Efficient Development

Predictive functional validation, digital twins and complete product life cycles – VIRTUAL VEHICLE investigates and develops approaches for the key factors for efficient development. These key factors are traceability, agility, comprehensive view and partner integration.

Research and services range from process innovation and virtualization through context-based consistent information aggregation and access to consequent model-based systems engineering.

Market Challenge

Digitalization of road and rail vehicles is the central driving force for radical changes in the automotive and rail industry. As a result of this digitalization, future vehicles will look completely different to today and software will enable new functions and capabilities. This will require a new development environment with agile processes and related methods and tools.

 Targeted challenges are:

  • Virtualization of development and digital transformation
  • Transition from classical frameworks to agile development processes
  • Speed up development by significant reduction of time-to-market
  • Improvement and increase in cost efficiency
  • Handling product complexity and variability
  • De-verticalization through the emergence of horizontal supply chains
  • Consistency, traceability, availability and security of data and information
  • Utilization of (lifecycle) data and data-driven services

Our Expertise

Researchers at VIRTUAL VEHICLE cover a wide range of expertise – such as experience in vehicle development, process development, engineering IT systems, software development, method investigation or numerical as well as physical testing. VIRTUAL VEHICLE has also built up a wealth of valuable knowledge of the boundary conditions and the challenges faced by the automotive and rail industries. Research at VIRTUAL VEHICLE is based on core visions and approaches:

  • Consistent model-centric approach
  • Modular instead of monolithic approaches
  • Flexibility
  • Traceability
  • Interdisciplinary approaches

A major target of VIRTUAL VEHICLE is to investigate and define approaches for massively parallel, distributed and collaborative engineering of vehicle systems from requirements, through design, to realization in software and/or hardware.


Main Research Topics

  • Functional architecture-based system development process
  • Virtual (numerical) and physical (testing) functional validation based on state-of-the-art environment
  • Co-simulation for mixed virtual/real system validation
  • Massively parallel, distributed and collaborative engineering of vehicle systems from requirements, through design, to realization in hardware and software
  • “Digital Twin” to provide and track functions and properties along lifecycle
  • Context-based data and information aggregation, availability and security for complexity handling
  • Predictive engineering and maintenance
  • Virtualization of development at different layers (management and process approach / configuration logic for validation / enhanced simulation methods and environment)
  • Continuous development approach / continuous integration, development and deployment


Our main task is the development and implementation of the most efficient and cost-oriented development processes, with all the necessary associated methodologies and tools

  • Increased development speed by stepwise replacement of classical development processes by agile concepts
  • Enhanced product quality by enabling early concept validation and investigation into product variants and robustness of solutions
  • Decreased time-to-market through virtualization and close integration and cooperation between development partners
  • First-time-right by dedicated high-level functional design and verification
  • Integrated toolchain for system representation from system design, system development to system validation

Efficient collaboration is our key for innovation!

VIRTUAL VEHICLE offers different cooperation models tailored to the specific needs of its leading international industry and research partners to run R&D projects.