With very little camouflage left, several prototypes of the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé have entered the last phase of testing ahead of market launch in Europe. Final tests are now being run to validate the demanding development and testing program in China, including high-speed highway driving. Cycle tests and type approvals for various markets will also be run with the lifestyle model in the coming weeks.
For a development engineer, the endurance run is perhaps the most challenging task on the way to the market launch of a new model. In the final phase of testing, not only do gigabytes of data from a wide variety of sensors converge in the real test, the endurance run also ensures alignment with the digital development in virtual space. For a good eight months, more than half a dozen prototypes of the new Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé were in daily use at the Yancheng Zhongqi Research Automobile Proving Ground. The vehicles reeled off a good 400,000 test kilometers in their final testing run.
Far more were in virtual reality in advance, because this is the only way to ensure the high development speed of Aiways with the highest component quality and functionality. For example, the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé was mapped in digital prototypes years before the first real vehicle was built. These interdisciplinary computational models provide an exact representation of system properties and unit positioning in the later vehicle. Various specialist areas such as aerodynamics, performance and battery management, chassis and user experience work on different models, whose data statuses are repeatedly merged in order to be able to identify problems as quickly as possible.
Under the name AI-Tech, Aiways not only summarizes the virtual development environment, but also the further development of processes and simulation methods.
“The aim is to achieve even faster and more flexible development, especially with a view to the high variability of production in accordance with the Industry 4.0 standard at the Aiways plant in Shangrao, which is one of the most modern automotive production facilities in China,” says Dr Alexander Klose, Executive Vice President Overseas Operations at Aiways, explaining the advantages of the young company’s lean start-up organisation.
AI-Tech also stands for systems that are intelligently integrated into the vehicle and are intended to underline Aiways’ high in-house development rate, which has been increased once again for the new U6 SUV-Coupé compared to the U5 SUV.
Final validations before European market launch
Only slightly camouflaged prototypes of the new lifestyle model have now arrived in Munich and are undergoing final validations and final test drives, including high-speed driving on the motorway. With the higher acceleration capacity of the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé, there are higher requirements for the braking system, for example. The second-generation iBooster with ESP hev brake control system, developed jointly with Bosch, therefore not only ensures three times faster reactions and maximum energy recovery, but above all short braking distances. With a measured 34.4 meters from 100 km/h, the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé offers its occupants maximum active safety. In addition to driver testing, the prototypes are also undergoing a demanding typification and certification program to enable a rapid market launch in Europe before the end of the year.