Engineers create simple method for analyzing car designs

It may be too late for this one, howeverEngineers have developed a new mathematical formula that can spot flaws in automobile designs before they get to the costly assembly line stage. Engineers now use complicated models in which numerous car parts are represented by mathematical expressions that must take into consideration many precise mechanical details. The models have to include information such as the mass of components, their stiffness and dampening characteristics, and the exact forces involved. These models are themselves flawed, the researchers believe, because they rely on approximations about the characteristics and interactions of automotive parts. “A major difference in our method is that we don’t use approximations,” said one of the Purdue team. “We have found that you don’t need to know all of those parameters.”