Intelligent Aerodynamics

Design and Efficiency

Current and future automotive model cycles are evaluating mechanized components that provide aerodynamic drag reduction. The recent improvements in component cost and benefit are compounded further by additional thermal system benefits in powertrain. The ITB Group has observed tremendous development of control strategies, actuator packaging and power, as well as molding integration into semi-structural retainers and even first surfaces for increased drag reduction. In May 2016, The ITB Group released a market and technical report providing the understanding of active aerodynamics within the automotive industry. Ranging from active grille shutters or aero shutters, to emerging opportunities in wheel spats and air dams, the advisory firm analyzed market trends and developments within North American, European, and Asian automotive markets. The published report, Intelligent Aerodynamics, discusses these and other technologies that are being considered and implemented by suppliers and OEMs.

Aero ComponentsThe research and in-depth analysis for the Intelligent Aerodynamics report provides an improved understanding of the overall business, legislative and technical developments impacting automotive active aerodynamics. This year’s report is based on The ITB Group’s in-depth knowledge and direct interviews with OEMs and component and material suppliers. Through these interviews, The ITB Group is able to gather market data that will allow product planners an accurate representation of projected market trends.

The automotive market has been trending towards the embrace of aerodynamic innovations to lower drag coefficients and improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Recent launches attain notable Cd improvements through grille shutters, ride control, wheel deflection, and even micro fins, to name several current strategies. In the United States, OEMs have increasingly taken advantage of potential aerodynamic regulatory credits to improve their overall fleet performance calculations, utilizing activated upper shutters, lower shutters, or a combination of both. Individual OEM approaches are compared via a series of OEM strategic profiles in the report.

The ITB Group market analysis projects current usage of grille shutters in 2016 and growth by 2021, and offers an understanding of modularization and part integration strategies at each automaker. A full discussion of implementation strategies and the range of projected fuel economy payback assumptions can be viewed in the industry dynamics section.

The 354 page report evaluates recent efficiency improvements in component design and looks in detail at electronic evolution in control, torque and actuation capabilities. The application potential includes active grille shutters and other potential actuated methods, such as wheel spats, air dams, and spoilers.

Subscribers who purchase the report will also be privy to The ITB Group’s advisory capabilities on emerging performance requirements and current prospects for future innovation, which will allow them to make targeted company decisions.

An ITB Managing Director can provide an on-site presentation of the executive summary. If interested, please contact The ITB Group directly.

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