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May 23, 2012


Systems Engineering Turning Out Smarter Products

By Marie Lingblom

Chevrolet’s Volt hybrid electric car contains more than 10 million lines of software code that run on almost 100 microprocessors. Owners can even use their smart phones to lock or unlock the door, ask for the battery’s state of charge or turn on the air conditioning.

This type of sophisticated integration of software and electronics is key to building intelligence into autos and other products people use every day. Consider that in the 1980s, electronics comprised just 5 percent of the content of a vehicle. Today it’s 40 percent, and poised to surpass 50 percent within a few years.

A smarter automotive industry is one that can foresee the future and then bring it to market now, says Eric Gassenfeit, global director, Electrical, Controls and Software Development at General Motors.

“With the level of technology we are putting into today’s automobile, the product development process is just like a rocket program,” said Gassenfeit. “The Chevrolet Volt is an excellent example of that.”

Systems engineering is quickly becoming a critical enabler to delivering smart products, including automobiles, medical devices, aerospace, utilities, and government. In the case of the Chevy Volt, a global team using IBM Rational Systems solutions collaborated in real time to develop the Volt more efficiently than any automobile in GM’s past.

“It’s a transformational vehicle for a company like General Motors, and we had to collaborate like we haven’t done in decades,” said Micky Bly, executive director, Electrical Systems, Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Batteries and OnStar Engineering for General Motors. “It requires us to change the way we work to develop our systems.”

Systems engineering is a critical enabler to delivering smart products via real-time collaboration to gain efficiencies in development, quality and time to market. The goal—as with GM’s Chevy Volt—is to transform how you design, develop and deliver both software and software embedded hardware (e.g. software in cars and phones) to create more innovative products and services faster than the competition, with lower costs and reduced risk.

More examples of how businesses are utilizing systems engineering, application lifecycle development and other related topics are high on the agenda at IBM Innovate2012 in Orlando, June 3-7. Click here for more information or to register for the IBM Innovate2012.

  1. Jun 12 2012

    Unlimited $. I’d buy either Adam Lambert or Mika, and they will be all mine.Don’t worry, I’ll problbay let them roam.Just not out of my sight.=3

  2. Jun 15 2012

    As of late, my favorite caohpimns been Udyr. His early (and late game) Tiger Stance scaling is ridiculous. 1.7 total ad scaling. I lane with him (I get more kills/farm this way and don’t have to waste a summoner on smite) and can solo with him easily. I really like the champion design, and am going to try him out in a few team comps (probably with little success). Malzahar and Cho’gath are two amazing picks, as they’re incredibly hard to counter and counter a wide array of champs. However, no one really likes play cho or malz, because they’re boring

  3. Sep 19 2012

    I tried this at function – but when i start the WiFi-Diagnosis-Tool I’m able to see that my set up network has no signal… I tried it with WEP and without (just to check if this causes the failure).

  4. Sep 19 2012

    Video Tutorial: Learn to create Squidoo lens….

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