Porsche’s digital dual chassis technology can predict service intervals and more


Porsche uses the digital world in a new and innovative light. The German car maker is working on a concept of a digital twin or ‘chassis twin’. It’s eerily similar to the “ghost car” in Gran Turismo racing games, but it has more to do with improving the driving experience and ownership than improving your lap times.

So what is a digital twin or a chassis twin? “It’s a virtual copy of an existing object that enables data-driven analysis, monitoring and diagnostics without the challenges and constraints of real-world testing,” the automaker said. The object can be anything from a physical object to a specific system or component of the vehicle. The cool part is that you can diagnose or monitor the virtual copy without physically touching or interacting with the real part. Welcome to the future, guys!

Porsche engineers and software specialists have been working on a digital twin concept for the past three years, mainly focusing on the chassis (hence the name “chassis twin”). The project is under the direction of CARIAD, an autonomous automotive software company operating within the constraints of the Volkswagen group.

Additionally, digital chassis twinning technology is now at work in the Porsche Taycan EV (nearly half of Taycan owners have gone for the service, Porsche said), particularly the air suspension. For example, if your Taycan hits a pothole, the system can predict if the shocks need to be replaced by analyzing data from the chassis sensors. In return, the car can alert the driver of a possible suspension failure and suggest a dealership to replace it.

In addition, all relevant sensor data is transmitted via a central backend system via Porsche Connect. From there, computer algorithms compare the data from each vehicle to the data from the fleet. The advanced artificial intelligence in the car and the centralized system continuously monitor and improve the accuracy of the algorithms. Porsche says this innovative approach ensures early detection of wear and prevents breakdowns.

What about data privacy, you ask? Porsche has stated that data privacy is of the highest priority and that all data is collected anonymously. Porsche owners can deactivate the service at any time and you must give your consent before data collection begins. In addition, digital pairing is possible without adding more sensors or cameras to the vehicle. The system uses sensors that are already in the car to keep production costs down.

And when you think about it, Porsche can apply its digital chassis technology to almost any component in a car. It can issue warnings of dangerous road conditions by posting road maps and friction levels on the road. It can even project the residual value of your vehicle by analyzing your driving habits, although Porsche reserves this functionality for future applications.

Finally, Porsche will launch the production version of its twin digital chassis next year. As in the Taycan, the system will collect “sensor data directly from mechatronic components,” Porsche said, with more features coming very soon.

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