Ricardo aims to remove barriers to disruptive technologies in design and manufacturing

Ricardo aims to remove barriers to disruptive technologies in design and manufacturing
08 February 2015

Ricardo Strategic Consulting wins ARPA-E award to collaborate with the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) in a project to investigate the potential alleviation of investment based barriers to the adoption of promising disruptive technologies within the automotive industry.

The traditional automotive business model of passenger car manufacturing requires significant investment in production processes, tooling and assembly equipment. Major automakers must make a return on their investment in production infrastructure, producing millions of similar consumer vehicles in order to achieve low unit costs. For this reason it is difficult for emerging companies with potentially promising disruptive technology solutions to gain commercial entry into the automotive market.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the United States government agency focused on accelerating market readiness for transformational technologies, has awarded a grant to Ricardo Strategic Consulting that will enable the company to investigate automotive capital expenditure barriers in detail and explore how novel manufacturing methods could reduce these challenges.  This work opens the possibility to a new era of innovative automotive products tailored to consumer needs, as well as potentially reducing the time taken for new vehicle technology to reach the consumer.

Ricardo will collaborate with United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) to investigate alternative manufacturing methods from both a technical and economic perspective. To broaden the project’s insight and viewpoint, Ricardo will also seek the input of industry stakeholders including representatives of academia, traditional automotive manufacturers, and new market entrants. The study is aimed for completion in late 2015, and the findings will be publically available.

“Making significant reductions to the required investments for car manufacturing could transform the automotive industry and enable a new generation of more affordable, and innovative cars, customized to the consumer’s specific needs,” says VP of Ricardo Strategic Consulting, Marc Wiseman. “Ricardo is extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to perform this study through the grant from ARPA-E.”


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