Tue. Jan 18th, 2022
man driving an autonomous car
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Though it might not be the first thing your mind goes to when you think of luxury cars, the reality is that CNC machining plays an important role in the automotive industry, and as of late has been of great benefit in the advancement of automation for self-driving vehicles. The following article will explore some of the recent developments in autonomous luxury cars and how CNC machine processes have helped take them to the next level.

A New Age For Luxury Vehicles

It seems that vehicle autonomy is one of the next great horizons for the industry, and luxury car manufacturers have taken notice. Take BMW, for instance, who have been steadily improving the 7 Series and expect to reach Level 3 autonomy by sometime next year.

This means that the vehicle will go beyond the somewhat autonomous driver assistance features available on brands like Tesla, and offer drivers a system that is capable of completely operating their car under a limited set of road conditions.

Then there’s Audi, who have unveiled their new Grandsphere concept—set to hit the roads in 2025. The new vehicle will be a fresh take on the idea of more capable self-driving cars, built upon the ideas incorporated into their 2017 A8 models:

“In 2017, [Audi] launched the current A8 with the world’s first “eyes-off” Level 3 highly-automated driving. In certain circumstances, such as highway driving at slow speeds, the driver was no longer required to supervise the vehicle and liability in the event of a crash transfers to the manufacturer.”

And while other brands might not be taking their self-driving technology quite to that level yet, many intend to do so, and a good number of those are already implementing autonomous features in their current automobiles. Self-driving cars are becoming more prevalent and more sophisticated, and on that latter point, CNC machining has an emerging role.

CNC Machining And Automobiles

CNC machining is a process used by manufacturing pros, like Fictiv, to create high precision, high efficiency components for various purposes. Those pros might also note that there’s already a rich history of CNC machining within the automobile industry.

CNC processes are used in various kinds of prototyping—on anything from handles to engines—but also have a place in the creation of end-use parts like cylinder heads, starter motors, gearboxes, interior/roof panels, custom parts, etc. 

There are numerous advantages to the use of CNC machining over human machining, such as the ability to repeatedly create parts with a high degree of accuracy and speed. These qualities alone make them well suited for the creation of auto parts, but it’s also the recent introduction of some AI-upgrades that may help push self-driving cars even further.

In addition to using AI for self-diagnostics (reducing downtime and further improving efficiency), the fusion of AI and CNC technologies can be used to aid designs for electronic and mechanical components that are vital to the function of autonomous vehicles. Combined with the ability to then produce said parts with a high degree of precision, it’s logical that CNC machining is emerging as a vital factor in the creation of the next generations of self-driving cars.

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