehicle activity. According to Deloitte, this data will be more reliable than human-reported or human-collected information for assessing risk, pricing auto insurance, managing claims and detecting fraud.” (Deloitte. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Ontario: Implications for the Insurance Industry. April 2018)

Responsibility for collisions will shift from the driver to the automated technology. “The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that human error is the primary cause of more than 90 percent of collisions. As automated vehicles shift liability toward vehicle manufacturers and technology providers, there will be more product liability litigation.”

Hyundai takes mobility to new heights
Hyundai Motor Company has partnered with Top Flight Technologies, a startup in hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, as part of its broader effort to cement leadership in future mobility solutions and invest in disruptive technologies.
Hyundai will team up with the Boston-based startup to explore ways to accelerate the commercial application and deployment of UAVs (drones) across various sectors and markets. Potential areas for business development include cargo transport, inspection services and surveillance missions for industrial sites. Drones powered by the Top Flight Micro Generator Hybrid Power System can stay airborne for up to two hours, while carrying a load of four kilograms.
“In addition to solving the challenges of longer-duration flight for quadcopters, Top Flight is developing the technologies needed to enable new solutions in aerial logistics and mapping which could be useful in Hyundai’s future business,” said John Suh, vice-president of Hyundai CRADLE at Hyundai Motor Company.
The global UAV market is growing at a fast pace, expected to garner $22.1 billion by 2026.

 

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